Dance teachers train and educate pupils of all ages in different styles of dance. They may specialise in one style or a broader range, working in private dance studios, schools and leisure or community facilities.
Dance teachers work in a variety of styles which include:
- classical ballet
- contemporary dance such as jazz, street, hip-hop or freestyle
- Highland dance or Scottish country dancing
- ballroom and Latin American
- cultural dance, such as Irish, African or Indian.
You could be:
- planning lessons around a set syllabus
- working out dance routines and selecting music
- teaching pupils how to warm up and cool down properly, to prevent injury
- demonstrating how a move or routine should be performed
- monitoring pupils’ dance moves and correcting when necessary
- recording the progress of pupils
- preparing pupils for exams with extra training
- teaching individuals or groups, adults or children
- training dancers for a theatre or stage performance.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates vary considerably depending on:
- whether you are freelance or employed
- the size of the company or organisation you work for
- the competition for posts.
Teachers of dance can charge freelance rates of between £10.00 to £30.00 per hour or between £80 to £160 a day.
- You will spend most of your time working in dance studios, halls or classrooms.
- You may work in more than one venue and have to travel between them.
- You must be very fit and careful to avoid injury.
- You may have classes during the day, the evening and at weekends.
- You may train stage and theatre dance troupes and have to attend rehearsals and performances.
- Part time and self-employed freelance work is common.
- You may need to travel to other parts of the UK for training and even work.
Workforce Employment Status
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- A number of colleges in Scotland run courses in dance and performing arts (including dance) at National Certificate (NC) or National Qualification (NQ) level, as well as Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND) and degree level.
- The Royal Academy of Dance offers a range of distance learning courses, from Certificate up to Masters degree level, in dance education and teaching.
- For NC/NQ courses entry requirements vary and you do not always need formal qualifications. For HND courses you need 2 Highers or a relevant NC/NQ plus an audition. For degree courses you need 4-5 Highers or a relevant HND.
- You may also need dance teaching qualifications from a dance awarding body recognised by the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT).
- See the CDMT website for more information on dance awarding bodies that offer qualifications. Some of them have approved training centres in Scotland.
- Only teachers registered with the relevant dance awarding body may enter students for exams.
- You may require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
Workforce Education Levels (UK)
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What Does it Take?
You should have:
- excellent dance skills in your chosen style
- creative talent and good expressive skills
- excellent communication skills
- energy and stamina
- patience and the ability to motivate others
- an understanding of health and safety
- good observation skills
- the ability to manage a class of pupils.
You should also be:
- passionate about dance
- enthusiastic when teaching.
- Scottish Youth Dance offers Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses in various aspects of dance for teachers in nursery, primary and secondary education.
- You may wish to complete more training and qualifications with additional dance awarding bodies.
- With experience you could move into a more senior teaching role or manage a dance studio.
- You may become self-employed and have your own dance studio.
- You might move into community development work, such as leading projects to make dance accessible to all.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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