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Dance Teacher

The role

Dance Teachers teach their pupils dance in one or many of its different forms, from ballet to tap and jazz. They may teach in state schools, or they may work with private pupils, or in a dance school. Dance Teachers may also teach classes in community centres or leisure centres.

In state schools, dance is usually taught by the class teacher at primary school age. At secondary school, it is often taught by someone who also covers drama or PE as well.

A dance teacher could be working with complete beginners, or those at professional level, helping to train them.

Their job will often involve choreography, creating routines for their pupils to learn and perform.

How to become a Dance Teacher

Those teaching in state schools need to have achieved Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The Training and Development Agency for Schools (link below) has further information.  Teachers in schools can join the National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA), which provides training and development opportunities.

Private teachers often specialise in a particular genre of dance. They will need to have reached a top standard in their own dancing, and also to have gained a qualification from, and then be registered with, a recognised dance association such as the Royal Academy of Dance.

The Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET) has a list of all the recognised dance associations. Once registered with one of these associations, a candidate is also able to list their details on the official databases of teachers - the CDET UK Directory of Registered Dance Teachers, and the UK Database of Dance Teachers.

There are diplomas and degrees available in the subject of dance teaching, as well as a postgraduate qualification – the Postgraduate Certificate in Dance Teaching (PGCE DT), through the Royal Academy of Dance. This particular course leads to Qualified Teacher Status.

Skills and knowledge required

  • Passion for and ability in dance
  • Stamina
  • Good communication skills
  • The ability to encourage and motivate
  • Dedication and patience
  • Understanding of the body’s limits to help prevent injury

Income

The income of dance teachers varies, as many are self-employed or work freelance.

State school teachers earn around £21,000 to £31,000 in most of the UK, and £26,000 to £36,000 in London.

The hours

State school teachers – work normal school hours, but also may attend extracurricular activities such as performances.

Private teachers – have their hours and times of work determined by when their pupils would like to be taught. It could be daytime, evenings or weekends.

Useful websites

www.tda.gov.uk/ - Training and Development Agency for Schools

www.ndta.org.uk - National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA)

www.rad.org.uk - Royal Academy of Dance

www.cdet.org.uk - Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET)

 

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