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New standards for dance leadership

Posted on June 24, 2011

Dance Training Accreditation Partnership (DTAP) has announced the first National Occupational Standards in Dance Leadership. National Occupational Standards (NOS), which can be applied to any profession, are used to define what an individual needs to know and do in order to carry out a particular job.


The new dance NOS will be useful to those working as teachers and leaders in dance outside formal education, and to those employing them. For example, aspects of the NOS can be used in job descriptions, appraisals and the setting of fee levels, while providers of further and higher education can use them to design training and course programmes.

DTAP developed the NOS over a period of two years, led by the Foundation of Community Dance, with people from across the dance profession. Many dance organisations were consulted at a national conference in 2010. Creative & Cultural Skills have been involved throughout the process. The NOS will be reviewed and developed roughly every two to three years. It is hoped that the first review, due in 2013, will bring the NOS into alignment with a national benchmarking system for dance qualifications by DTAP and Creative & Cultural Skills. This could allow dance leaders and teachers to identify their level of experience against a nationally-agreed framework.


The NOS can be downloaded from For more information on how the new standards can be useful to professionals, employers and continuing professional development providers, see If you have questions regarding the NOS in Dance Leadership, contact or see

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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