YPAD™'s position as an educational association is intended to help leaders create safeguarding capacity-building. According to the U.N., capacity-building is defined as developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes, and resources organizations need to thrive in a fast-changing world.

In other words, we want to help you make room for learning and growth when it comes to developing a safer and healthier dance environment that protects kids from harm and empowers them with confidence.

Personal Growth & Professional Development Opportunities for:

The mission of YPAD™ is to bring awareness to and provide guidance for one essential priority: the safety and health of dance students. We believe dancer well-being is the cornerstone of the industry, and we exist to serve those who have influence on its classrooms.

Professionals Agree: Safeguarding Is Important

Dr. Sheyi Ojofeitimi, DPT, CFMT, CIDN
Director of Therapy Services
Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation

“It will take an army to change the narrative. We know we can have the biggest impact through teachers because they are in the trenches of daily class, rehearsal, and performance with young dancers.”

Tricia Gomez
Rhythm Works Integrative Dance
The Intellidance Method

“If every teacher had this education, we would be well on our way to setting self-guided, industry standards that are on par with schools and other child-centered activities. ”

Dr. Addie Briggs, M.D.
Fitness DAWGS

“As a pediatrician, I have long advocated for healthy kids. Safe movement is so important to their growing bodies and they need teachers who can show them the way forward patiently. ”


YPAD™ exists to help create optimal environments in dance for all participants by bringing the foundations of health and safety topics to the dance community. Our extensive resources, developed by educators and subject matter experts, support implementing best practices in all areas of dance education.


YPAD™ is not a regulatory body, nor is it a master-level training. YPAD™ is not a crisis or support group, nor does it offer its own emergency hotline or services. YPAD™ does not police certified individuals, studios, or events, nor is it in the scope of our practice to provide legal, medical, or therapeutic services.


YPAD™ is right for you if you are a part of the dance industry and want to increase your safeguarding capacity-building, including best practices for training, classroom safety, emergency readiness, abuse prevention, injury reduction, dancer mental strength, communication, conflict resolution, and artistic integrity.

Just like a dancer gets stronger over time, your safety practices can get better over time as well. There is a process to raising the standard of dancer well-being, and YPAD™ is here to help you achieve it.

Choose Your Path


YPAD™ Education options include resources, webinars, courses, and microlearnings. They are open to the entire dance community! Education opportunities do not require additional steps, such as knowledge checks, third-party training, or documentation, nor do they lead to certification.

YPAD™ Certification options include coursework for Individuals, Studios, and Events. Certification begins with an application process. Participants complete additional steps alongside their coursework, including background checks, CPR/first aid certification, Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children® training, a live YPAD™ seminar on artistic integrity, a safeguarding pledge, and a commitment to YPAD™’s 5-tier accountability model. Additional requirements apply to studio owners and event owners, such as proof of insurance, emergency action planning, and certification in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

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Erika Hogan, YPAD™ Certified Individual

"I started with YPAD™ Education, but quickly wanted to become YPAD™ Certified. I now work with the association as a coach to help others to bring best practices to their classrooms. Next up ... Certifying my studio!"


New applications for 2024-25 certification open July 1, 2024!

The health and safety of dance students require a bold commitment to voluntarily raise your hand and say, "Yes, this is a priority." No one else can do it for you, and no one will make you do it. It is a choice.


Mark Yonally

Chicago Tap Theatre

"Chicago Tap Theatre believes that dance students deserve well-trained teachers who understand dance education is more than steps. YPAD™ is focused on the well-being of kids and a sustainable, safe future for dance. Chicago Tap Theatre is proud to stand with them in believing that the dance field is ready to take the next step and that a common set of standards is a great place to start!"


Brianna Chin Brown

Dance Teacher, NJ

“As a dancer and dance teacher, I’ve taken a lot of training over the years for my role at the studio. Out of everything I've learned, I have to say that the information I have received from YPAD™ Certification has been the most important. Because of what I've learned through YPAD™, I am confident I am making the best choices for my students."


Jill Williams

Studio Owner, Calgary

"Youth Protection Association for Dance™ is the leading industry education that all studio owners need to invest in. One of my greatest sources of pride as a studio owner is hearing my studio families talk about their pride in the distinction of our YPAD™ ethos, as it shows that it absolutely matters and forever will."


Kelly Peterson

guiDANCE Experience

“YPAD™ has brought so much value into the dance industry by helping kids stay safe, encouraging community, self-accountability, and awareness. YPAD™ gives anyone working in the dance industry clear priorities to develop this next generation of dancers. Through educational opportunities, YPAD™ is leading the way for the betterment of all involved in the dance industry. ”

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"My research team has collaborated with Youth Protection Association for Dance™ on a number of research projects examining factors that contribute to injury among dancers. We’ve been lucky to partner with a group that’s so committed to generating new knowledge that will improve the health and safety of young dancers, not only now, but also in the future. As an organization, YPAD™ sets such a great example for what it means to be purpose-driven."

Thomas Gus Almonroeder, PT, DPT, PhD · Trine University

Professional Development & Research

YPAD™ is proud to work with the following organizations

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YPAD™ is a proud member of IADMS

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YPAD™ educator Misty Lown is a co-author of a pilot study on ballet safety published in the Journal of Dance Medicine & Science.
YPAD™ has two more research projects in progress for 2023-24: one with a researcher from Mayo Health and one with Trine University.

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YPAD™ is based in the United States. Though the education presented here is built upon U.S. standards, YPAD™ recognizes that there may be different standards in other cultures and countries across the globe. It is important to refer to the governance of your home country, state, province, or city to ensure consistent, legal compliance with the appropriate local regulations.

Are you looking for positive, practical resources to support your role as a dance educator, studio owner, or event leader?

Add your email to the mailing list to get the latest YPAD™ updates.

Copyright Youth Protection Association for Dance™ 2023
Youth Protection Association for Dance™ is a division of Educational Standards LLC