Become a Dance Instructor
Many dancers choose to become dance instructors to share their passion for dance with others. Not only is it an opportunity to do what you love, it is possible to have a flexible work schedule and to earn a good living.
The requirements for dance instructors depend upon the type of dance you are teaching and the environment where you give your classes. Dance experience is always helpful, of course, but having a dance degree may not be necessary. If you decide to be a ballroom instructor, for example, a degree is not necessary, but if you want to teach dance in a public school or get a private school job, most states require a degree in dance and teacher certification. If you decide to become a dance fitness instructor or give other types of dance classes at a gym, they will often require fitness trainer certification. Some dance studios and gyms also require their instructors to carry dance insurance coverage or dance fitness liability insurance. Be sure to ask any potential employers what their particular requirements are.
Most dance instructors find work teaching in local dance studios. Some teach dance classes in many different studios, and offer dance instruction to students of all different age groups, to maximize their working hours and income. There are other teaching opportunities in community centers, health clubs and gyms, cruise ships, schools and theaters. Other dance instructors decide to open a dance studio and work according to their personal vision.
A dance instructor's salary varies, depending on where they are employed, and how successful their classes are. In general, more students equal more money. Some dance jobs pay a flat fee per student, while others pay a flat fee per hour. Another option some instructors prefer is to rent space by the hour from a studio and handle class payments themselves. This can be a lucrative option for instructors that have a large following. Many dance instructors also offer private lessons for an hourly fee. This can be a great way to make additional income, and the personalized attention can help students learn much more quickly.
The most important key to your success as a dance instructor is your reputation. Dance instructors are in the business of working with people, so maintaining good relationships with your students and the public at large is critical. If your reputation is solid, word-of-mouth referrals will precede you, but the opposite can also be true. Additionally, it is important to look the part and maintain a professional image. Be sure to choose the right dance apparel and dance shoes so you are comfortable on your feet and appropriately attired at all times. Other tools that will help you build your business include a personal dance website, business cards, professional dance resume, and dance instructor insurance, if a studio requires it.
Above all else, a dance instructor continues his or her own dance training to have new information and ideas to share with students. The best way to do this is by attending dance workshops, dance seminars, and dance conventions to expand knowledge and keep abreast of dance industry developments. If you keep your classes fresh and dynamic, your students will stay interested and keep coming to class.
Many dance instructors think they have the perfect job, and it's easy to see why. This is one job that is fun, keeps you fit and out in the world, and can pay quite well. The level of your success is entirely dependent on you. Your best efforts are certain to pay off.