If you have a passion for dance, a career as a dance teacher could be a fulfilling way for you to bring your love for the art of dancing to others.
You can typically find dance teachers in dance studios teaching many different styles of dance, from ballroom to hip hop to salsa and more.
If they aren’t teaching in a studio, they may work with students in public or private schools.
There are a couple of ways to reach your goal of working as a dance teacher.
Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about this exciting career.
Table Of Contents
- Dance Teacher: The Basics
- Work Opportunities in the Dance Teacher Industry
- What It’s Like to be a Dance Teacher
- Dance Teacher Salary & Income
- Overview of the Dance Teacher Industry
- Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Dance Teachers
- Dance Teacher Education & Schooling
- Become a Dance Teacher
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Dance Teacher: The Basics
Before you start seriously considering becoming a dance teacher, you should know more about what it entails.
What is a Dance Teacher?
A dance teacher is someone skilled in movement arts, and often educated in biology, kinesiology, and theater, who teaches the art of dance to others.
They may teach in their studio, or they may work for someone else, such as an educational facility.
What is a Dance Teacher Called?
A dance teacher might also be called a dance instructor, or they may be called a teacher of the specific type of dance they specialize in.
Ballet teacher, jazz dance teacher, tap teacher, and so on.
If someone is a dance teacher that is instructing people on how to do a dance number for a stage performance, that is often called a choreographer.
What Does a Dance Teacher Do?
A dance instructor gets to constantly work on their dancing skills while teaching others the same type of dance.
They may be a general dance teacher and teach multiple styles of dance, or they may specialize in one or two types of dancing.
Work Opportunities in the Dance Teacher Industry
Dance Teacher Job Description
The job description of a dance teacher will vary depending on where they are employed, and what level of dance they are teaching.
Dance teachers will need to use motivation and creativity to teach students basic through advanced dance techniques.
Top Dance Teacher Jobs and Careers
- High school dance teacher
- Ballet instructor
- Hip hop dance teacher
Where Can a Dance Teacher Work?
A dance teacher can work in schools of all types, from elementary through college level.
They can find work at independent dance studios, and can even find work in the entertainment industry as scene choreographers.
They may also be able to create independent dance troupes and tour under their performance power.
What It’s Like to be a Dance Teacher
To get you more acquainted with what it’s like to be a dance teacher, let’s take a look at what the job feels like.
Is Being a Dance Teacher Hard?
It can be very hard to be a dance teacher.
Not only do you need to be proficient in your dance skill, but you also need to be a skilled teacher that can easily pass those skills on to others via teaching.
The teaching portion can be difficult for many people since teaching is a relatively difficult skill.
Is a Dance Teacher’s Job Stressful?
Being a dance teacher is not considered a highly stressful job.
Most of the challenges involve finding innovative ways to teach students and making sure that students are ready for any performances that are scheduled.
Common Dance Teacher Work Day
The profession of a dance teacher is so different for each teacher, that it is difficult to detail a common day.
If the dance teacher teaches in a high school, for example, they may only have a few periods in the morning and afternoon where they have classes, but they have time for planning their coursework in the middle and end of the day.
Those that work in the entertainment industry, on the other hand, may find that they have intense schedules that require long days and few days off.
Dance Teacher Tasks & Duties
The dance teacher is responsible for:
- Ensuring a safe place for dance students to practice
- Help teach safe ways to stretch, practice, and perform
- Helping find ways to teach difficult movement principles with ease
Dance Teacher Work Hours & Schedule
The work day for a dance teacher working at a high school or college will be very different from the dance teacher working at their private dance academy.
The schedule will depend highly on where the dance teacher is employed.
Dance Teacher Dress Code
In most cases, the dance class dress code is going to be something movement-friendly, that can stretch and flex with the dancer.
The specific dress code will be discussed by the dance teacher and their students.
Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?
In most cases, the career of a dance teacher does offer a reasonable balance.
Since in most cases there is little in terms of overtime or unexpected work, the schedule is relatively predictable and the dance teacher can enjoy a personal life outside of work.
Dance Teacher Salary & Income
Money is what most people are wondering about, so let’s get down to it.
What do dance teachers make?
Do Dance Teachers Make Good Money?
The good news is, that being a dance teacher does mean you’ll make more money than the national median pay.
How Much Do Dance Teachers Make?
The US BLS reports that a dance teacher or choreographer can expect to make between $20 and $23 per hour on average.
The highest-paid 10% of dance teachers can expect to make more than $47 per hour.
The lowest paid 10% make less than $10 per hour.
Overview of the Dance Teacher Industry
So even if the money is good, is it still worth it to become a dance teacher?
Let’s take a look at if it’s an overall good career choice.
Dance Teacher Field: Career Progression
Being a dance teacher can be a versatile career choice, and it can serve to begin or close a career.
Some people enter the dance teacher field to get experience in dance and choreography so they can advance to other dance positions.
Others will have a career in choreography and then wind down by teaching dance class.
The career path can include becoming a teacher or instructor in many other fields or specialties.
Is a Dance Teacher a Good Career?
It is the consensus that becoming a dance teacher is a good career choice.
Those in the field find it fulfilling and engaging, with plenty of exposure to other fields and specialties.
