Certification can be a hot topic. It ranks up there with setting industry standard pay rates and defining a pro bellydancer vs hobbyist. It raises questions such as "Who certifies the certifier?" "Is certification necessary to teach?" "Does certification gain you respect?"
Over and over in discussions I've had, read and heard it ultimately comes down to individual preference. For many it's about the personal accomplishment. "So then why not?" I say.
Recently I was working on some continuing ed. material (to maintain my fitness instructor certification). The material made a clear distinction between Instructor Training vs Certification programs. Although the fitness and dance realms are different it made total sense. Basically most of the bellydance certification programs out there are training programs in very specific formats. Which is only a component of a certification program.
Personally, I don't choose my teachers based on certification. Suhaila wasn't certified, Jamila wasn't certified -- would you ever dare ask to see their certification?!
No my teacher does not have to be certified but I do want them to be trained. And ultimately what seals the deal, of course, is their dancing. Their dancing speaks for itself. Sometimes they're even as good a teacher as they are a dancer. Jackpot!
How do you feel about training and certification in bellydance? In your view is there a difference? Tell me in the comments, share, share.