Dance Teacher Career Information

If you are someone who really enjoys dancing and who is interested in pursuing a career as a dance teacher, you might be interested in information about this particular line of work. While some dances are complex and others are quite simple, we all rely on dance teachers to show us the steps and the moves so that we can learn everything from the cha cha to the two step.

Background

Before you can teach other people to dance, you must first have a background in dance. You should have taken classes and have some formal training. Think about both the good and bad dance instructors you have had and try to emulate the good ones and learn what you should not do from the bad ones. Knowing how to effectively critique others so that they learn and grow as dancers is important as a dancer teacher. To gain experience, become an intern or teaching assistant. Doing good work as an assistant can help land you a part-time job. You might also consider teaching dance at recreation centers as part of their after-school enrichment programs or as continuing education for adults. In addition, you could teach dance summer camps for kids.

Education

If you are interested in becoming a dance teacher for a school, you’ll want to have a degree in dance and/or education and a teacher certification. Try to find a program that is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. You can also specialize in a particular type of dance like tap. In fact, the American Tap Dance Institute offers training and certification for individuals who want to become tap teachers. Also, Cecchetti, a particular type of ballet, has a complete system that includes grade levels and exams.

Once you have become a dance teacher, you’re going to want to further your dance skills by taking continuing education courses. For more information on things like dance teaching techniques, how to run a studio, creating a successful recital complete with costumes, and health issues related to dancers, check out Dance Teacher Magazine. You can also benefit by going to a variety of dance studios and watching how they conduct classes. You can get good ideas from other teachers about what works well for them.

Basic Tasks

As a dance teacher, you’ll be responsible for a wide variety of tasks. Some of these include leading warm up exercises, explaining and demonstrating various dance moves, creating choreography and choosing costumes for recitals, providing feedback to students about their training and performances, improving your own dance skills, as well as teaching students about dance history, theory, and terminology.

Hours/work schedule

Hours will vary depending on where you teach. School teachers mostly work during the normal school day with the occasional evening or weekend rehearsals or performances. On the other hand, if you work at a dance studio, you’ll probably mostly be working evenings and weekends since that is when most of your customers are going to want to take classes.

Traits

Dance teachers also may need to know about the history of dance. Being a good a dance teacher will require both patience and good communications skills. You’ll also need the ability to teach a large group of people all at once. In addition, you should be friendly and sincere and have good networking skills. Having good organizational abilities is helpful as well.

Being a dance teacher can be a fun and rewarding career choice, especially for someone who loves the art form and wants to share her enthusiasm with others.