What does it mean to be recognized as a YPAD™ Certified Educator and YPAD™ Certified Studio?
YPAD™ Certified Educators have completed the online Safety & Wellness modules, including a passing background check, are First Aid/CPR certified, agree to follow a professional code of conduct, and agree to be mandated reporters.
YPAD™ Certified studio means all staff have completed the online Safety & Wellness modules, including passing a background check, are CPR Certified, and agree to be mandated reporters *All staff includes, full time or part time, office management, instructors, and additional staff.
YPAD™ helps Certified Studios and Educators hold themselves accountable to the best practices in our training through a 5-tier system of accountability and conflict resolution.
What does it mean to be a YPAD™ Certified Event?
YPAD™ Certified Events have had all of their staff complete the online Safety & Wellness modules, including a passing background check, agree to have a First Aid/CPR certified staff member on site for each room, agree to follow a professional code of conduct, agree to develop safety policies and protocols that are specific to events, and agree to be mandated reporters.
YPAD™ helps Certified Events hold themselves accountable to the best practices in our training through a 5-tier system of accountability and conflict resolution.
What is the difference between a YPAD™ Certified Event and Better + Safer Seminar?
YPAD™ has provided various courses, seminars, and certifications on Safety and Wellness in youth dance. One of our seminars is called Better + Safer. It is a 4-hour seminar that covers a variety of YPAD™ topics and is geared towards organizations. When organizations engage YPAD™ for this course, it's often part of a larger professional development effort. Attendance may be recommended for their staff, but not required. Attendance at a Better + Safer Seminar does not imply certification, an ongoing organizational relationship, or accountability. YPAD™'s Better + Safer Seminar is an education seminar only.
YPAD™ Certification is a much different process–it's an all-in commitment. All staff must complete the training and become background checked. Additionally, a certain number of staff at events must also be CPR/First Aid/AED certified. The event must also implement a Code of Conduct and Safety Handbook, which all faculty must adhere to. Certification additionally requires that event producers hold their faculty to ongoing discussions regarding developmentally appropriate choices and agree to a 5-tier system of accountability and conflict resolution. Certification and background checks for everyone must also be renewed every two years.
Is the goal of YPAD™ to police my artistic expression? Will YPAD™ put limits on my artistic choices?
The goal of YPAD™ is to provide evidence-based research and to encourage thoughtful conversation around developmentally appropriate and age-appropriate approaches to dance education. YPAD™ is not interested in blanket censorship or policing the dance industry. Rather, YPAD™'s mission, through the use of online courses, seminars, and certifications, has been to educate dance studios, dance professionals, and communities worldwide on the core elements in constructing an environment focused on the well-being of kids and a sustainable, safe future for dance. Dance environments, teaching methods, and content differ when teaching young children, adolescents and adults. YPAD™ believes that when you know better, you do better. Making developmentally appropriate choices for children is not artistic censorship, it is stewardship. Together we can create healthier environments for all dancers.
Who performs background checks, and do I need to pay for it?
Background Checks are available to be performed by a YPAD™ trusted partner, Intellicorp, or you can use a local county agency.
YPAD™ believes that when you know better, you do better. As a result, YPAD™ courses are evidence-based, educational courses with a trauma-informed approach for dance professionals and the dance industry as a whole. The mission of Youth Protection Advocates in Dance® is to provide dance professionals with the skills and resources to protect and develop healthier and safer dance environments. Through the use of online courses and live seminars, YPAD™ educates dance professionals and communities worldwide on the core elements of constructing an environment focused on the well-being of kids and a sustainable, safe future for dance.
Misty Lown was a Visionary Sponsor and Advisory Panel member for four years before acquiring YPAD™ in 2019. Her studio and national studio training program, More Than Just Great Dancing!®, became the first YPAD™ Certified studio and organization in 2015. She is currently working on her Ph.D. at Concordia University. YPAD™ was founded in 2012 by professional dancer Leslie Scott Zanovitch and was fueled by the passion and commitment of doctors, therapists, specialists, and educators.
We want to thank the following individuals for their contributions to YPAD™'s education and mission over the years: Kate Fox, C.M.T., C.M.L.A., Emily Harrison, R.D., Kristine Smith, Dr. Jeff Russell, Ph.D., Sammi Rader, M.S.W., Jill Williams, Vanessa Terrell, Jen Ray, Tricia Gomez, Alexandria Neil, Neisha Hernandez, Mandy Yip, Tiffany Prout-Leitao, Katie Gatlin, M.S.W., Cynthia Newland, Richard Smith, Kimberlee Gerstheimer, RSDE/RSME, MSW, Erika Hogan, and Roz Miller.