Diploma in Dance Education (DDE)

Qualification | Diploma in Dance Education (DDE)

Validated by | Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD)

Course Leader | Graham Newell

Location | Italia Conti Woking

Course Length | Intensive, Part-Time

Start Date (DDE Modern) | 11th April 2023 - 17th August 2023

Start Date (DDE Tap & Ballet) | 21st August 2023- 17th February 2024


Italia Conti offers a recognised dance teaching qualification from the ISTD to enable learners to embark on dance teaching opportunities.

The training is delivered as an intensive course which allows learners to achieve the professional qualification in a condensed amount of time.

The ISTD is one of the world’s leading dance teacher training and dance examination boards. The qualification is a Level 4 Diploma in Dance Education (DDE). This qualification will allow you to teach and enter students in grades ranging fro Primary to Intermediate in the ISTD Syllabus in the genre or genres you choose to specialise in.



DDE Modern

11th April 2023 – 17th August 2023

Intensive Study Periods (ISP): 

  • 11 – 14 April 2023
  • 17 – 21 April 2023
  • 30 May – 2 June 2023
  • 7 – 11 August 2023
  • 14 – 15 August 2023
  • 16 – 18 Aug 2023

DDE Tap OR DDE Ballet

21st August 2023 – 17th February 2024

Intensive Study Periods (ISP): 

  • 21st – 24th August 2023
  • 29th August – 1st September 2023
  • 23rd – 27th October 2023
  • 11th – 15th December 2023
  • 12th – 16th February 2024


The intensive teacher training course is ideal for students who wish to train to become professional and fully qualified dance teachers in Imperial Classical Ballet, Modern Theatre and Tap dance with the Imperial Society of Teachers in Dancing (ISTD).


The DDE Teacher Training course is split into 5 units which are offered over an intensive period of time and includes some distance learning. We strongly advise students to have completed unit 3, their Intermediate Dance Examination in their chose genre before starting the other units of the course.

There will be set intensive days for written units (1, 2 and 5). Each practical genre (Unit 4) will be run over a term and a half, over 21 intensive days within our holiday periods. It is not possible to complete all three genres within a year, you could complete Tap and Modern within one year and Ballet within a separate year.​


UNIT 1 – Preparing for Safe Teaching (10 credits at Level 3)
UNIT 2 – Observation, Assisting & Teaching Practice (30 credits at Level 4)
UNIT 3 – Intermediate (28 credits at Level 3)
UNIT 4 – Dance Practice (30 credits at Level 4)
UNIT 5 – Social, Emotional & Cognitive Development (12 credits at Level 3/4)


The roots of Imperial Classical Ballet stem from the early days of the ISTD and the first written syllabus in 1913 which was based on the teaching of the French School from the Paris Opéra. The syllabus has now evolved to promote the English classical style and address the changing needs of Ballet dancers today.


Modern Theatre dance is a rhythmic dance style which originated in America before travelling to the rest of the world. It is often seen on the stages of musical productions and is known for its theatrical qualities. The style uses travelling steps, high kicks, leaps, and turns which all need strength and flexibility. This is a highly energetic dance style.


Tap has evolved as an American dance form, popularised throughout the world, with debate about its origins coming from African dance, Irish dance and/or clog dancing. The dancer uses their feet to strike the floor, beating out different rhythms, with dancers wearing tap shoes which have small metal plates on the toe and heel to give the distinctive sound. Tap dance is a theatrical art form often seen on stage in musicals.

Fees & funding

Tuition Fees | Available on Application
Audition Fee for All Applicants | £20 (non-refundable)

Exam Fees

Students are advised that exam fees levied by the Examination Boards are in addition to the course fees quoted on application. Students will be invoiced for their exam fees upon the tutor putting them forward for entering an examination. Subject to having completed the module to the required standard.

Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions apply upon acceptance to Italia Conti.


The Cert HE course offers the following funding options:

  • Private Funding

  • Charitable Trusts and Foundations

  • It’s fantastic. Showcases, shows, summer shows, carol concerts. It’s very full on but I don’t wake up regretting coming here. It is the best thing ever!

    - Sam Tutty – BA (Hons) Musical Theatre graduate
  • “The college provides you with a disciplined, yet family atmosphere that trains you to become the best of the best moving forwards into the performing arts industry.”

    - James Kemp – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate
  • “Italia Conti has helped me in terms of my acting development, but also as a person and how I engage and view the world, which aids me as an actor.”

    - Henry Brackenridge – BA (Hons) Acting Graduate
  • “The building and staff inside welcome you with open arms, guide you through your training and proudly push you, prepped with the best tools for the job.”

