Working with Dance Practitioners

Working With Dance Practitioners: Some Guidelines
(Provided by kind permission of NDTA)

The following guidelines provide a starting point for opening up discussions with dance practitioners and helping to identify whether or not they can provide what you are looking for and / or something that looks interesting, but that you need to know more about, before committing to any work. It includes guidelines about the minimum you must ask for before going ahead and some guidelines about what you should do in order to support the development of high quality dance links. The list is not exhaustive.
What to look for / ask about:

Qualifications – ask about the level, awarding body and content
Training / education – where, how long and, if dance related, what was covered
First aid training or any other relevant training
Dance courses attended – particularly any which might have been focused to delivering dance to Young people – ask who ran the courses
Experience as performer, choreographer, teacher – what, where and at what level
What is being offered - e.g. style, technique, choreography, contextual frames of reference, Working approaches, curriculum/examination based work, work based on company repertoire, etc.
Evidence of previous work within and/or beyond the curriculum – e.g. videos, comments from Schools/participants, references, example project plans/units of work,  etc.
An up to date and relevant CV (which you could check if you felt the need)
Usual fees
To see them teaching.
What to expect:

Evidence of appropriate experience / ability to meet your needs
The dance practitioner to ask questions about the school context (including previous experience of the intended participants), what they will be responsible for and how they will be supported.
What you must ask for:

Evidence of current CRB clearance
Evidence of current and an appropriate level of public liability insurance
A clearly identified outline of the work to be undertaken
What you should do:

Provide a written statement of roles and responsibilities for all those concerned some of which might need to be negotiated and agreed with the dance practitioner
Provide information about the context in which the dance practitioner will be working including the school, the group(s) and relevant previous experience
Provide mentoring support and guidance through a link teacher who manages the work
Make sure that there are clear and effective channels of communication
Discuss and agree the work before and during projects
Ensure that the dance practitioner is informed of all relevant health and safety procedures
Ensure that responsibilities regarding duty of care are clearly defined
Ensure that they know where to go for help if necessary especially for out of hours employment.

© Carolyn Woolridge, National Dance Teachers Association