MS ANNA NELL
MS THELMA CRIPPS
MS THELMA ISAACS
In 1966, five S.A.D.T.A. Examiners branched out, on their own, to form a small society, which could move more swiftly into the rapidly changing dance world. This small society snowballed to become an International Society with branches spreading to various countries around the world.
The five ladies who ventured out on their own were Nina Bodenham, Thelma Cripps, Thelma Isaacs, Rita Michaelson and Anna Nell.
As there were no available funds to start with, these ladies paid their own way for many years. When examining got underway, only “train fares” and 1 or 2 star hotels were paid for. Examining time was not remunerated. This continued for several years before an office, accountant and secretary etc. could be funded and examining fees paid. The first of many meetings was held in Nina Bodenham’s flat. She became our unpaid secretary until the association became properly established and recognised. It was decided that there would be no official chairperson as, each week, this position rotated between the then, five Directors.
This rotation method is still used in the Association at all meetings.
The title used was I.D.T.A (International Dance Teachers Association). This title was used for 30 years as our work was drawn from various methods and countries. Teachers from around the world were invited to conduct classes in South Africa. Thelma Cripps and Anna Nell travelled extensively, every few years to New York and London (at their own expense) to gather work and knowledge to use in writing a Modern and Tap syllabus to compare favourably with the rest of the world. The syllabus has been revised over the years, by the Board and invited choreographers. Trim dance was added to assist older people to enjoy dance and keep fit. It was also a fundraiser, but had to be set aside as the volume of work increased.
The Association was unaware at the time that another I.D.T.A. Association existed in London. As this Society was established before the South African Association, it was decided to change our name to A.I.D.T. (Association of International Dance Teachers). This became necessary to avoid confusion, with the advent of the Internet, and as South African teachers were emigrating and wishing to continue with the present A.I.DT Syllabus that they had trained in and studied.
We owe these pioneers, who started up our International Branches, much appreciation:
- Australia: Michelle Heine and Jillian Southgate
- Israel: Lynore Blum
- Cyprus: Sharon Montague
- UK: Debbie Tomlinson
Special thanks goes to Margaret Klaric, for her dedication in developing an extremely successful Canadian branch.
In the late 90’s, it became clear that the Association needed to completely revise and update our syllabi to keep in tune with the speed in which dance was moving. The Board acquired the assistance of some of our knowledgeable choreographers and teachers to completely rewrite the syllabi. The choreographers responsible for setting out a complete “new look” A.I.D.T syllabus consisted of the Board members at the time (Norma Baisley, Thelma Cripps, Thelma Dancig, Thelma Isaacs, Anna Nell and Margie Wells) with most valuable and up to date input from Henri Noppé, Brigitte Reeve - Taylor, Madeline Rowland and Lynne Cusack. These very knowledgeable and experienced teachers and choreographers gave of their time and talent so generously. They were superb in producing an in depth, exciting syllabus which was aimed, not only at producing good dancers, choreographers and teachers, but also to give much joy and stimulation to pupils and teachers.
Yuval Beck, from Israel, opened up a new world of tap to us. When we decided to redo the tap syllabi, his superb knowledge of technique and flair for rhythm, assisted us in the writing of the Tap syllabi. The new format has revived the interest in tap and helped to create an exciting syllabus enjoyed by all. Beryl Saayman was instrumental in choreographing the new rhythmic and artistic Gold Higher tap syllabus.
The Association decided to introduce the ever-increasing Hip-hop syllabus. Di Ross, a well known Cape Town teacher and choreographer, choreographed the first syllabi. This syllabus become popular with the youth of the day.
In 2014, the present Board members (Norma Baisley, Thelma Dancig, Margie Wells, Vanessa-Jayne Bennett and Laraine Rabin) together with Brigitte Reeve-Taylor, and Nicola Haskins and Bailey Snyman, introduced a new Modern Grade syllabus, which encompassed the different genres of dance and introduced the use of props and working with partners. Teachers and dancers alike received this with huge acclaim.
In 2016, it was the turn of the Hip Hop syllabus to be upgraded to reflect this ever-changing genre.
Each level introduces the dancer to new genres of Hip Hop. An eclectic mix of choreographers was used:
B-Boy Lab (B-Boy), Andre Calitz (New School/Old School), Isabelle De Fouw (Pre-Levels and Krump), Tanya Erasmus (Pre-Grades), Clarissa Grundling (Krump), Cleo Notcutt (House),
Jamal Shinobi-Nova (Lyrical) and Rudi Smit (Waacking / Vogue).
At the end of 2017, Ms Norma Baisley retired from the Board after serving for 37 years. Her contribution to the Association will always be remembered. Ms Shelly Turner was appointed to the Board.
In mid-2019, Mrs Thelma Dancig retired from the Board after serving for 23 years. Her loyalty and dedication to the AIDT has been unwavering and she continues to inspire our teachers. Ms Kathleen Webb was appointed to the Board and Ms Brigitte Reeve-Taylor was appointed to the Auxiliary Board.
The AIDT is always moving forward and living up to its Mission Statement:
“Uplifting the Standard of Dance and Training”.
The A.I.D.T. is an examining body and non-profit Association, whose aim is to promote the teaching and standard of Modern/Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop dancing.
