DTOL brings dance teachers from all over the world together via the Internet and promotes cooperation rather than competition.
DTOL is totally inclusive; it does not make judgments between teachers; all have the opportunity, free of charge, to be part of this unique concept.
DTOL acts as a free online register of dance teachers, available to the public and as a membership service for dance teachers, providing a regular email newsletter.
It was early in 1998 and I had been working at the Royal Ballet School in London for 14 years. I’m not a dancer; I was Assistant Director, responsible for the academic, financial and administrative parts of the school, as well as marketing and development. During those years we developed an outreach programme to work with dance teachers, mostly in the UK, in identifying children of talent and potential. I was immensely impressed at the work that dance teachers did and, in talking to them, gained some insight into the ways in which they engaged – or didn’t engage – with other teachers and wondered how I could help them.
I felt I’d done my bit at the Royal Ballet School and wondered how I could now move on and use those 14 years of experience in the world of specialist education and dance teaching. I decided to take the risk of branching out on my own and providing consultancy services to dance organisations, schools and teachers. And I also wanted to do more in bringing dance teachers together and providing a “place” where they could share ideas and concerns.
Before moving into teaching in my 30s, I had trained and worked as a computer programmer and I had subsequently tried to keep up those skills. So, 18 years ago, I decided to build a web site to do just that – Dance Teachers Online was born! At its most basic form DTOL was always, and still is, a list of dance teachers around the world, which young people and adults can use to find a dance class/teacher. DTOL now has over 7,600 dance teachers listed, in 98 different countries (I’d really like to make that 100 countries before I retire!).
Nowadays DTOL is so much more than that – a very popular place to advertise dance teacher vacancies, for instance – and more sophisticated in the way in which it works, but I still send regular email newsletters to our members. I retired from consultancy work some years ago but, even at an advanced age, there is still much to learn for me – about social media for instance – and to apply enhancements to the DTOL experience.
Nigel Grant, September 2016
I’m very honoured and privileged to have been chosen by Nigel to continue all his good work over the past 20 years, which is an incredibly long time in this Internet-age. Nigel’s achievement stands simply in the large and ongoing community of thousands and thousands of dance teachers that he has created and nurtured for so many years. And above all else, after spending a couple of days with him towards the end of 2018, he’s a thoroughly nice chap.
Now it’s up to me to continue Nigel’s work and to build upon it for the future. The first change has already taken place in December 2018 with the implementation of “rich” HTML emails for our DTOL newsletters. Then sometime in 2019 a brand new web site (mobile-friendly, SSL-secure, etc.) will be launched.
Simon Jenkins, January 2019
last updated on 1 January 2019