RAD USA Featured Member
Meet: August Tye
Photo: Damien Thompson
August Tye is a RAD Registered Teacher and graduate of the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies program. She is the founder and director of Hyde Park School of Dance in Chicago, Illinois, a not-for-profit dance school providing opportunities for students of all ages to study, perform, and create classical and contemporary dance at the highest levels of discipline and artistry.
How did you become aware of the RAD’s Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies program and what led you to apply?
My early training was based on the RAD Fonteyn Syllabus and I continued to use that as a basis for my school syllabus. About 10 years ago I was feeling like I needed to do something to get me out of a teaching rut. I felt like I was teaching the same classes over and over. I needed something to inspire me and bring new inspiration to my school. I was aware that the RAD syllabus had changed quite a bit since I started my training and thought perhaps I should get the updated syllabus and become a certified instructor. I did an online search and discovered the CBTS program. Long story short, I became pregnant with my third child and had to put it off until he was in school full-time. I’m very glad that I made that decision because, when I did start the course in 2016, it was quite demanding.
What was your experience on the program like?
Balancing the RAD CBTS course while raising three children, directing Hyde Park School of Dance, and working as Ballet Mistress at the Lyric Opera of Chicago was extremely challenging. It had been a while since I was asked to respond to assignments with college level essays and to study late at night. At the same time, I was very inspired by the new syllabus and as I began applying the new information and exercises to my students’ classes, they became energized and excited to learn new things! At times I became overwhelmed by the amount of work I had to squeeze into my busy life, but I knew it would be worth it in the end.
What do you feel are the benefits of gaining a teaching certification, particularly if you are already an experienced teacher?
The benefits of getting certified through the RAD have been many. To start with, I do not have a college degree in dance. I went to school and earned a BFA in Photography while dancing professionally. I wanted to have a back-up plan just in case dance didn’t work out for me. Getting certified shows my students and their parents that I have formally educated myself in the art of teaching dance and will continue to learn and grow through the RAD CPD program. I absolutely love the new syllabus and the new character dances. The build-up of material makes so much sense.
I will continue to be inspired for the rest of my teaching career as I plan to keep current with my certification. Additionally, I have been introduced to a whole new community of RAD instructors with whom I can enjoy networking and enjoy like-minded discussions. This summer I am hosting a CPD course at my school in Chicago. I am thrilled that 5 of my instructors will be attending and can benefit from the RAD course without becoming certified first. I hope to be able to host every year.