There have been a lot of conversations lately surrounding the culture of abuse and harassment in all industries, including dance. We’ve seen brave dancers come forward to talk about their experiences, and leaders removed from their positions. As all of these things are happening, our community is grappling with one large question: how can we stop this?

The non-profit Youth Protection Advocates in Dance, or YPAD, is an organization that strives to empower members of the dance community and help create safe spaces where youths can thrive. They have designated a program to equip studio owners, parents educators, and dancers of all levels with the skills to identify and stop these patterns of violence.

Their online certification program addresses a variety of issues facing young people today, including:

  • Body Image
  • Nutrition
  • Bullying
  • Social Media Safety and Management
  • Psychology of Injury
  • Appropriate Artistic Choices
  • Sex-Abuse/Exploitation
  • Conflict Management

Completion of the program also grants you access to their YPAD specialist group, which will connect you to a designated professional to guide you through any situation that may arise.

If you’re interested in learning more, visit their website

And here's a little fun fact: YPAD founder and director Leslie Scott is one of our very first DancePlug instructors, and you can check out her classes here.