Frequently Asked Questions about the SLDM

SLDM Teacher Education Program

Q: What makes the SLDM different from other teacher trainings?
A: The SLDM is unique in both delivery and content. In terms of delivery, it is the only online teacher training available in West Coast Swing. Unlike a live intensive teacher training, the SLDM consists of 3 components: a study component, a live collaboration component, and a year-long guided practicum component. In terms of content,  While other methodologies teach you how to dance, or suggest a syllabus of patterns and concepts that should taught, the SLDM teaches you how to learn how to learn to dance. It focuses on the skill development and appropriate pedagogy that is missing from most dance instruction and teacher trainings.

Q: Is it compatible with other teacher trainings?
The SLDM provides the foundation upon which you can add any other training of your choice. Any teacher training seminar you take after the SLDM will be an augmentation of your SLDM foundation.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: The price is actually a steal compared to other equivalent coach training courses or online technical training courses. It is a completely different product from any dance workshop you have ever taken, and really can’t be compared to the prices you may be used to seeing offered for dance intensives. It might be more appropriate to compare it to a university or business course. This is also a professional designation that will dramatically improve your teaching business, meaning that by taking this course, you will make more money.
Theory Module: $350 *group discounts and 3-month payment instalment plan available.
Teachers’ Lab: $180* Private and small group sessions available for graduated rates
Teaching Practicum: $200

Q: I really want to enroll, but I can’t afford the tuition right now.
A: We have a NEW option for you! By registering for our Referral Rewards program, you can earn credit towards tuition through sales of our Deck of Drills product. For each Deck of Drills sold, you earn $20 credit, which you can use to pay for the SLDM Theory Module when you are ready.

Theory Module for Teachers

Q: Is this program just for new teachers, or would it be relevant to an experienced teacher?
A: The SLDM is incredibly relevant to experienced teachers. Consider it like Professional Development. Regardless of your past education, it is a unique method that requires training to understand and put into practice. Your years of experience might make you quicker at learning it, but doesn’t exclude you from getting an immense value from the training.

Q: Can I take the program if I have never taught before?
A: Absolutely, in fact, this is the best possible way to start your teaching career.

Q: Can I take the program if I have no intention of teaching, but just want the education?
A: Absolutely! The Theory Module is an excellent way to reassess and rebuild your WCS foundations for your own personal dancing. Nothing replaces live feedback, though, so we highly encourage you to take private lessons to follow up on the skills you learn. In fact, we will be producing a smaller, separate Theory Module for Dancers just for keeners like you! Look for this in 2017.

Q: How long does it take to complete?
A: About 15 hours. But this cannot be done in one sitting. There are 6 Units with 4-6 Lessons each. Each lesson might take 10-30 minutes to work through, some with a short quiz at the end. Each Unit has an offline assignment to complete and submit for grading, that might take 20 min-1hour to complete.

Q: What kind of assignments and testing will I have to do?
A: In the Theory Module, all of your coursework is online, inside this website. You will be able to progress at your own pace, and return to re-read material. Each lesson requires you to answer a few multiple choice questions in order to access the next lesson. At the end of each Unit, there are quiz questions that require longer answers (no essays!) that need to be submitted for grading by us. There is no final exam.

Q: Can I do it offline?
A: No, the Theory Module takes advantage of the power of an online course. It includes videos, images, article links, and interactive quizzes to create a more thorough and balanced learning experience than simply reading a manual. Assignments, however, can be done offline.

Q: Can I register with a partner? With a group of teachers from my studio?
A: There are discounts when you register with a partner or group, yes. But each person takes their course independently, like a university course.

Q: What happens after the Theory Module?
A: First, you get a certificate of training and access to the Back Office, which contains several valuable tools and templates. There you will also find the link to register for the Teaching Practicum. You can sign up for the next Teachers’ Lab you see advertised, or request one as a private lesson at any event we are at.

Q: Do I get a certificate as proof of training?
A: Yes. You can list this on your resume, or post it online to announce your training.

Teachers’ Lab

Q: Can I just take this workshop and skip the Theory Module?
A: No. The SLDM is unlike your standard weekend intensive or workshop you might take at dance event. It is comparable to a university course: you can’t complete it in one sitting: there is vocabulary to learn, reading to be done, assignments to complete, quizzes to take, group collaboration to participate in, observations to record, and feedback to receive. It is a 3-part program that takes 6 months to 1 year to complete. The Theory Module is online, which takes most people at least a month to complete. The Teaching Practicum Module is a up to a year of guided coaching on your teaching experiences, including a live hands-on workshop called the Teachers’ Lab, which you will be lost in if you have not studied the Theory Module. Since teaching is 70% mental and 30% physical, it makes sense that the majority of the training (the Theory Module) can be completed online. The Teaching Lab is exclusively for those who have already studied the material and will be working on applying it in real teaching environments. We have asked every SLDM graduate if they thought they could have survived in the Teachers Lab without the taking Theory Module first. Every one has laughed and said “no way”.

Q: How do I sign up for a Teachers’ Lab?
A: There are 2 ways: like a first aid course, you can either join in a group course or you can take a private certification. Some events hire us to run a Teachers’ Lab, which means you need to register through the event. Alternatively, if there is not an event offering the Teachers Lab near you in the near future, you can contact us to arrange to do your Teachers Lab like a private lesson at any event we will be at.

Teaching Practicum

Q: What’s the point of this?
A: You will learn an insane quantity and depth of information in the Theory Module. The Teachers’ Lab will be awesome for you to collaborate with others and get hands-on clarification and learn how to apply what you learned. The Practicum is necessary because that’s where you will actually apply what you learned. But you don’t have to do it alone – you have professional coaches by your side to give you feedback and guidance. This will not only ensure you are applying and integrating the SLDM accurately and appropriately, but will make your teaching soar.

Q: What’s involved in the Practicum?
There are assignments to do offline that involve observations, case studies, planning/assessment, and community citizenship. You can do these at your own pace, in any order. All involve an open dialogue of direct feedback from us, for up to one year.

Q: Who is the Practicum intended for?
A: The Teaching Practicum is intended as the followup course that ALL teachers should enrol in. The only SLDM learners who do not need to take it are keen dancers who are only taking the Theory Module for personal interest.