We’re so glad you’re here!

If you are a dance educator or studio owner interested in learning deeper content about student health, safety, and wellness, you are in the right place.

Choose from our 4-module Educator Course or our 8-module Studio Owner Course to enhance your knowledge. Additionally, studio owners who complete their course can choose to pursue becoming a YPAD™ Certified Studio designation.

The mission of YPAD™ is to bring awareness to and provide guidance for one essential priority: the safety and health of dance students.

teacher with older dancers

In the YPAD™ Educator Course, you will learn about:

  • Safety onsite and offsite
  • Protecting students from abuse
  • Social media culture
  • Student conflict resolution
  • Safe movement
  • Injury reduction and prevention
  • Promoting health body image, proper nutrition, and hydration
  • The basics of brain development
  • Healthy communications and building mental strength
  • Establishing a mentally healthy performance culture
  • Establishing standards of excellence
  • Age-appropriateness matters
  • Reaching all students
teacher with older dancers

In the YPAD™ Studio Owner Course, you will learn everything listed above, as well as:

  • Strengthening the hiring process
  • Making smart hiring decisions
  • New hire categorization and documentation
  • Creating an onboarding process
  • Coaching and accountability
  • Professional development
  • Making secure decisions and managing risk
  • Creating an Emergency Action Plan
  • Safety preparedness for offsite events


Studio Owner, California

"YPAD™ education is evidence to families that we are committed to keeping kids healthy and safe in dance. It is comforting to know that as challenging issues arise, YPAD™ is there to support and guide us to ensure we are doing what's right for our students. Thank you to YPAD™ for leading the dance industry in this vital endeavor!"



Studio Owner, Wisconsin

"If you haven't completed a YPAD™ course yet, do it! We had a loaded gun incident at the local high school this morning (everything is okay). But the thought that something could happen so close, is so scary. As hard as it was to learn what to do in a situation like this, I am proud that we had YPAD™ training to rely on. Thank you, YPAD™ team and experts, for all the great knowledge and resources in the YPAD™ course!"



Studio Owner, Iowa

"I'm a studio owner, but I wanted to start with YPAD™ education first before choosing to certify my studio. This allowed me to get to know the coursework and to implement best practices in my studio. YPAD™ has given me a community of like-minded dance professionals who choose to put the wellness and safety of their students as a top priority."



Studio Owner, California

"Being a YPAD™ Certified Studio is essential to my business culture. Our parents and families are confident that my studio is intentionally focused on keeping their kids healthy and safe. YPAD™ has extensive resources and ongoing education opportunities have been integral in carrying out our mission of Encouraging Kids to Lead Inspired Lives!"

For Studio Owners interested in becoming a ypad™ certified studio

Becoming a YPAD™ Certified Studio requires the successful completion of the YPAD™ Studio Owner Course followed by a Discovery Call with a YPAD™ Certified Coach. Upon agreement to move forward with the process, studio owners make the following commitments which we call milestones:

Milestone 1: Attestation of background checks for the studio owner and all staff members
Milestone 2: Successful completion of YPAD™ Certified Studio coursework for teachers and administrative staff
Milestone 3: Proof of current First Aid/CPR certifications for the studio owner and all staff members
Milestone 4: Proof of completion of Stewards of Children® training by Darkness to Light for the studio owner and all staff members
Milestone 5: Proof of completion of Youth Mental Health First Aid training for the studio owner
Milestone 6: Current copy of the studio’s Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
Milestone 7: Current copy of the studio’s business liability insurance, including sex abuse coverage
Milestone 8: Attendance at a two-hour YPAD™ Artistic Integrity training live on Zoom

Studio owners can purchase as many or as few of the teacher and administrative courses as needed according to the size of their staff ($199 for teachers and $99 for administrative staff). If as a studio owner you choose to become a YPAD™ Certified Studio, you are agreeing to self-regulation and to following YPAD™’s 5-tier accountability model (see FAQ below for more information). As a YPAD™ Certified Studio you will renew annually from date of completion at a 50% discount.


