We recently spoke to Georgiana Snelling. From BBO student to BBO Registered Teacher, she discusses her experience of her BBO teacher training journey!
Please share a short introduction about yourself
I have taken dance lessons with a BBO Registered School since the age of 3, taking classes in ballet, tap and modern and completing exams in each of them. I have now been teaching at the same school for 7 years, alongside working professionally in film and TV acting roles.
What is your dance teaching context? What education sector do you teach in and what dance styles/genres do you teach?
I currently teach within a private dance school setting, delivering classes in ballet, tap, modern and musical theatre. I teach predominantly syllabus-based classes and work towards entering students for exams. For my pre-school and adult dancers, I often use the syllabus to gain inspiration for lesson content, even though they aren’t always working towards exams.
How did you hear about the BBO teacher training courses?
Having grown up with the BBO syllabus, I have always been involved with the company and knew of their courses. When knowing I wanted to gain a qualification, I had a look around (even outside of BBO courses) but kept coming back to BBO. I wanted a foundation of knowledge to build my practice upon and the courses provided this, as well as being incredibly flexible with their online delivery structure. It is also important to me to not have to specialise in a dance genre; I teach a variety of classes and value understanding teaching practices of them all, not narrowing down my studies. The BBO course facilitates this multi-genre approach to teaching.
Why did you choose to do the Level 6 course? How does it fit with your career development plans?
I completed the Level 4 and Level 5 Diplomas prior to applying for Level 6. I thought I would stop once completing Level 5 but the more I learned, the more I knew there was still to learn. I was keen to develop my knowledge and educate myself in how to deliver dance to increasingly varied audiences. Completing Level 6 means I have opened a door to teaching within public settings, rather than limiting myself to private settings. I am passionate about bringing dance to people who may not otherwise have access to it; the Level 6 course has provided a pathway for me to do this.
What was the application process like? Were there any challenges?
The application was very simple; the BBO team are always incredibly quick at responding to queries and emails. The process may have been different for me, as I already had the foundations of the Level 4 and 5 courses, but throughout the entirety of my course administration I have found the applications easy to follow.
The online form itself provides you with plenty of time to complete each section, the instructions are easy to follow and any questions are very quickly clarified by the BBO team!
How did you feel at the start of the course?
Despite previously completing the Level 4 and 5 courses, I was still a little apprehensive because Level 6 is an extra step up. It feels as though you’re stepping into the bigger picture of dance rather than just aiming for the qualification. However, as soon as the course began my worries settled. Throughout all the courses I have found the delivery to be extremely clear, easing any nerves and allowing me to plan far in advance for each module. We use SharePoint to access the materials; each assignment is presented from the start of the course so there is never any worry about what will be expected of you or when deadlines will be.
What has been your favourite module and why?
The Informing Wider Practice module was my favourite. It was valuable to see how my teaching practice within a private dance school setting fits into the wider industry. Teachers can often feel alone but this course, and in particular this module, opened my eyes to the wider impact dance can have on people outside of the classes delivered. Every dance teacher has an important role in the wider industry.
Would you recommend our Level 6 course and why?
I would definitely recommend this course. It can be tempting to stop training after completing Level 5 and gaining your full qualification, but the Level 6 course can deepen your knowledge and practice. I saw an immediate impact on my students right from when I started the course. An understanding of inclusivity within the classroom and adjusting resources alongside this has enabled my students to truly believe they are dancers, where they may not have owned this belief before.
As well as the course content, the delivery of the course is perfect for experienced dance teachers. The modules are all delivered online and accessible from all over the world. Teachers are incredibly busy, so the BBO team have a personal approach to each student, ensuring they can complete the course alongside work and additional studies.
What are your plans for after the course? Where is your dance journey taking you next?
In the short term I will continue to teach within the private school setting but I now feel equipped to begin delivering dance classes in public settings. I would love to work with children with special educational needs. Many children have physical or emotional needs, preventing them from accessing dance in many ways; I would love to help break these barriers.
As well as this, I enjoy working with adults so would like to develop this further. Many adults enjoy restarting dance in their later years and I love helping them to achieve this goal! Using the dance science knowledge from the Level 6 course, I feel confident in delivering safe dance classes to a wide variety of people.
Can you describe some of the main skills you’ve learned from the course?
My ability to look inwards and evaluate my work has improved. Teachers can always evolve their practice; I can always look back and discover what works well and where I can develop. The Teaching Practice in Action module gave me the confidence to question myself and critically evaluate my practice. It is so important to take the time to pick yourself apart, for both positive work and areas to develop.
Additionally, the course provided access to some incredibly valuable resources. Sometimes it is hard to know where to look for the best and most up to date resources. Now I know where to look if I need additional support after the course.
Are you likely to become a Registered Teacher with BBO and continue with CPD through BBO?
I became a Registered Teacher after completing Level 5, which has been a key development point for me as I can enter students for exams!
I really enjoy the BBO CPD courses; they look at both the syllabus and the wider industry, catering for both BBO Registered Teachers and non-BBO teachers! They are a great way to stay connected to the organisation once graduating.
I am impressed and surprised with how much I enjoyed studying for this course. Often we can go into studying thinking we will make it to the end but not truly value the process and only aim for the qualification. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the learning process of each module. It was great to investigate each topic and constantly challenge and question myself, I knew my teaching practice would step up if I gave this course my all.