    - Amy Johnson – BA (Hons) Acting Graduate
  • “Italia Conti allowed me to do my favorite thing, every day in a safe space amongst talented, supportive people. Being taught by skillful tutors was invaluable. The small classes ensured my voice was always heard and helped me hone my skills.”

    - Ruby Valentino – BA (Hons) Acting Graduate
  • “My training at Italia Conti has challenged, fulfilled, and broadened me as an actor and as a person. The buffet of techniques on offer will allow me to meet all challenges in any avenue.”

    - Henry Holmes – BA (Hons) Acting Graduate
  • “The influx of inspiring people flowing through the building creates an atmosphere for greatness and I am honoured to be a part of that.”

    - Posi Morakinyo – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate
  • “I couldn’t have asked for a more understanding place to spend these crucial moments. The door is always open for us to come back ‘home’ for advice, or even for a cup of tea!”

    - Susannah White – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate
  • “Having the most supportive faculty (many of which are working professionals), who are always pushing you to be the best version of yourself has made my transition into the industry a seamless one.”

    - Awen Jones – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate



  • 17+ in the academic year or registration and 18 years old before completing the teaching element of Unit 2.
  • Intermediate dance qualification within the chosen genre with a leading exam board and evidence of this​.
  • Teaching placement at another dance establishment.
  • Successful audition through Italia Conti, details of which can be found below. Entry to the course will be via audition only.
  • Completion of any programme offer conditions and/or requirements (including deposit and fees).
  • Evidence in hard copy of all the above must be provided.


After completing the application process you will be invited to attend one of our audition days where you will be required to demonstrate a variety of skills. Information about auditions can be found below.


Learners must be 17 years old in the academic year of registration and must be 18 years old before you can complete the teaching element of Unit 2. There is no upper age limit and we welcome applications from mature students who have a suitable background as a professional performer or teacher and who need to update or complete their teaching qualifications without going back to full time college.


You must already hold your intermediate within the chosen genre (certificate needed to evidence this). For those who have completed their Intermediate exam with an alternative leading exam board (i.e, RAD/IDTA), the qualification may be accepted by the ISTD also.


You must have access to a role in which you can assist and then go on to teach your own lessons. For Unit 2 you will need to teach your own lessons and without access to this you will not be able to complete the qualification. Italia Conti are not responsible for and cannot facilitate lessons for you to teach so this must be something you can arrange outside of the centre.


Application to the ISTD Teacher Training course can be made using our online application form.

Applicants must complete the form and pay the audition fee (£20) in order to be considered for the course. Upon receiving your application we will contact you with your audition date.

Audition fees are non-refundable. These fees act as both an administration fee for processing your application as well as a non-refundable deposit for a place on an audition day.

In line with our admissions policy, Italia Conti reserves the right to alter or withdraw offers at any point.


After completing the application process you will be invited to attend one of our audition days where you will be required to demonstrate a dance in the genre you wish to study. The entrance audition comprises of two components – Dance and an informal Interview. The audition process is designed to ensure that prospective students meet the criteria for dance teacher training including a demonstration of prior knowledge and a good understanding of the commitment the training requires.

Both audition components will take place on the same day. You may wish to bring lunch or a snack to the audition, as breaks between the sections will not be long enough to leave the audition site. Also, please note that family and friends will not be permitted to observe the audition and depending on the set-up of the audition site may not be able to have contact with the applicant until their audition is finished.​

If you are accepted then a deposit will be requested two weeks from this date to secure your place on the course. This deposit is non-refundable.



You will be required to prepare a dance of roughly a minute and a half in length, within each genre you wish to study. Please bring your music on an iPod or suitable device with an aux cable connection (please bring an adaptor if you have a new iPhone or device which is not compatible with an aux cable).

Required dress:

Please ensure dance shoes and clothing are suitable to the genre you with to audition for. No loose clothing is permitted. Hair should be neat and secured. No loose jewellery or watches to be worn.


Once auditionees have completed the Dance stage of their audition they may be required tto attend a short, informal Interview.

The purpose of the interview is to gain insight into the student’s interests outside of the rehearsal studio, their personal and professional goals and to help assess whether the student is intellectually and emotionally ready to enter a teacher training environment. It is also an opportunity for auditionees to ask any questions they may have regarding training at Italia Conti.

Please note: resumes, headshots, videos, and other portfolio materials are not required.

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For further development, students can also aspire to continue their training with the ISTD and gain the Licentiate or Fellowship qualifications, which provides a pathway to becoming an examiner. The DDE is also a progression onto further and higher education such as the Diploma in Dance Pedagogy, BA and MA in Professional Practise. (Source: Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Website)


Alumnx & graduate success

Many of our students have gone on to teach at prestigious dance academies, colleges, schools or opened their own dance school, and the DDE qualification allows a much wider range of opportunities across the private and public sectors.

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