Dance Instructor Jobs

What Does a Dance Instructor Do?

Whatever style of dance you decide to teach, your job as a dance instructor is to give dance lessons to your students. This means it is your responsibility to teach proper dance technique to your students through both verbal instructions and physical demonstrations. Often, a dance instructor will demonstrate the steps first and have students repeat the exercise after observing.

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The creation of a solid class curriculum is one of the primary duties for an instructor. All classes begin with a warm up, and then progress through repetition of technique. Often the more basic steps will be practiced first, followed by the more difficult or physically demanding ones. Depending on your type of class, there may be a practice time at the very end of class where students can repeat any dance steps they would like to work on and improve.

Above all else, preparation of a lesson plan is a dance instructor’s top priority. Usually dance instructors draw from their dance experience when preparing a class. After all, if they’ve been attending dance classes for years themselves, they know the general flow of a class. However, a major benefit of teaching is that you can add your own ideas into the mix, trying new things, and creating the kind of class that only you can offer.

Additionally, the instructor must find musical accompaniment for each exercise. Having appropriate, inspiring music is such an important part of creating a successful dance class. The tempo of the music needs to work with whatever dance steps are happening at a given moment. New music keeps class fun, so continue adding songs to your collection of music. In today’s era of digital music, it’s easy to go online and transfer music to your MP3 player or computer. You might try iTunes, Emusic, or other sites that offer free MP3 downloads. Most dance instructors then create playlists and download songs to an MP3 player, ipod, or computer, which they carry with them to all of their classes.

A teacher consistently monitors the progress of each student, helping them to reach their best potential as dancers. Striving to maintain a positive, encouraging and enthusiastic attitude are important traits for any teacher. Sometimes, a student might require a little extra instruction. Perhaps this can be addressed during the dance class, but many instructors also offer private, one-on-one instruction. Private dance lessons can be an attractive choice for students, and are very popular with some types of dance lessons, such as ballroom dance instruction, since many couples need wedding dance lessons to learn to dance together in time for their big wedding dance. Private dance instruction is a way to help students learn to dance more rapidly.

Dance teachers continue to learn new things to further their own development and share with students. New information keeps a teacher excited and her class enthusiastic. Many instructors choose to attend dance workshops and conventions, or enter dance competitions as a way to build their knowledge and reputation. Others may decide to create their own dance troupes and perform at community events, schools, ballroom dance studios and nightclubs. Finding creative ways to spread the word about what you have to offer will help you to fill your dance classes.

Some dance studios give yearly recitals as a way to showcase the students and provide entertainment for their families and the community at large. This can be a wonderful opportunity for a dance instructor to use their choreography talents to create dances and to stage and coordinate the dance performances. Many dance schools choose to make their recitals full-scale productions, with special dance costumes, scenery and lighting for each piece in the dance program. The performances might occur at a local theater, and tickets are sold to help support the school and future dance performances. The opportunity to perform is a thrill for students and their families.

Thousands of dance studios across the country offer dance lessons to students of all ages every single day. It’s up to you to seek out opportunities and choose the ones that feel like the right fit. Your success is in your own hands; it’s up to you to decide how far you want to take it.

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