What is a license and why does it matter?

Did you know that there is no state or federal license required to teach dance? That’s right, you need a license to groom a dog, or give a pedicure but to teach dance there is no license or education requirement.

I do have a degree in dance education/arts administration from New York University, but we wanted more for our dancers. In 2012 we became a founding member of More Than Just Great Dancing, a national licensing organization for dance studios dedicated to putting the health, safety and well being of children first. This past year our entire staff became YPAD (Youth Protective Advocated in dance) and CPR/First Aid certified. We are 100% dedicated to providing a safe atmosphere where young artists can develop and flourish. Right now safety in the dance studio is focused on COVID-19, but we believe safety for dancers is so much more.

We believe in taking care of developing young bodies. We teach proper foundations and progressions so kids avoid injuries that can last a lifetime. Dancers need proper technique to progress correctly, but our motivation goes beyond just creating great dancers (of COURSE we want to turn our great dancers!!) We teach on the highest quality sprung floors to allow our dancers to jump and leap without impact injuries. Our staff goes above and beyond with continuing their education to always be on top of the newest information available. We say no to teaching skills/tricks that a dancer is not developmentally ready for. We are ok with telling a child no if they are not ready as their future is more important that immediate gratification. We believe in goal setting and teaching our kids that health and safety comes first, and that hard work always pays off.

We believe in age appropriate training and choreography. We put kids before trophies ALWAYS.

We watch and listen to our students for signs of mental stress. Our staff is trained on how to look for signs of abuse. Now more than ever, we are watching for signs of mental stress with our students. They are going through major challenges and changes to their development. Families are struggling and we are there for our students to help them through this challenging time.

And of course it goes with our saying that as a licensed MTJGD studio we have a full protocol for COVID -19. We have been meeting bi weekly though this crisis to share best practices and to develop a full plan for the health and safety of dancers at all 300 MTJGD studios all over the world. We are not alone making decisions that affect our kids and families, we are acting with a full team and resources for health and safety.

Here is our license for the 2019/20 school year (and of course we will renew for 20/21!). We display it proudly because it matters. We are proud to be held to a higher standard, because our kids deserve nothing less.