Unlimited FREE courses for guest teachers, substitute teachers, and volunteers

Live Connection Chat webinars with YPAD™ Certified Coaches

Live Spotlight Conversations webinars with guest subject matter experts

Membership into a private Facebook group for questions and community support

Personal 1:1 coaching calls and referrals as needed


The YPAD™ Educator and the YPAD™ Studio Owner courses are educational options that provide practical insights, evidence-based knowledge, and innovative teaching methodologies that you can immediately implement. These options are designed to enhance personal and professional development.

Becoming a YPAD™ Certified Studio is a step beyond education! The certification process entails completion of YPAD™ Studio Owner course, followed by a Discovery Call with one of our Certified Coaches, and the submission of a robust series of documentation proving the studio owner’s commitment to health, safety, and wellness at the studio.

At this time, YPAD™ only offers certification to organizations. Individuals are invited to complete the YPAD™ Educator course, Studio Owner course, or take advantage of one of our many free resources, Microlearnings, or Spotlight Conversations.

No, YPAD™ does not police the dance industry. Instead, YPAD™ aims to encourage thoughtful decision-making and discussions around developmentally appropriate and age-appropriate approaches to dance education and artistic integrity. YPAD™’s mission in safeguarding capacity-building helps everyone make better-informed choices for the well-being of dance students.

Background check costs depend on the background screening company you choose and the individual being checked. Expect costs to start around $25 per person. For YPAD™ Certified Studios, background checks must be renewed every two years at minimum.

CPR/First Aid certification typically starts around $35 per person and must be renewed every two years at minimum. YPAD™ accepts online completion certificates.

Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children® training is $16 per person, as of December 2023, and is completed once.

The cost for Youth Mental Health First Aid certification typically starts around $85 per person. Though this training is highly recommended for everyone, YPAD™ only requires it for studio owners and event owners.

YPAD™ endorses continuing education and continuous improvement. Because of that, as a YPAD™ Certified Studio you will renew annually from date of completion at a 50% discount.

All YPAD™ coursework is asynchronous, meaning you can start, take a break, and restart anytime. The designation of YPAD™ Certified Studio is only awarded, however, after all coursework and documentation submissions have been approved.

The 5-tier accountability model is a system for collecting and addressing YPAD™-related concerns. When you become a YPAD™ Certified Studio, if a concern is shared with us about your organization, we will assess the matter and contact you so that you can learn and improve your practices. Serious problems may result in suspension or removal of certification status. To learn more, visit our Support page.

The process for becoming a YPAD™ Certified Event is similar to becoming a YPAD™ Certified Studio but tailored specifically to the unique aspects of conventions and competitions. Stay tuned for when the next cohort becomes available.

YPAD™ is proud to support the following YPAD™ Certified Events through ongoing education and resources

Kelly Peterson
The 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.”

Christian Clark
REVEL Dance Convention

“REVEL has been partnered with YPAD™ as a certified event for the past 2 years. YPAD™ has become an invaluable resource to our leadership team, administrative staff and dance educators. YPAD™'s subject matter experts have helped shape our policies and procedures around child safety & wellness, promoted a culture of awareness & accountability, and made us a better organization overall. Without hesitation, we recommend that other event organizers explore YPAD™ training and certification."

Jeremy Keeton
Adrenaline and Revive Dance Conventions

"YPAD™ has been a gift to the dance industry. The information we receive through continual YPAD™ training is essential and integral to keeping youth dancers safe. This training goes far beyond our events and has given our team tools to navigate everyday situations involving children. We are honored to offer dance experiences to people around the country and are grateful that through YPAD™, studio directors and parents feel even more confident that dancers' health and safety are a priority at Adrenaline and Revive Dance Conventions."

ypad logo

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 parent, dance educator, studio owner, or event leader?

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Copyright Youth Protection Association for Dance™ 2024
Youth Protection Association for Dance™ is a division of Educational Standards LLC