How to Become a
Dance Teacher

Woman teaching ballet to a group of young girls with ballet dresses

If you are passionate about performing arts and teaching others, you may consider a career as a Dance Teacher. This guide will provide you with information on becoming a Dance Teacher, including educational requirements, skills and personality traits needed to excel in this field.

What Does a Dance Teacher Do?

A Dance Teacher hosts individual or group dance classes. By demonstrating dancing techniques, these professionals teach both children and adults various dancing styles. Dancing Teachers work in dance studios, schools, colleges and production companies.

Dance Teachers must be able to dance themselves, as well as impart this knowledge unto others. Typical Dance Teacher tasks include:

  • Technical tasks, such as choreographing dance routines

  • Educational tasks, such as demonstrating dance moves to others

  • Motivational skills, such as persuading others to try new and difficult routines

  • Customer service tasks, such as interacting with students

  • Planning tasks, such as planning dance lessons and recitals

Dance Teacher Skills

While being a good dancer and teaching dance routines to others is part of the equation, there are other personality traits that a good Dance Teacher must possess to succeed in this role.

Other key Dance Teacher skills include:

  • Being able to market your services

  • Being able to work with individuals and groups

  • Standing and moving the majority of the day

  • Adapting teaching methods to individual learning needs

How Do You Become a Dance Teacher?

Education and Training

Most Dance Teachers are former dancers themselves who have had years of dance training. While there is no minimum education for this position, and some candidates only have a high school diploma or equivalent, chances of gaining employment are increased with a bachelor’s degree in dance or performing arts. Completing a teaching training program is beneficial to securing employment; graduate-level studies in dance education are especially advantageous.

If you want to teach dance in a K-12 school, you will likely need a teacher certification; a master’s degree can offer you the possibility of teaching dance in a college.

During our survey of Dance Teacher job openings throughout the country, we took note that many positions preferred candidates with field experience. Completing an internship or gaining teaching experience in any field helped applicants improve their chances of finding a job.

Finding a job

There is a growing demand for Self-Enrichment Education Teachers, which includes Dance Teachers, throughout the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 15 percent increase in job openings through 2024, with 11,920 new positions becoming available.

List your experience in performing arts, as well as your dancing and teaching experience in a well-written Dance Teacher resume.

Find Dance Teacher job openings in JobHero’s library, remembering to utilize your professional and personal networks to learn about any possible work opportunities.

JobHero’s cover letter examples can guide you in writing a cover letter that makes you stand apart from the competition by highlighting your strengths.

Insights from a Dance Teacher

To provide real insight into what it takes to become a Dance Teacher, Ria DeSoto, dance teacher and owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Buffalo Grove, IL., shares her thoughts.

What is the common career path for a Dance Teacher?  

A dance teacher can choose many career paths. They can go the route of owning their own studio, thus owning their own business. They can also move up from being a teacher and into a higher role such as being a supervisor, manager, or dance director. They can also choose to travel around the nation as a coach or they can become a judge/adjudicator, scrutineer, invigilator, or be part of a competition committee. The opportunities are endless.

What should someone consider before becoming a Dance Teacher?

They need to consider taking their health seriously because dancing can be very physical. They should also decide if they like working with people from all walks of life. Also, they need to understand that being a dance teacher isn't just a job. It’s a career.

What type of person excels in this job?  

People that excel in this career are outgoing, yet patient. They are determined and committed. They should also be willing to learn. The best learners become the best teachers.

What are some of the most important skills for a Dance Teacher to have?

They should be able to easily explain challenging concepts to students of any level. Use of analogies and picture stories help tremendously, so a creative mind is great.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a Dance Teacher?

When you see someone progress right in front of your eyes and realize that you changed their life in a positive way by bringing people together, giving them confidence, and helping them accomplish things they never thought they could. You can't put a price on that!

How Much Do Dance Teachers Get Paid?

Self-Enrichment Education Teachers get paid an average hourly rate of $17.64. The lowest paid Teachers earn $9.60 per hour; while the highest paid make $35.39 hourly. Dance Teachers who own their own dance studios often earn a more substantial amount.

Top 10 States for Dance Teachers Salary

Self-Enrichment Education Teachers in the following states make the highest median hourly wage in the U.S.

    District of Columbia

    $26.85

    New Jersey

    $24.23

    New York

    $21.87

    Alaska

    $21.43

    Vermont

    $20.57

    Wyoming

    $20.57

    Connecticut

    $19.75

    Oregon

    $19.66

    Washington

    $19.53

    Massachusetts

    $19.09

    Dance Teachers Resources

    For more information about becoming or working as a Crane Operator, follow these sources.

    On the Web

    National Commission For The Certification of Crane Operators
    Nonprofit organization formed in 1995 with a mission to develop effective performance standards for safe crane operation.

    Crane Institution Certification
    Provides OSHA recognized, NCCA accredited crane operator certifications.

    Industry Groups

    National Dance Teachers Association of America
    Non-profit organization, established in 1976, for professional dance teachers and those interested in supporting the promotion of excellence in dance.

    National Dance Education Organization
    Professional development, networking forums, honor societies, journals, research and advocacy tools for teachers, administrators and students.

    On Twitter

    @Dance_Teacher
    Dance Teacher magazine addresses your challenges with practical advice and celebrates your successes.

    Dance Teacher Summit
    Resources for Dance Teachers.

    Books

    Teacher's Manual Of Ballroom Dancing
    Fundamentals of ballroom dancing and body mechanics and other aspects of the art such as etiquette and organizing classes.

    Teaching Dancing with Ideokinetic Principles
    Examining ideokinesis and its application to the teaching and practice of dancing.

    The information in this article comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job postings and other online sources.