The Texarkana Dance Academy has become the first dance studio in the region to achieve Youth Protection Advocates in Dance certification. The certification marks its commitment to keeping children happy, healthy and safe in dance.
YPAD is the nation’s only dance certification program focused on both the safety and well-being of dance students. To earn the designation, studios must complete two training paths. The first track focuses on dance safety and pedagogical best practices. It focuses on background checks, CPR and first aid, abuse awareness and prevention, injury prevention and response, and safety and emergency preparedness. The second focuses on the wellbeing and development of young dancers and covers social media, social media safety, today’s dance culture, developmentally appropriate art, body image, nutrition, eating disorders, bullying and conflict resolution. Only studios that complete both tracks are eligible for certification.
“We want to do more than just teach big dance at Texarkana Dance Academy,” said studio owner Rachel Boston. “We want to help develop healthy, happy dancers in an environment focused on child well-being. Of course, it also helps us contribute to a sustainable and safe future for dance in general. »
Texarkana Dance Academy was founded in 1992 by Traci Walker. Since its founding, it has served thousands of children in our community in a variety of dance styles including: classical ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, tumbling, clogging, competitive dance, and classes for those with special needs. specials. This year, Texarkana Dance Academy received the National Dance Foundation’s Kindness, Inclusion and Community Award for their active work in the community to include everyone in their studio. They are also featured in the DA:NCE newsletter Awareness: No Child Exploited May as a wholesome dance studio committed to quality standards in dance education.
YPAD was founded in Los Angeles in 2012 by hip-hop professional Leslie Scott Zanovitch and her husband Joseph Zanovitch in response to the negative trends of commodification and exploitation of youth and adults in the performing arts. In 2014, industry professional Misty Lown became her visionary sponsor, and her More Than Just Great Dancing affiliate program became YPAD’s first certified organization. Lown’s studio, Misty’s Dance Unlimited, also became YPAD’s first certified dance studio. The leadership of YPAD passed to Lown in 2019. The Zanovitches today continue to serve on the YPAD Advisory Board.