California Ballroom Academy

California Ballroom Academy

16 Month Ballroom Dance Intensive

American Style Bronze DVIDA Training

California Ballroom Academy

In this course, you will learn:

  • The 17 dances of the DVIDA Bronze American Syllabus for Smooth, Rhythm, and Night Club dances, and how to teach them.
  • To dance as both Leader and Follower
  • Technical elements of all the dances
  • Musical elements of all the dances
  • How to teach private & group lessons
  • How to prepare for DVIDA certification


Monday & Thursday evenings (Time TBD)

Smooth ~ Starting March 11th, 2013
Learn how to dance and teach Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango and Viennese Waltz (now accepting registrations)

  • Rhythm 1 ~ Spring 2013  
    Learn how to dance and teach Rumba, Cha-Cha, Bolero and East Coast Swing
  • Rhythm 2 ~ Summer or Fall 2013 
    Learn how to dance and teach Mambo, Merengue, Samba and West Coast Swing
  • Night Club Dances ~ Winter 2013
    Learn how to dance and teach Salsa, Hustle, Nightclub Two-Step, Lindy Hop & Argentine Tango



This is a professional level course, and we cover a lot of material at a fairly fast pace. Missing class is not advised, as you can easily fall behind. If you do have to miss a class, you can generally arrange to work with one of the other teacher trainees to help you catch up. You can also schedule private lessons with Francisco Martinez (for an additional private lesson fee) to make up any work you miss.

Class Times & Exam Schedule

Classes are held at The Dance Family Studio on Mondays and Thursdays from 5pm-7pm.
Exams are scheduled to be held during regular class times. If you miss an exam, you may schedule a make-up exam with Francisco Martinez (for an additional private lesson fee).


Each class meets a total of 4 hours a week per section.
Most teacher trainees spend quite a bit of time every week studying the material and practicing what they have learned. Though the amount of outside time varies greatly from person to person, please expect to commit one hour of study time for every hour you spend in class (about four hours of study time per week).
Becoming a dance teacher takes dedication and practice.


The DVIDA Manuals (please see Schedule above for which manual for each session) and CBTA Binder and “Teach Like A Pro” are required textbooks for the course. The accompanying DVIDA videos are recommended, but optional. The DVIDA Bronze Manuals and videos are available from Dance Vision, and may be ordered online at, or by calling 1-800-851-2813. CBTA Binder is provided in class and costs a one-time fee of $85.00. It includes all class handouts that are distributed over the entire program.
Buy your manuals online at DanceVision

To see exactly what manuals you need for your upcoming semester, click here


Tuition is $495/month (each section is 4 months). Please note that tuition will be increased every May to reflect the current market. Considering telling a friend? Sign-up together and you both receive a discount!
Tuition is due the first class of each new month. Teacher Trainees who make a late tuition payment will be accessed a $25 late fee. Tuition can be paid in class by credit card, check, cash, or online via PayPal. A deposit of $150 holds a spot for the upcoming quarter. Only 20 slots available per quarter. To reserve a spot, click here.

Student Expectations


Because this is a teaching class, there is a strong emphasis on presentation. You will be expected to present material to the class on a regular basis. You may be asked to demonstrate a figure or to present a brief history of a specific dance. Don’t worry, we hand out assignments in advance, so you will have plenty of time to prepare!

Dancing both roles

In order to teach a specific dance or figure, you need to be able to articulate and demonstrate both the leader’s and follower’s part. We spend equal time in class working on both parts, and every student is expected to dance with every other student as both leader and follower, regardless of gender. This is standard practice for professional dance instruction.


All Teacher Trainees will be expected to have proper dance shoes by the second class meeting. This is not an arbitrary aesthetic or fashion consideration. To teach dance, you need the “right tool for the job,” and proper dance shoes are literally the foundation for your dancing!
There are different styles of dance shoes for different styles of dancing, but most students wear a basic “practice shoe,” a practical and durable suede-soled dancing shoe that is made to be comfortable and wearable for long periods. Some students wear flashier shoes or high heeled dance shoes, but this is a matter of personal comfort.
You can purchase dance shoes from Very Fine Shoes. Click here for a 2-for-1 coupon.

Student Benefits

Additional Training

Your tuition entitles you not only to the Teacher Training course itself, but also to most of the classes and workshops offered at the California Ballroom Teachers Academy.

