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Diploma in Dance Education (DDE)

The Level 4 Diploma in Dance Education (DDE) is an achievable and streamlined teaching qualification that provides student teachers with a clear and cohesive pathway to becoming a qualified dance teacher with the ISTD.

Download DDE Specification

DDE Level 4 Qualification

The Level 4 Diploma in Dance Education (DDE) Qualification Accreditation Number is 603/3094/6

The qualification is regulated at Level 4 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework and has a credit value of 120.

The Level 4 DDE is an Ofqual regulated teaching qualification, which provides an excellent introduction to a career in teaching dance. It offers student teachers a clear pathway to becoming a qualified dance teacher with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and allows the opportunity to engage with up-to-date research in best practices related to dance teaching and learning. The DDE forms part of the Society’s regulated teaching qualifications portfolio and is available to residents in the UK and Europe for the Theatre Dance genres including Cecchetti, Classical Greek, Classical Indian, Imperial Classical Ballet, Modern Theatre, National Dance and Tap Dance.

Student teachers enrolled for the DDE are eligible for Provisional membership of the ISTD.


The framework of the assessment ensures that student teachers develop the practical skills and knowledge required to enter the teaching profession, as well as to develop a sustainable career. In studying the DDE, candidates cover a breadth of material, leaving them fully qualified within their chosen dance genre. It lends itself to a blended learning approach combining classroom and studio delivery with online activities and assessment. 

The full DDE qualification awards 120 credits at Level 4 on the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) in the UK and the Credit and Qualifications Framework in Wales (CQFW). This equates to 120 credits at Level 5 of the European Qualification Framework (EQF). 

Depending on individual experience and the chosen format of studying, the Level 4 DDE can be achieved over within a 2-3 year programme, either part-time or as part of full-time vocational training.

It consists of 5 individual units that are written to support the learning from one unit to another preparing the student fully for teaching in the studio.  

Unit 1: Preparing for Safe Teaching (15 credits at Level 3)

Unit 2: Observing, Assisting and Teaching Practice (30 credits at Level 4)

Unit 3: Vocational Graded Examination in Dance: Intermediate (28 credits at Level 3)

Unit 4: Dance Practice (30 credits at Level 4)

Unit 5: Child Development (17 credits at Level 4)


Student teachers need to be 17 years of age in the academic year of DDE enrolment and 18 years of age to undertake the DDE teaching practice. 

Student teachers with a regulated qualification of the same level and content may apply for an exemption. Those with significant prior teaching experience may apply for an exemption from the assisting component of the DDE. Check with your Approved Dance Centre at registration. 

You can download a DDE Planned Exemptions Table here.


Student teachers can study the DDE through Approved Dance Centres approved by the Society. Once the student-teacher is enrolled with an Approved Dance Centre they are required to complete a DDE registration form that is to be submitted by the ADC to Professional Qualifications Department at the Society.

Some Approved Centres will offer the DDE at weekends, evenings or through intensive study blocks. Please contact the ADCs directly for further information about enrolment, study times, tuition fees and so forth.

Progressing your journey

Successful completion of the Diploma in Dance Education will mean you are able to apply for Full Membership of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. This will enable you to enter students for examinations and benefit from our full membership package

The next step for your teaching journey is to consider the higher teaching qualifications