Dance Teacher Job Outlook
The outlook for dance teachers is looking amazing for the next several years.
The dance field is projected to have at least a 30% growth between 2020 and 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Demand for Dance Teachers
Just as the dance sector is projected to grow heavily, there is also projected to be an immense demand for dance personnel.
Following the dance growth, there are projected to be at least 3,000 new job openings each year in the space.
Dance Teacher Facts
- Dancing is one of the oldest art forms and oldest sports in the world
- The first evidence of dance was found in India
- Dancers have increased muscle strength and endurance
- The average professional dancer will retire in their mid-30s
- Dance has been shown to reduce stress and tension
Jobs Related to Dance Teachers
Pole Dance Instructor
A pole dance instructor teaches various techniques for pole dancing.
They utilize a large amount of leg strength and often incorporate hands-free movements into their routines.
Independent Dance Teacher
You will teach dance as a freelance teacher in many different environments.
You may be working in a studio one day, then a private retreat the next week.
You are often free to make your schedule.
Dance Movement Psychotherapist
You will use the nuance of dance therapy to apply a psychotherapeutic methodology to your patients to acheive desired progress.
Dance therapy can be used in many different situations, to treat countless disorders.
Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Dance Teachers
Who Should Consider a Dance Teacher Career Path?
Someone with a serious love of dance, and the ability to get a degree in education with a dance certification.
Who Should NOT Consider a Dance Teacher Career Path?
People not suited to becoming a dance teacher are those who dislike teaching, and those who dislike the physical activity.
Is it Hard to Become a Dance Teacher?
It can be challenging to become a dance teacher.
You will often need a bachelor’s degree, as well as a certificate to teach dance.
What Do I Need to Become a Dance Teacher?
You will need a degree in education, and in most locations, you will need a specific certification in dance.
Requirements for Becoming a Dance Teacher
Most public schools will require a new dance teacher to have a bachelor’s degree in dance or education, with a teaching certificate for dance.
What Skills Does a Dance Teacher Need?
The skills a dance teacher needs include:
- Great communication
- Excellent organization skills
- Business skills for the self-employed
- Administrative skills
What Education Does a Dance Teacher Need?
Most locations will require anyone teaching to have a teaching certificate from the state.
In some situations, enough professional experience can substitute for education.
Can You Become a Dance Teacher Without a Degree?
If you teach at a school or similar facility you will need a degree and teaching certificate.
If you are opening your studio, you don’t necessarily need a degree if you have enough experience and ability.
What Experience Does a Dance Teacher Need?
The most precious commodity for a dance teacher is professional experience.
This can be dancing or teaching dance in nearly any capacity.
Dance Teacher Education & Schooling
Dance Teacher Education & Schooling
The amount of education and schooling you need to become a dance teacher depends heavily on what setting you’ll be teaching in.
If you are going to be teaching in a private or public school, most schools require a teaching certification as well as a bachelor’s degree in dance.
If you plan on teaching a class at a local studio or starting your own business you need a high school diploma or GED, as well as adequate background and skill in dancing.
What is Taught in a Dance Teacher Course?
When you go through a dance instructor certificate program, you learn the general principles of both expressive movement and the specific forms of dancing needed for various forms of dance.
These courses also cover choreography and lesson plan development.
How Long Does a Dance Teacher Course Take?
The average dance teacher certification course will take three to five years, and can be used to help validate career-related competency.
Become a Dance Teacher
Steps to Become a Dance Teacher
If you have a love for dancing, you can easily turn one of your passions into a career by becoming a dance teacher.
But what does it take to break into this interesting career path?
Honestly, it may be easier than you’d expect to get your foot in the door.
While many careers focus more on education, the most important thing you can have if you want to become a dance teacher is experience with dancing.
Before you can start teaching, you must have the training needed to excel at your preferred type of dance.
In most cases, you won’t need more than dance training and a GED or high school diploma.
If you plan on teaching kids in either public or private schools, you will also need the teaching certificates required by the schools you’re looking to apply to.
Once you have the background and education, you can start looking for a position in an already established dance studio, or you can start by teaching a class of your own.
Current Career Job Openings
If you’re interested in becoming a dance teacher, take a look at some of these openings near you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a dance teacher and a choreographer?
While dance teachers and choreographers both teach their students’ different dance moves, there are a couple of distinct differences between the two types of instructors.
A dance teacher’s main focus is to teach their students the fundamentals of dance, from form and techniques to specific moves and routines.
A choreographer focuses on creating a dance routine and teaching it to their dancers.
Do all dancers have to wear leotards while dancing?
Leotards are a common garment for dancers, especially those that dance ballet.
However, leotards are not a required clothing item for most dancers.
They are a great choice for dancing as they allow plenty of freedom of movement, as well as give the dancers a refined look.
Some dance studios may require them, but they are not a necessity for every dancer.
If you have a background in dance and are interested in a career as a dance teacher, there are a lot of wonderful opportunities available to you.
You may want to teach adults in a studio or work with kids in a school.
Alternatively, many people that have a passion for dance prefer to come up with routines and share them with others, in which case a career as a choreographer would be a great option.
No matter where you want your career to take you, the dance teacher career path has lots of fulfilling choices for those with an interest in teaching others how to dance.