Regulated Qualifications in the EU

From health and safety to the contextual study of dance, practical observation of teaching to planning, evaluating and leading your own dance classes, a regulated initial teaching qualification not only makes you much more employable, but more fully prepares you for the day when you might open your own dance school. 

With this in mind, on 1st September 2010, the ISTD launched its revised regulated teaching qualifications, the Level 3 Diploma in Dance Instruction (DDI) and Level 4 Diploma in Dance Education (DDE) to better meet the needs of future dance teachers. The DDI is aimed at anyone 17 years or older who wishes to begin training as a dance teacher and the DDE offers those 18 years or older, who have already achieved their Level 3, the opportunity to complete their training and become a fully qualified and regulated ISTD dance teacher. And this is all achievable within a three-year programme of study at a range of Approved Dance Centres (ADCs) throughout the EU. 

Both the DDI and DDE are regulated by the Regulatory Bodies in England and Wales and (Ofqual for England and Northern Ireland, and the Department of Education and Skills for the Welsh Assembly) and are on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and award 68 and 92 QCF credits accordingly. This means that, as well as standing alone as respected dance teaching qualifications that give you the opportunity to teach across a wide variety of dance genres, they can contribute towards other higher level qualifications. 

What do I need to have to begin my study?

To register for the DDI, learners must be 17 years old or above in the academic year in which they register.  For the DDE learners must be 18 years old or above in the academic year in which they register and hold the DDI (or Foundation in Dance Instruction) in the relevant genre.

Where can I train?

Training is available on a full-time or part-time basis via our 150 Approved Dance Centres (ADCs) throughout the EU.  There are also parts of the qualifications that may be studied via supported distance learning.  Full details of the programme offered at each ADC is available from the ADC themselves. Click here to find an ADC near you.

How long will it take?

This will depend on the experience and expertise you bring when you start training as well as the course you choose to follow as many ADCs offer additional training in dance, acting and/or singing as part of the programme to fully equip the young student teacher.

How much will it cost?

As with the question above, this will depend on the experience and expertise you bring when you start training as well as the course you choose to follow.  However, full costs are available from the ADC.   

In which genres can I qualify?

In the Theatre Dance genres, you can qualify in: Cecchetti Classical Ballet, Classical Greek, Imperial Classical Ballet, Modern Theatre, National, Classical Indian– Bharatanatyam, Classical Indian– Kathak, and Tap.

In the Dancesport genres, you can qualify in: Classical Sequence, Disco/Freestyle, Latin American and Modern Ballroom.

What can I do after completing my DDE?

Once you have completed your DDE you can upgrade your membership to Full Member which allows you to vote on Society business as well as giving you opportunities such as being qualified to apply to teach other student teachers the DDI and DDE programme.   Full details of our Membership categories can be found here

In regards to continuing your professional development you can choose to progress on the accredited route through the Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy, the BA (Hons) in Professional Practice: Dance Education or the MA in Professional Practice: Dance Technique Pedagogy.  Alternatively you may choose to further your professional development through the non-regulated route with the Licentiate and Fellowship examinations.  Details of the full higher level teaching qualification portfolio can be found here.

For Dancesport, is it true that there is another progression route available?

That’s correct.  The ISTD has two possible progression routes if you’re interested in Dancesport teaching, offering two different types of qualifications – first, our regulated qualifications, the DDI and DDE, and secondly, the Associate.  It is worth taking the time to consider the two options, looking at what type of teaching qualification you wish to achieve at the end of your training, in what setting you are going to teach and what commitments you have before making a decision.

If you want to find out about the non-regulated route, please click here. 

Where can I find out more?

Please download the syllabi or genre specific supplementary sheets below. 

If you have any queries about this qualification, please contact Gemma Bridge, Initial Qualifications Co-ordinator, on If you have any questions about your suitability for this qualification,  please contact Gemma with a copy of your updated CV.


DDI Purpose Statement

DDE Purpose Statement

Genre specific supplementary sheets



Cecchetti Classical Ballet 

Cecchetti Classical Ballet 

Classical Greek 

Classical Greek 

Classical Indian Dance

Classical Indian Dance (coming soon)

Classical Sequence (coming soon)

Classical Sequence (not available)


Disco/Freestyle  (not available)

Imperial Classical Ballet 

Imperial Classical Ballet 

Latin American (coming soon)

Latin American (not available)

Modern Ballroom (coming soon)

Modern Ballroom (not available)

Modern Theatre 

Modern Theatre 






Glossary of terms

Are you baffled by all the acronyms used?  Please click here for more information.

DDI/DDE Case Study - Katie-Anne McCabe
DDI/DDE Case Study - Jessica Scott
DDI/DDE Case Study - Lucy Robinson