DK DANCE PRODUCTIONS BECOMES FIRST AREA DANCE STUDIO TO EARN SAFETY CERTIFICATION
DK Dance Productions has become the first dance studio in the region to achieve Youth Protection Advocates in Dance certification. The certification marks its commitment to keeping kids happy, healthy and safe in dance.
YPAD is the nation’s only dance certification program focusing on both safety and wellness for dance students. To earn the designation, studios must complete two training tracks. The first track centers on dance safety and educational best practices. It focuses on background checks, CPR and First Aid, abuse awareness and prevention, injury prevention and response, and safety and emergency preparedness. The second focuses on the wellness and development of youth dancers and covers social media, social media safety, today’s dance culture, developmentally appropriate artistry, body image, nutrition, disordered eating, bullying, and conflict resolution. Only studios that complete both tracks are eligible for certification.
“We want to do more than just teach great dance at DK Dance Productions,” said studio owner Darci Ward. “We want to help develop healthy, happy dancers with an environment that focuses on the well-being of kids. Of course, this also helps us contribute to a sustainable, safe future for dance overall.”
YPAD was founded in Los Angeles in 2012 by hip hop professional Leslie Scott Zanovitch and her husband Joseph Zanovitch as a response to negative trends toward commodifying and exploiting youth and adults in performing arts. In 2014, industry professional Misty Lown became its visionary sponsor, and her More Than Just Great Dancing affiliation program became YPAD’s first certified organization. Lown’s studio, Misty’s Dance Unlimited, also became YPAD’s first certified dance studio. YPAD leadership transitioned to Lown in 2019. The Zanovitches today continue to serve on YPAD’s advisory panel.