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Dance Instructors

The Job

Dance instructors work for private dance studios, community dance programs, recreational facilities, and schools, or as private instructors, to help people learn how to dance or improve their existing skills. They teach people of all ages and levels of experience. Most are experts in several types of dance—ranging from ballet and ballroom, to tap or hip-hop. In most settings, dance instructors have the following duties:

  • Teaching students how to warm up and educating them about anatomy and physiology as they relate to dance movements and techniques
  • Explaining and demonstrating dance moves and techniques to students and providing them with feedback on their performance
  • Choosing the music or sound effects that will accompany dance lessons
  • Choreographing dance sequences or performances
  • Putting on dance competitions and recitals
  • Keeping records of students’ performance and progress

A dance educator at a college or university will have the aforementioned duties, but may also spend a good amount of time focusing on the history of dance and dance notation (the written process or recording dance steps).

At a high school, a dance educator may also teach related subjects such as physical education, drama, or performing arts.

A dance instructor at a community dance program or a recreational facility might also coordinate youth dance programs and camps.

Dance educators who own their own dance schools are also responsible for running the daily operations of their businesses and handling tasks such as accounting, billing, and marketing.