What you should know about the IDTA society

Over 110 years at the heart of dance

From a small group of founding members in Manchester, to a global Association with over 6000 members, the IDTA has been at the very heart of dance since 1903.

In 1903, a group of teachers in Manchester area formed an association, the Manchester and Salford Association of Teachers of Dancing. The prime mover was James Finnigan – the arranger of the dance the Military Two Step – and it is interesting to note that James’ great-granddaughter, Julie Laird, is currently a prominent member of the IDTA. With time the ‘and Salford’ was dropped from the name of the Association and then in 1938 the name was changed to the Empire Society.

In the first decade of the century, other small associations were established and four such were the English Association of Dancing Masters, Premier Association of Teachers of Dancing, Universal Association of Teachers of Dancing, and Yorkshire Association of Dancing Masters.

In 1930, these four bodies amalgamated to form the International Dancing Masters’ Association. This body grew in strength and stature until in 1955 it was felt necessary to become a company limited by guarantee.

Meanwhile, Birmingham area teachers joined together in 1920 to create the Midland Dance Teachers’ Association. This body grew beyond its original area base and changed its name in 1958 to the Dance Teachers’ Association. Shortly after in 1961 it merged with the Empire Society retaining the name Dance Teachers’ Association.

In 1967, the IDMA and DTA merged, becoming the International Dance Teachers’ Association, retaining the Limited by Guarantee status of the IDMA. This merger created one of the largest dance teacher organisations in the world. Indisputably, it had the largest membership of ballroom dance teachers.

IDTA are an inclusive organisation that brings experienced professionals together with new and enthusiastic talent to share in a deep love of movement and expression.

Training the next generation of passionate and expert dance teachers and their students

As a leading dance qualifications body and membership association for professional dance teachers, with over 6000 members in over 55 countries, we define standards across the widest variety of dance forms, examine performance for both professionals and non-professionals of all ages, develop the skills and professional practice of our members and promote the love of dance across a dynamic, global community