Becoming a Dance Teacher – When Dancesport Becomes Your Job
There comes a moment in the life of a ballroom dancer when they must decide if they want to start teaching.. Your consistent training took you up to the point where you realize this is your life now and it can be your everyday job. Or perhaps it’s not you who chooses to become a teacher and is just a mere result of your hard work. Being a good dancer and having great results will automatically make people want to have lessons with you.
In one way or the other, that moment is significantly going to change your relationship with dancesport. Not only will you take lessons to be a better dancer but to become a better teacher. You’ll start to see competitions with a different eye: you’ll look around and watch the other couples from a different perspective. Somehow you’ll see things in a more mature and clear way.
Understanding when is the right moment to start teaching
Clearly, there are a lot of different possible situations when the idea of becoming a teacher really takes hold. Nevertheless, you will feel that you need something more in your dancer’s life.
All the other reasons that might pop into your mind could be too personal and too specific. Some do it for the money, some because they have been asked and others do it for fun or as a second job.In any of these cases, the common reason is that being just a dancer is not enough anymore.
I can safely say that being a teacher completes you as a dancer. It teaches you things you didn’t know about right until you started giving lessons.
Thinking you are not ready for becoming a dance teacher
At any level or age, you can be a good teacher or the contrary, an ungifted one. It’s just a matter of relation between you and your student: you should always be much more experienced than the one you’re teaching.
If you are young and not highly skilled yet, you should better start with a beginner group, maybe a children class in a school. In their eyes, express authority, even though you’re not an adult.
As an adult but not very experienced yet, you should start teaching some social-dance groups. There, people attending your class will trust you because of the big difference in knowledge between you and them.
If you are an experienced young dancer, you may fear that teaching to older dancers will not work well. I am encouraging you not to be afraid at all. Just make sure that they know how good you are and the results will speak for themselves.
Going all in or thinking of other alternatives as well
There’s no guarantee that you will become successful at being a teacher. Maybe if you start teaching in your coach’s studio where there is already a good amount of students that trust you and know who you are, you can be more free minded.
But if you’re starting from zero, better to do it little by little. For example, if you are still a student, keep going to university but also start giving some lessons to gain more experience. Or if you already have a job and you want to switch to becoming a dance teacher, try to do this transition gradually. Quit your job only when you already have a considerable number of students and your yearly schedule is pretty stable.
If you don’t have a choice and you must go all in, then invest all your skills to grow both the number of students and your reputation in the dancesport world in the shortest and healthiest way possible. Every decision you make today will affect your future in this industry.
If you want to find out more about what it means to be a teacher, especially for children, make sure to check my other article.
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Italian, dancing since the age of 5 and currently based in Moscow. With his partner Ekaterina Utkina, he is in the top 50 WDSF Adult Standard World Ranking, representing the Russian Federation.