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How to become a Dance Teacher

dance teacher careers

What does a Dance Teacher do?

Dance teachers work with individuals and groups of all ages, and in a range of settings, including private dance schools, the community and state and independent schools and colleges.

In primary schools dance is usually taught by the class teacher; in secondary schools dance teachers may also teach other subjects such as drama, performing arts or physical education.

Outside the state school system dance teaching may involve: the training of prospective performers; the teaching of those who wish to become specialist teachers of dance; and the teaching of dance as a form of recreation.

Dance teachers teach many different types of dance, such as ballet, contemporary dance, tap, modern and ballroom. They need to be able to choreograph dances for their pupils, and, depending on the job, may also need to know about aspects such as the history of dance, dance notation and anatomy and physiology.

What's the working environment like working as a Dance Teacher?

In private dance schools, teachers are likely to have classes during the day and in the evening. Dance teachers work school hours if employed by state schools. However, they are also likely to have some evening commitments. Both types of teachers may work weekends when taking classes or putting on performances.

The environment can vary and may include classrooms, halls and dance studios. Classes can sometimes be noisy and facilities can be basic.

What does it take to become a Dance Teacher?

As a dance teacher, you should:

  • have good practical ability in dance and music
  • have an understanding of health and safety to prevent injury
  • have an interest in teaching children and adults of all abilities
  • have patience and good communication skills
  • be able to support and encourage others to succeed
  • be observant and pay attention to detail
  • feel able to control a group of pupils and have confidence to maintain order within the class
  • have the ability to run a business, if self-employed.

Dance Teacher Career Opportunities

There is an increasing demand for skilled and qualified dance teachers in schools and colleges. There are opportunities for employment in all parts of the country, as well as independent dance schools and studios. Self-employment is an option.

Some teachers may decide to pursue a specialist area of dance teaching, such as choreography or dance therapy (see Choreographer and Dance Movement Therapist profiles).

There are also a number of opportunities in the specialist areas of disability dance and multicultural dance eg south Asian and Caribbean dance.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Dance Teacher that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA)
PO Box 4099
Lichfield
WS13 6WX
Tel: 01543 308618
www.ndta.org.uk

Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD)
Imperial House
22-26 Paul Street
London
EC2A 4QE
Tel: 020 7377 1577
www.istd.org

Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET)
Old Brewer’s Yard
17-19 Neal Street
Covent Garden
London
WC2H 9UY
Tel: 020 72405703
www.cdet.org.uk

Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)
36 Battersea Square
London
SW11 3RA
Tel: 020 7326 8000
www.rad.org.uk

International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA)
International House
76 Bennett Road
Brighton
BN2 5JL
Tel: 01273 685652
www.idta.co.uk

Shape UK (disability arts organisation)
LVS Resource Centre
356 Holloway Road
London
N7 6PA
Tel: 020 7619 6160
Minicom: 020 7619 6161
www.shapearts.org.uk

Training and Development Agency for Schools (Formerly Teacher Training Agency)
Portland House
Bressenden Place
London
SW1E 5TT
Teaching Information Line: 0845 6000 991
www.tda.gov.uk

Scottish Executive, Education Department
Area 2A North
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh
EH6 6QQ
Tel: 0845 345 4745
www.teachinginscotland.com

Department of Education Northern Ireland (DENI)
Rathgael House
Balloo Road
Bangor
Co Down
BT19 7PR
Tel: 028 9127 9279
www.deni.gov.uk

Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 0800 093 0444
www.artsadvice.com

Facts and Stats:

    60 per cent of people remember a good teacher, compared to 75 per cent who remember a bad teacher. Sting used to be a teacher (be still your beating hearts, girls). An actual answer from a GCSE question paper read: "The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn't have history. The Greeks also had myths, A myth is a female moth."

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