College to be a Dance Instructor?

April 30, 2010 5:49pm CST
I have always wnated to start my ow business and one that has always had a certain zest to me involves a dance studio. I want to get some experience in other [peoples studios as an instructor first but I only have training as being in class. Is this sufficient enough if I know the steps and techniques properly. Or do you have top take a teaching course of some sort of degree form a post-secondary institution?
2 responses
@skydancer (1987)
• United States
18 Sep 11
I don't even know if the original poster is going to see this or if your situation has changed since you wrote this post being that it's been a year, but I was a dance major in a college that offered a private studio teaching concentration so I thought I would offer some insight just in case it might be of any help to anyone at all who might have a similar question. The only teaching career in dance that absolutely requires you to have a college degree is if you're going to teach in public schools. Though in some studios it may make or break your chances of being hired (depending on what the studio's individual standards are), it is by no means essential that you have a college degree in order to teach in a private studio. My studio often had teachers working there who were still in college but they often weren't teaching some of the highly technical classes such as the upper levels of our pre-professional ballet company - our instructors in those classes were usually our artistic director, professionals from our local ballet company, and several others who had danced professionally in the past. The college students were mostly teaching jazz tap, and the "younger kid" ballet classes. Not all studios are like that, though. In some you may even see the studio's own advanced students teaching their classes, so it varies from studio to studio. Once I applied to teach at a dance studio, and the director said she was fine with having a college student as long as I felt comfortable teaching (I ended up not taking the job though because it was too far away). I think often the college experience can be a big help. There are various classes that are offered in college dance programs that focus on teaching and business in addition to your technique (my college, for instance, offered a course called Performing Arts Administration). You will be able to work with other students, conduct various experiments and other research (the findings of which might make you a better teacher), and participate in various field experiences, and maybe even get some performance opportunities. You will also get to choreograph your own pieces and maybe even try them out and get feedback. College is also a great opportunity to network with other people who are going into the same profession as you are. I would say by all means get as much experience at as many different places as you can, learn from as many different people as you can, and always try to make your technique and your overall dancing skill the best it can possibly be. Do remember, however, that in order to be a teacher and own a studio, your need exceptional leadership skills, people skills, as well as an ability to inspire and motivate others. You cannot rely solely on being the best dancer (just like in sports, the best players don't always make the best coaches). So in other words, yes, you do have enough credentials to teach dance as you are if your technique is strong enough and you feel comfortable in the teaching role. Like I said, unless you're going to be teaching in public schools, you don't need a degree. You might want to consider enrolling in some sort of courses or college program though because broadening your horizons and building a strong support network as a dancer and teacher can only take you further.
• United States
1 May 10
I see what you are talking about. I also want to become a dance instructor.Though, I only have experience in a class..I've done my research & talked with an College Advisor..You should go to school & major in Dance Instruction...Or w/e it's called at that particular college. I believe that the only experience that you need is that you have dance somewhere for a good amount of time..Hopes this helps!