What does a dance teacher do?

Would you make a good dance teacher? Take our career test and find your match with over 800 careers.

Take the free career test Learn more about the career test

What is a Dance Teacher?

A dance teacher instructs students in various styles and techniques of dance. They guide students through the learning process, helping them develop skills, coordination, and confidence in their dancing abilities. Dance teachers often possess extensive training and experience in dance, and they use their expertise to design lesson plans, lead classes, and provide constructive feedback to students.

In addition to teaching dance steps and routines, dance teachers may also educate students about dance history, terminology, and performance etiquette. They create a supportive and inclusive learning environment where students can express themselves creatively, build physical fitness, and cultivate a passion for dance.

What does a Dance Teacher do?

A dance teacher helping a young student.

Duties and Responsibilities
Dance teachers provide dance education, foster creativity, instill discipline, and inspire a love for dance in their students. Their dedication and passion for dance contribute to the growth and development of dancers of all ages and abilities. Their duties and responsibilities typically include:

  • Lesson Planning: Designing and preparing lesson plans that align with the curriculum and learning objectives. This involves selecting appropriate dance techniques, exercises, and routines for students based on their skill level and experience.
  • Instruction: Leading dance classes and providing instruction in various styles of dance, such as ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, or contemporary. Demonstrating dance moves, techniques, and choreography, and offering guidance and feedback to students to help them improve their skills.
  • Choreography: Creating original choreography for dance performances, recitals, competitions, or showcases. Developing dance routines that showcase students' talents and abilities while challenging them to grow as dancers.
  • Music Selection: Selecting music appropriate for each dance style and routine, and coordinating music with choreography to create cohesive dance performances.
  • Technique Correction: Observing students' movements and providing corrections and adjustments to improve technique, alignment, posture, and movement quality.
  • Safety and Injury Prevention: Ensuring the safety of students during dance classes and rehearsals by teaching proper warm-up and stretching techniques, spotting students during challenging movements, and creating a safe environment free from hazards.
  • Progress Assessment: Assessing students' progress and skill development through observation, evaluation, and periodic assessments such as exams, evaluations, or performances.
  • Communication with Students and Parents: Communicating regularly with students and parents to provide feedback on progress, discuss goals and expectations, and address any concerns or questions.
  • Professional Development: Continuing education and professional development to stay current with trends, techniques, and best practices in dance education. Attending workshops, conferences, and training programs to expand knowledge and skills.
  • Administration and Organization: Handling administrative tasks such as class scheduling, registration, attendance tracking, and communication with studio or school administration.

Types of Dance Teachers
Dance teachers can specialize in various styles of dance and cater to different age groups and skill levels. Here are some common types of dance teachers:

  • Adaptive Dance Teacher: Specializes in teaching dance to individuals with disabilities or special needs. Adaptive dance teachers may modify movements, exercises, and teaching techniques to accommodate the unique needs and abilities of each student.
  • Ballet Dance Teacher: Specializes in teaching classical ballet technique, including positions, movements, and vocabulary. Ballet teachers may work with students of all ages and skill levels, from young children in beginner classes to advanced dancers in pre-professional or professional training programs.
  • Ballroom Dance Teacher: Specializes in teaching partner dances such as waltz, tango, foxtrot, cha-cha, and salsa. Ballroom teachers may teach social dance classes for beginners or more advanced technique and choreography for competitive dancers.
  • Contemporary Dance Teacher: Specializes in teaching contemporary dance, a genre of dance that combines elements of ballet, modern dance, and jazz. Contemporary teachers may focus on teaching expressive movement, fluidity, and musicality, and may work with students ranging from children to professional dancers.
  • Fitness Dance Instructor: Teaches dance-based fitness classes such as Zumba, cardio dance, or barre fitness. Fitness dance instructors may focus on providing high-energy workouts while incorporating dance elements and music.
  • Hip-Hop Dance Teacher: Teaches hip-hop dance, a genre of dance that originated in urban communities and is characterized by street-style movements, improvisation, and athleticism. Hip-hop teachers may teach a range of hip-hop styles, including breaking, popping, locking, and freestyle, and may work with students of all ages and skill levels.
  • Jazz Dance Teacher: Focuses on teaching jazz dance, a dynamic and energetic style characterized by syncopated rhythms, isolations, and stylized movements. Jazz teachers may teach a variety of jazz styles, including Broadway jazz, contemporary jazz, or commercial jazz, and may work with students ranging from children to adults.
  • Modern Dance Teacher: Teaches modern dance, a style of dance that developed in the early 20th century as a rebellion against the constraints of classical ballet. Modern dance teachers may focus on teaching principles of weight, space, and time, and may work with students of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Tap Dance Teacher: Specializes in teaching tap dance, a style of dance characterized by rhythmic footwork and percussive sounds created by metal taps attached to the dancer's shoes. Tap teachers may teach basic tap technique to beginners or more complex rhythms and choreography to advanced students.