  • You receive free entry into group classes and workshops (where you are required to fill in as leader or follower as needed)
  • You receive free entry into parties
  • You receive free and free floor time for practice (during non-used slots at the studio, and can be pre-scheduled with CBTA staff).

You will enjoy full immersion into the exciting world of ballroom dancing! Please note: Celebrity guest workshops taught by visiting teachers are not free to Teacher Training students.


When you complete one of the CBTA’s Teacher Training Programs (taking all of the exams and handing in all of the homework) you will receive a Certificate of Completion from the California Ballroom Teachers” Academy. This is a valuable accomplishment, and it will serve as a wonderful credential for your dance resume. However, the CBTA Certificate of Completion is different than professional certification.

What is Professional Certification?

In the dance industry, professional certificates are granted to dancers who submit themselves to a standardized exam from one of the accredited organizations, and who pass that exam satisfactorily. A credential from any of these organizations is an asset to your career.
The certification exam for which we prepare you at the CBTA is the Dance Vision International Dancers Association (DVIDA) certification. We base our teacher training curriculum on the DVIDA syllabus and exam structure and provide complete and thorough training for all the DVIDA professional exams.

Why Should I Get Certified?

The Professional Certification process offers extraordinary benefits to dance teachers, deeply enriching their dancing and teaching, and greatly expanding their career opportunities. Diane Jarmolow, the Director of the Ballroom Dance Teacher’s College says, “Going through the certification training and taking the exams has taken my dancing to a much higher level, given me the ability to run my own school, and given me entree into the judging arena. The teachers I know who have become certified unanimously agree that it is the single best thing they have done for themselves in their dance career.”

  • Become a Better Teacher. The process of preparing for your certification exam will teach you dance concepts you may not have fully understood. You will improve both your verbal and presentation skills. You will learn the precise vocabulary for describing the technical elements of dance figures, which will help your explanations become clear, succinct, and consistent. Your knowledge of the precise alignments will improve your ability to choreograph routines for your students. You will expand your knowledge of musical terms and concepts, and you will understand how dancing and music relate. Finally, the process of technical mastery will improve your eye, so you will know instantly how to correct your students.
  • Become a Better Dancer. The technical expertise required to pass your certification exam will catapult your dancing to an entirely new level. You will learn the “rules” of technique that will keep your dancing consistent and help you master new, advanced figures. You’ll develop a language that will help you work more effectively in your dance partnerships. Above all, your confidence will soar with the true mastery of dance technique that will stay with you for the rest of your career.
  • Declare Your Professional Excellence. The certificate you receive when you pass your certification exams declares your expertise to the world. You’ll be able to attract serious students and earn more for your services. You will be a desirable employee in dance studios around the country. You can even obtain your judging credential. Your certification is the first step to being recognized as a national expert.


DVIDA’s Reputation

DVIDA, the Certification branch of Dance Vision, was created with the same high standard of excellence for which Dance Vision is known. The syllabus and exam structure were immediately approved by the National Dance Council of America, and the industry response has been overwhelming: the DVIDA certification system is hailed as excellent, professional, and fair. The manuals and corresponding videos were created by U.S. champion dancers and offer the highest quality instruction. Dance Vision’s commitment to the dance community is unparalleled, with cutting edge products and services, prompt and friendly customer service, and innovative programs to help dancers grow and improve at every stage.

“One Dance At A Time”

Another advantage to certifying with DVIDA is that you can take your professional certification exams “One Dance at a Time.” For example, the Bronze American Style Ballroom certification includes four dances: Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, and Viennese Waltz. With other organizations, you would need to study, prepare and present all four dances in one exam. With DVIDA’s exams, you have the option of testing in each dance separately, one at a time. This makes preparation much easier: you learn the material more thoroughly when you’re not overwhelmed “cramming” four at once; each successive test becomes less stressful and more comfortable as you know what to expect; and you can improve your performance each time based on the examiner’s previous feedback. After successfully completing each dance exam, you receive a “Certificate of Completion” for that dance, and full certification when you have successfully tested in all of the dances at a particular level.

Employment Opportunities

California Ballroom Teachers Academy offers Teacher Trainees opportunities to assist in classes. In addition, for graduates and current trainees, we provide access to a website of up-to-date job openings which we receive regularly. Being located in Los Angeles County , we add casting opportunities as well as many dance teacher career opportunities. Finally, dance studios across the country are hiring qualified dance instructors. With the influx of new amateur dancers and a severe lack of trained, quality teachers, you can look forward to an abundance of post-CBTA graduate job opportunities.