top of page

Level 3 - Experience and Advice from a Host Dance School

We spoke to Laura Carnaby about her experience being a Host Dance School for our Level 3 Certificate. If you have students keen to begin their training journey, read on to discover how you can help them, and discover the benefits of the course for your school and students.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your dance school. What is your association with BBO?

I am the Principal of Carnaby School of Dance in Oldham, Greater Manchester, and have been teaching for 16 years.

I trained at the Royal Academy of Dance, from where I graduated in 2009. After my training, I worked as a freelance teacher all over the UK and never had the intention of setting up my own school. However, a teacher at one of my regular jobs was leaving so I permanently took over the class, and before I knew it, I had a school with hundreds of students.  

Initially I had no affiliation with BBO, the transition to the organisation began when I was approached about becoming an Examiner. Upon successful completion of the Examiner training, my development continued and led me to the Level 3 course where I become a Tutor and progressed to become Lead Tutor for Module 3.3. Since becoming Lead Tutor, something clicked, and I really noticed the value of the course for my teen dancers.

What does being a Host Dance School involve? What is your role?

The role as a teacher of a Level 3 Host Dance School is simply to offer support to the students studying the course; there is no extra workload or administration required by the teacher.

For the first module, students will need to observe classes so the Host School will just need to facilitate this. If the students are already involved in assisting and attending extra classes, this is very easy to set up and a great way for them to develop their skills whilst studying.

The later modules are designed to harness the students’ ability to train an exercise within the BBO Syllabus. I was concerned about this to begin with; as a school that does not follow the BBO Syllabi, I was worried about my students’ ability to teach exercises that they were not familiar with. However, the free resources provided by BBO and skills facilitated throughout the module are valuable and make this process very accessible and approachable.

Being a Host Dance School has been a very smooth and enjoyable process for me and my school, I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for their dance assistants to reach a new level of teaching.

Why do you think Level 3 is beneficial for the students at your dance school?

Historically, it has been the older students at dance schools who help with the younger students; despite this being a great experience for the dancers, there are often no measures in check. If the student teaching assistants have completed their Level 3 Certificate, parents of the younger students are given confidence that their children are being taught by students who have a baseline of training. This also acts as a fantastic marketing tool, teachers can show off their trained assistants. If anyone questions your teaching or assistants, you can confidently say they have a Level 3 Certificate to back up their practice.

Image: Creative Studios

As a teenager, I would have loved the opportunity to do a course before the pressure and time commitment of GCSEs began. Students can study something they are passionate about and secure a Certificate prior to embarking on GCSEs or further school assessments. The course can also provide a pathway to learn important skills required for when they begin studying for exams in school. For example, they will begin to build time management skills and learn how they best study and prepare for assessments.

Once students have a successfully achieved their Certificate, it is a fabulous addition to applications they may need for universities, colleges or jobs! Students are not locked in to being a dance teacher, they can take their skills and apply them to wherever their next steps take them. One of my students spent most of a university interview discussing their Level 3 Certificate; despite her application being for a psychology degree, the panel were impressed she had achieved this Certificate before reaching university level.

The wonderful thing about Level 3 is that the course content caters for every student and every learning style, or ability. The course structure allows every student to excel. Whether they love written assessments, or prefer presentations and practical work, there is a way for everyone to thrive during this course whilst showing their personality and passion for dance. For each module, there is a different designated tutor which enables students to stay engaged and be exposed to different teaching and learning styles. Students also have the ongoing support of the BBO Teaching Qualifications team throughout their application and course studies. BBO even offer a payment instalment plan, so the cost seems less daunting.

If you have dancers aged 14 years or older and have achieved a Grade 4 dance examination, I advise you encourage them to apply for the Level 3 Certificate. 3 of my dancers completed it last year, 5 are currently studying and I plan to help more apply for the next programme. In my school, the younger students consistently ask if they’re old enough to start the Level 3!


bottom of page