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Junior Mentoring Program

Until now, the minimum age at which a DSA Member could undertake a Coaching Accreditation (Instructor or Coach) was 18, with 16 being the minimum age for an Assistant DanceSport Instructor (ADI) accreditation. Within Registered Training Facilities (RTFs) there are several junior boys who have regularly partnered Recreational girls, as well as junior girls looking for a partner. At this time these Juniors are unable to obtain any DSA Accreditations, and sometimes become lost to DSA as future DanceSport competitors due to competition from many other activities and sports who focus on children of this age.

This situation started the Accreditation Commission members thinking about the possibility of a Junior Development Program, with the introduction a Junior Assistant DanceSport Instructor program/certification. This has further developed into a Junior Mentoring Program (JMP):
• This would be for children between the ages of 13 and 15 (i.e. same as Junior competitive age group). They would do the technical component (ADI level, removing some dances), wouldn't do the online Community Coaching course, and the minimum 5 hours per style teaching would be for assisting in classes.
• This would allow many Junior dancers to dance in Teacher/Recreational events.
• This would not be considered an Accreditation but a Certification, and those completing the program would not be permitted to take private lessons or teach classes, but only to assist accredited coaches.
• An important component is having a Mentor (RTF Principal or Coach) work with the Junior candidate in an ongoing capacity. This may involve some training for the Mentors from DSA.

A major part of this Program is that successful candidates earn credit towards a full ADI when they turn 16, i.e. they would only be examined on the dances not included in the JMP and would have to do some higher-level supervised teaching per style and the online Coaching Course.

More than just providing Juniors who can dance as Teachers in the Teacher/Recreational events, it would also be a great introductory program for Juniors, helping them to become involved in theory and working towards the Adult accreditation options- it may even help to keep more Juniors in DanceSport for longer! The Mentoring component is a vital part of this program. Reference books can be found in the current Accreditation Program (H9.2)

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