As with any career, getting off the ground as a young dance teacher can be difficult. It’s hard for studios to know how good you are if you’ve never actually taught before. But how are you supposed to have work experience if nobody will hire you without it? It’s a classic catch-22 that can make you feel absolutely trapped.
But don’t worry, we’ve got three tips to help you get the work experience and relationships you’ll need to begin a thriving lifelong career. Check ’em out, and tell us what you think in the comments over on our Facebook page. We want to hear what things YOU guys have done (or are doing) to get your start as dance teachers.
1. Assist other teachers.
Assisting other teachers while you’re in high school and college, or as a young adult, is a great way to set the stage for your future because:
- It allows you to learn valuable teaching tools from some of your favorite educators.
- You can list as a teaching mentorship (or internship) your time assisting, to beef up the experience tab on your resumé.
- The teachers you assist can help connect you to future employment. “Friends hire friends” isn’t a phrase meant just for dancers looking to book a gig with their favorite choreographer—it works for teachers, too!
2. Get on EVERYONE’S sub list.
Subbing is the best teaching audition of all time. If a studio is asking for a little more experience from you, sub for them on a regular basis so they can see just how talented you are. Studios always need someone to fill in at the last minute, so if you establish yourself as a trustworthy, punctual and strong teacher who consistently saves the day, your chances for getting hired in the future are pretty great!
3. Maintain a positive relationship with all the studios in your area.
The dance community is small, and EVERYONE talks, so remember to always be professional in your training, dancing and teaching endeavors. Be careful not to gossip, and do your best to never burn bridges. This is certainly good advice for any job you have, but especially for teaching. If you develop a positive reputation in your area, studio owners will have your name at the top of their list whenever they’re hiring.
Use these tips as you enter the professional teaching field, and we’re sure you’ll set the foundation for a fabulous future!