Dance teachers have distinct personalities. Think you might match up? Take the free career test to find out if dance teacher is one of your top career matches. Take the free test now Learn more about the career test

What is the workplace of a Dance Teacher like?

The workplace of a dance teacher can vary depending on factors such as the type of dance studio, school, or organization where they teach, as well as the age group and skill level of their students. However, common workplace settings for dance teachers include dance studios, performing arts schools, community centers, fitness facilities, and educational institutions.

In a dance studio setting, dance teachers may work in spacious dance studios equipped with mirrors, ballet barres, sound systems, and dance floors designed to support movement and performance. These studios provide an ideal environment for teaching dance technique, choreography, and performance skills to students of all ages and abilities. Dance teachers may have access to a range of amenities and resources to support their teaching, including props, costumes, and audiovisual equipment.

In educational institutions such as schools or colleges, dance teachers may work in dance studios, gyms, or multipurpose spaces used for physical education or performing arts programs. They may teach dance classes as part of the school curriculum or extracurricular activities, working with students during regular school hours or after school. Dance teachers in educational settings may collaborate with other faculty members, administrators, and parents to support students' academic and artistic development.

Community centers and fitness facilities may also serve as workplaces for dance teachers who specialize in fitness-oriented dance classes such as Zumba, cardio dance, or barre fitness. These settings provide a more casual and recreational environment where students come to participate in group fitness classes for exercise and enjoyment. Dance teachers in fitness settings may focus on providing high-energy workouts while incorporating dance elements and music to motivate and engage participants.

Frequently Asked Questions



Continue reading

Dance Teacher vs Dance Education Choreographer

While both dance teachers and dance education choreographers play integral roles in the field of dance education, they have distinct responsibilities, focuses, and skill sets.

Dance Teacher
Dance teachers primarily focus on instructing students in the technical aspects of dance, including movement vocabulary, technique, and performance skills. Their main responsibilities include:

  • Teaching Technique: Dance teachers lead classes where they instruct students in specific dance styles, such as ballet, jazz, tap, or modern. They break down movements, demonstrate techniques, and provide corrections to help students develop proper form and alignment.
  • Choreography Execution: While dance teachers may create choreography for student performances or competitions, their main role is to teach existing choreography to students. They ensure that students understand the steps, timing, and musicality of the choreography and rehearse with them to achieve precision and synchronization.
  • Individualized Instruction: Dance teachers tailor their instruction to meet the needs of individual students, providing personalized feedback, corrections, and guidance to support each student's progress and development as a dancer.
  • Performance Preparation: Dance teachers prepare students for performances, recitals, or examinations by coaching them in performance skills, stage presence, and presentation techniques. They may also assist with costume selection, staging, and technical aspects of performances.
  • Classroom Management: Dance teachers create a positive and structured learning environment in the classroom, managing student behavior, maintaining discipline, and fostering a supportive atmosphere conducive to learning and artistic expression.

Dance Education Choreographer
Dance education choreographers focus on creating choreography specifically designed for educational purposes within dance education programs and initiatives. Their responsibilities include:

  • Curriculum Integration: Dance education choreographers collaborate with educators and curriculum specialists to integrate choreography into dance education programs, lesson plans, and curriculum standards. They design choreographic concepts, thematic units, and performance pieces that support students' learning objectives and artistic development.
  • Choreographic Design: Dance education choreographers create original choreography that aligns with educational goals, pedagogical principles, and curriculum standards. They design movement sequences, combinations, and routines that challenge students' technical skills, creativity, and expression while reinforcing key concepts and principles.
  • Inclusive and Accessible Choreography: Dance education choreographers adapt choreography to accommodate the needs and abilities of diverse student populations, including students with disabilities, special needs, or varying levels of experience. They provide modifications, alternatives, and adaptations to ensure that all students can participate fully and succeed in dance education programs.
  • Professional Development: Dance education choreographers provide professional development opportunities for dance educators, offering workshops, seminars, and resources to enhance their choreographic skills, teaching practices, and pedagogical approaches. They support the growth and development of dance educators in the field through mentorship, coaching, and collaboration.
  • Community Engagement: Dance education choreographers engage with communities to promote access to dance education and foster cultural exchange, creativity, and social connection through movement. They collaborate with local organizations, artists, and stakeholders to create interdisciplinary performances, community events, and outreach programs that celebrate dance as a form of expression and cultural heritage.

In summary, while dance teachers focus on teaching technique and performance skills to students in dance classes, dance education choreographers specialize in creating choreography that supports educational objectives and enhances students' learning experiences in dance education programs. Both roles play complementary and essential roles in providing high-quality dance education to students of all ages and backgrounds.

Continue reading

Dance Teachers are also known as:
Dance Educator Dance Instructor