Celebrating the first ATAP assessments
When students value the process of learning more than the end product, we can drive forward the standard of teaching and keep pace with the changing needs of the art form we all love. The Affiliate Training and Assessment Programme (ATAP), the first programme of its kind, was created in recognition of the need for dance students to develop their knowledge and ability more broadly than within a rigid set syllabus. The programme, designed for recreational ballet teachers with more than three years’ experience, empowers teachers as practitioners, giving them the responsibility for guiding and assessing their own students’ learning.
What do students learn from ATAP-accredited teachers?
The programme content is based on The Royal Ballet School’s Model for Optimal Dance Training. Each level contains both movement and contextual studies to provide a holistic approach to training. In addition to the traditional foundation movement skills, ballet technique and vocabulary, students of ATAP-accredited teachers will also learn the study of repertoire, choreography, creative tasks, and art form appreciation.
How’s it going?
Since the launch of ATAP in February 2022, we have been thrilled by the positive response to the programme.
Last year, we held two ATAP Intensive courses for our first two cohorts of trainee Affiliate Teachers in July and October. Teachers fed back that they felt overwhelmingly confident to deliver the course, and that they found it useful to study learning styles and needs, psychology and pedagogy, layering choreography and accessibility to different abilities and body types. When asked what they loved about the course, they said:
‘Feeling valued and being part of a forward thinking programme‘
‘Mentors who are so open-minded and generous in helping us improve‘
‘Passionate and likeminded peers and forming community’
‘Access to a wealth of knowledge from The Royal Ballet School.’
How are the students finding it?
At the end of the year, there were some very excited students and teachers when the students had their first assessments. Teachers can create and teach assessment material appropriate to each level at any time throughout the year once students have completed the minimum training hours. The well-rounded young learners loved adding repertoire, research, choreography and creativity to their training. They said:
I enjoyed ‘not just dancing but researching and sharing what we all learned’ and you ‘can then dance and feel as if you are there’
‘I like research – it’s very interesting’
The research helps you to ‘experience what happened and how it happened’
‘I love making up my own choreography’
It was ‘a lot more relaxed than usual exams’
‘I like picked up gallops turning’
‘I really liked learning about the Snow Queen’
‘I like being creative with dance and [having] freedom to create.’
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