A comprehensive syllabus in all sections enables students from the age of 5 years onwards; to learn the correct technique, develop discipline and musicality, while enjoying the dancing experience.
Careful attention is given to anatomy, as used in dance, to avoid injury through incorrect use of the body.
We offer the following:
1. Class Exams in Modern Dance, Tap Dance and Hip Hop Dance for dancers from 5 years of age
2. Foundation Exams in Modern Dance, Tap Dance and Hip Hop Dance for slightly older children to learn through a carefully developed syllabus.
3. Grade Exams in Modern Dance, Tap Dance and Hip Hop Dance for dancers from 7 years of age to learn through a carefully developed syllabus, moving through several grades, each employing more technique, and encouraging a basic knowledge of anatomy pertaining to the work, as well as musicality and presentation.
4. Pre-Major Exams in Modern Dance, Tap Dance and Urban Hip Hop, which introduce more advanced technique to bridge the gap between the Grade and Major exams.
5. Major Exams in Modern Dance, Tap Dance and Urban Hip Hop - Advanced dancers go on through more technically demanding syllabi that will eventually lead into more professional dancing.
6. Solo Performer Exams in Modern Dance, Tap Dance and Urban Hip Hop - The final Executant Exam performed on stage for dancers wanting to follow a Professional dance career. This gives “future performers” the opportunity to show their stage presentation and talent, which will take them into the Performance World of Dance.
We also offer the following for candidates with Cognitive or Physical limitations:
1. Evaluations in Modern Dance, Tap Dance and Urban Hip Hop – conducted by the Teacher in a Class setting.
2. Level & Senior Level Exams in Modern Dance, Tap Dance and Urban Hip Hop for the once-a-week dancers with correct work, but limited physical abilities to participate in grade and major examinations.
MEDAL TESTS in Ballet, Modern Dance, Tap Dance and Urban Hip Hop
The Teacher’s own choreography is used and the candidates may perform their Medal Test on stage or in the studio, with or without an audience.
Bursaries are awarded during the year for worthy candidates to further their dance studies.
DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHERS
Provisional Membership: Students wishing to train as teachers need to attain a certain level and they need to be 18 years of age or older. They may apply for Provisional membership of the Association, which then entitles them to study the syllabus with an experienced teacher.
Teaching Certificate: The student teacher needs to pass the three Associate examinations before becoming registered as an Associate teacher and receiving his/her A.I.D.T. Teaching Certificate.
During this time of study the student is required to study the syllabus in depth – the purpose of exercises, relevant anatomy and music theory, faults found in syllabus work, how to breakdown the work and necessary corrective exercises for dancers.
Teaching Diploma: Once they have achieved this level, they may then further their training by doing the three Advanced Associate examinations. After completion of the third exam, they will receive their A.I.D.T. Teaching Diploma. This entitles them to enter dancers for the major examinations.
The high standard required from the teacher enables him/her to produce a high standard of dancing in his/her pupils.
The Licentiate Exam is the ultimate aim of teachers which consists of both a practical teaching section and a 3 ½ hour written paper covering anatomy, musical theory, study of choreographers, training of associates and ethics of teaching.
TEACHERS AND EXAM CANDIDATES
The A.I.D.T. is proud to have produced over a thousand teachers who, in turn, produce many thousands of entries in exams during a year. These figures escalate rapidly annually. This exciting expansion is the result of many years of extreme dedication from every member in the Association.
New Examiners are appointed as the need arises.
The Membership Diploma is the required qualification.
Prospective Examiners are invited by the Board to undergo a test on their knowledge and understanding of the syllabus, music and anatomy.
An Examiner needs some rare qualities that are not always found in teachers, even if the candidate has received a Distinction for their Membership Exam.
We require our Examiners to be able to assess fairly:
- Candidates of professional level
- Serious candidates attending several classes a week
- The “once-a-week” candidates who dance for the love of it
- Candidates who use the syllabus for remedial assistance to improve physical problems
The Examiner must be able to adapt to these various situations and interpretations of the syllabus.
At the same time, a good standard of work must be upheld within that particular area’s range.
The Examiner must also be able to approach the nervous or sensitive pupil with understanding.
They must be able to handle any problem arising with diplomacy and tact, and always be in control, and command respect from teachers and exam candidates alike.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF DANCERS & TEACHERS TRAINED IN THE A.I.D.T. METHOD
Many A.I.D.T. trained dancers have risen to the top of their field in companies (be it Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap or Hip Hop) - some as dancers, others in choreography, production or teaching posts.
The syllabus, in conjunction with other disciplines in the arts, allows dancers to follow any direction in their chosen field.
Some dancers have opted for the lucrative Corporate Dance World.
This has taken them to all parts of the world.
They return to South Africa to enrich our dance knowledge.
Many teachers, trained in South Africa have established flourishing studios in countries
around the world and are spreading the word of the A.I.D.T. and its syllabus to many
future dancers and teachers.
All this is only possible through the dedication of our Directors, Board Members,
Examiners, Organizers and especially our loyal teachers
- we are proud of these dedicated people.
The A.I.D.T. is always on the move.
As soon as the work needs an update to keep in line with the rest of the world,
we revise the syllabus where necessary.
International teachers (outside the A.I.D.T.) are invited to coach and teach our members here in South Africa and some of our own members who travel extensively conduct classes whenever and wherever possible.