Dance Teacher

This is the type of job where it is important to demonstrate as well as direct.  You would not have to be a professional dancer to teach dance, but you would be expected to have undertaken training in this area and reached a high level of competency.  The post exists in some local authorities, schools, colleges and leisure centres.  There are also opportunities in private dance schools and freelance working.

Work Environment
The work usually takes place in a gymnasium, hall or dance studio where you would need to project your voice: classes can be noisy and facilities basic.  Appropriate dress is required, which in most cases would be trainers and track suit/sports shirt/shorts. There is also deskwork involved and teaching of theory in the classroom.  Hours vary and can range from a 1.5 hour session per week up to full time positions and will often involve weekend and evening work - especially when leading up to a performance.

Daily Activities
Usually dance teachers have other commitments and responsibilities.  Those working in a school environment may teach another subject and/orhave a management role or be PE teachers.

Dance teachers work with individuals and groups.  They begin preparing for classes by planning lessons and considering the syllabus to be followed.  This may be done at home or in free periods.

Their aim is to encourage learners to develop their strength, stamina and physical dance skills and they must demonstrate particular techniques - whether the focus is jazz, ballroom, or ballet.  In many cases they will teach a wide range of different dance styles.  Learners would be taken through a warm up session at the start of each class and a cooling down at the end.  Through this they will learn to how to prevent injuryorstrain.

There would be paperwork to do including:

  • initial assessments;
  • recording attendance;
  • lesson planning;
  • individual learning plans;
  • record keeping;
  • marking written work.

Skills & Interests
A good practical ability, experience and training in dance and music is essential as is an interest in teaching.  This requires:

  • patience and good communication skills;
  • enthusiasm for and knowledge of the subject;
  • the ability to support and encourage others to succeed;
  • ability to work with a range of different abilities;
  • observation skills with an attention to detail;
  • confidence;
  • good class management including working with challenging learners.

Entry Requirements
You need to have qualified teacher status (QTS).  For entry to a degree course with QTS, applicants would usually offer 5 GCSE grades (A-C) with a minimum of 2 A-Levels.  Advanced GNVQ/SVQ Levels 2 may be acceptable fora degree with QTS, but additional subjects may be required such as A-Level in a National Curriculum subject. English and Maths GCSE grade C is also required.  Adults with relevant experience and ability would be eligible to apply.  There is no upper age limit but applicants need to be able to take on the physical demands of the job.

Part time classes are available at private dance schools where it is possible to do ground examinations in dance followed by a dance teacher qualification.  If a degree does not include QTS (necessary for state schools), it is possible to apply for a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) that will confer QTS.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
There are opportunities foremployment in schools and colleges in all parts of the country, as well as independent schools, studios and leisure centres.  Self-employment is an option.  Some teachers decide to pursue a specialist area of dance teaching such as choreographyordance therapy.  For this, further study would be appropriate.  Employment in specialist areas is limited.  These are some of the choices you can make to further your career.

Further Information & Services
British Dance Council 
Council forDance Education and Training 
Department forEducation Teaching Agency 
Education jobs 
General Teaching Council

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( or in your local library, careers officeor school careers library.

Related Links