World Renowned Ballroom Dance Teachers College Is Now Available To Dance Studios Everywhere

Reprinted from Dance Beat magazine.

For years, there has been only one formal vocational ballroom dance teacher training program in the United States: the Ballroom Dance Teachers College (BDTC) in San Francisco, California. Widely regarded within the ballroom dance industry as the premier teach training program, the College has turned out hundreds of fully trained professional instructors who are teaching and dancing in top studios across the country and around the world.

But there's been one problem: this rigorous sixteen-month program has only been available to dancers who live in (or are willing to relocate to) the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, BDTC's extraordinary founder, Diane Jarmolow, has created BDTC In A Box, a kit that contains everything a studio needs to run its own vocational teacher training program.

"My goal is to change the way ballroom dance teachers are trained," says Jarmolow. "BDTC In A Box is the way to do it. This kit is my contribution to a revolution in the ballroom dance industry," she adds, an incandescent smile lighting up her face.

If anyone can revolutionize the ballroom business, it's Diane Jarmolow. She's a ballroom luminary who has been teaching and dancing and training dance teachers for nearly thirty years. She founded and ran the enormously successful Metronome Ballroom in San Francisco, was a top professional competitor, and regularly consults at ballrooms across North America and the Caribbean. She helped to create DVIDA's series of professional certification examinations and has edited their technique and syllabus manuals.

Her greatest professional achievement, however, is the Ballroom Dance Teachers College. BDTC is a formal vocational training school. Jarmolow's genius was to run the training program like a regular group class. There is no prerequisite to join the class, nor is there any promise of employment at the end. Enrollees pay for the course as they would for any group class. Thus, BDTC becomes a profit center for the dance studio while at the same time providing the studio with a ready supply of fully-trained dance teachers.

"Dance studios always need trained teachers," Jarmolow says. "But the traditional method is all wrong." Studios generally hire untrained employees who think they want to be dance teachers. The studios then train these employees, for free, while the employees are on salary. Often these employees decide they don't want to be dance teachers after all, and the studio has lost all of its investment.

"BDTC works because the prospective teachers pay for their training," Jarmolow says. "They are investing in their professional future, just like students in a law school, musical conservatory, or cosmetology academy. BDTC graduates are helping to raise the level of professionalism in the whole industry."

A formal teacher training program can be a tremendous financial boon to a studio. A well-run BDTC has the potential to generate thousands of dollars each month, year after year. And the program is rigorous; graduates will learn to master the technical, musical, and partnership elements of each syllabus dance figure. Even people with no ballroom experience can graduate as fully trained professional instructors, if they have the dedication and the commitment to work hard.

This is a daunting proposition, but Jarmolow, a master teacher herself, has pioneered a series of innovative exercises, regular examinations, and supportive feedback that has made BDTC the apex of professional teacher training. She has formalized this course into BDTC In A Box.

BDTC In A Box contains 128 lesson plans that will take prospective teachers through the entire Bronze American Style syllabus for Smooth, Rhythm, and Club dances (seventeen dances in all.) The kit also includes Master Teacher Manuals for each section, a Business Guide that explains the administrative and marketing aspects of the course, Resource Sheets containing reference information on specific technique and teaching issues, and a series of homework exercises, examinations, and answer guides.

Now studios from Alaska to Alabama have an opportunity to run their own Ballroom Dance Teachers College. "BDTC has created hundreds of professional instructors from people who never believed that a career in dance was possible," Jarmolow says. "It is possible," Jarmolow says, her blue eyes flashing. "People can have a career doing what they love. And studios everywhere can help to make people's dreams come true with BDTC In A Box."

Studios and future dance teachers who are interested in Ballroom Dance Teachers College In A Box can contact Diane Jarmolow through her web site, or by phone at (510) 336-9426. Email:

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