"To touch, to move, to inspire. This is the true gift of dance." - Aubrey Lynch
Dance is only increasing in popularity, with many people interested in taking lessons for fun or hoping to dance professionally. Whether you specialise in Latin dancing, ballroom dancing or Cuban salsa there are more dance teacher jobs out there than you might think!
How can you break into the world of dance teaching?
There are dance studios and dance teaching opportunities all over the country for teachers offering ballroom, jazz, ballet or hip-hop.
Let's take a tour of the many ways you can land your first dance teacher jobs.
You Can Teach In Dance Schools
If you dream of becoming a dance instructor, applying for a job with a local dance school is a great way to get started.
Whether you're employed to teach cha-cha, tap or waltz, the upside to teaching through a dance school is that you'll receive a more stable income than a freelance tutor, and there will almost certainly be feedback and extra training offered to you by your employers.
Most dance schools only employ teachers a few hours per week, and it is expected that you are planning your courses in between. You can supplement part-time hours at a dance school by offering private lessons to students as well.
Teaching jobs at studios can be competitive! You're more likely to find work if you've got training in popular styles such as modern jazz, ballroom dancing or ballet. There is also generally more work for beginner's classes in popular styles.
If you have the certifications and the talent, the more styles you can offer, the more you diversify your teaching market. Many dance studios offer a range of different styles and will leap at the opportunity to hire an applicant with a diverse skillset.
In Australia, there are three main places you can teach dance:
- Universities and conservatoriums
- State schools and private schools
- Private dance schools and institutions
Along with your passion for dance, you should also possess strong people skills, a keen sense of observation and be able to tailor your classes to your students' needs.
Most dancing instructors will hold both teaching and dancing qualifications so they can teach dance more effectively. Qualifications will also determine what kind of institution you can work with.
Check out recent online tutoring jobs in Australia on Superprof.
Teaching Dance At A Community Centre or Gym
Many dance teachers branch out into teaching at local community or leisure centres. This may mean you're teaching specific groups with specific needs, such as kid's hip-hop classes or senior's tap classes. Teaching through a local community centre won't be the best-paid gig you'll ever have, but it's a great way to make connections in your local community and perhaps pick up some private students as well. It can also be incredibly rewarding!
Gyms are also often looking for dance teachers to teach dance fitness classes such as Zumba and Ballet Barre. Certain gyms even offer styles of dance designed to work up a sweat, like Cardio Hip-Hop or Aerobics. These classes can be a great steady gig for a dance teacher like you who is just starting out and again, you'll make plenty of great new connections in your community.
Teach Dancing At High Schools
Along with the usual maths, science and English teachers, certain schools will hire a regular dance teacher.
A state school rarely offers a dance subject, but you may be called in to help with school productions and musicals on a part-time basis, or to offer dance fitness workshops to kids and teens. There are also short-term opportunities for dance teachers to lead dance workshops at school camps.
Certain private schools may also offer a dedicated dance subject, and you can help to guide aspiring young dancers along their path towards joining a dance company or entering a conservatorium.
If you plan on working in primary or secondary schools, you'll need to get a Working With Children's Check (this is required by most institutions teaching children).
You should also have a good working knowledge of dance history, physiology and anatomy, know how to plan lessons and run a classroom, and to have some qualifications in teaching and dance.
So if you're passionate about passing on your knowledge of dance to younger generations, perhaps consider working in a school!
Teach At A Dance Academy Or Conservatorium
Perhaps you dream of teaching at a prestigious dance institution? There are many top performing arts schools across the country looking for passionate, qualified tutors.
What kind of dance equipment do you need?
You'll need to have gone through one of these elite schools yourself if you hope to teach there. This is where students train to become tomorrow's dance stars and professional ballet dancers. You'll need to be an expert in choreography and a high-level athlete and dancer yourself.
If you're a young dancer who dreams of becoming a professional dancer and dancer teacher, you can check out this related guide on how to choose the right Australia dance school for you.
Here are just some of the schools offering full-time courses to passionate dancers:
- Steps on Broadway
- Academy of Music and Performing Arts
- Queensland College of Dance
- Newcastle Ballet Theatre
- Sydney College of Dance
- Transit Dance
- Australian Company of Performing Arts
- Spectrum Dance
- National College of Dance
- The Australian Ballet School
- Sydney Dance Company
If working in these kinds of institutions is your goal, you'll be teaching the creme de la creme of the dance world how to succeed on the stage. You'll also be guiding dancers towards performing on Broadway in the United States or West End in the United Kingdom! This means you'll need years of experience and advanced qualifications. Conservatoriums, universities and elite-level dance schools hire the best of the best and vacancies don't come up very often, so make sure you're the right profile before you apply.
Teaching Private Dance Tutorials Through An Agency
If you're just starting your dance career, you can search for recruitment at agencies. These often hire tutors to teach in students' homes instead of in the classroom, studio, or other dance location.
With these kinds of agencies, your salary will depend on how many tutorials you're teaching and what level you teach - for example, an advanced workshop will generally be better paid than a beginner's class.
So, what are the benefits of teaching private dance lessons through an agency?
- Salary: you'll be offered a roster of steady students
- Freedom: you can pick and choose which shifts you take on, and are free to turn down a new student if you need to. Some agencies will put you directly in contact with a student and you two can set a date that suits both of you. You can work as many or as few days a week as you like.
- Approach: at Superprof, we take the view that working one-on-one with students is an experience like no other! Your students will improve much more quickly than in group classes.
- Casual: you can tailor your approach to the student, and will often meet students who are simply dancing for personal pleasure.
Teaching Private Dance Lessons
There is also the ever-popular option of working for yourself! The freedom of working for yourself is unparalleled - you set your hours, day, rates, location...
You can also offer lessons in whatever style of dance you're passionate about, be it traditional Irish dance, Cuban salsa or Argentinian tango.
So how much can you make working for yourself? Find out with our guide to rates for dance classes
If you're just starting out in the world of dance teaching, you can save time and make more money by getting your marketing right. Post ads in the following places:
- Newspapers and school newsletters
- On bulletin boards in dance or drama schools (ask permission first!)
- On bulletin boards at your local university
- Online on platforms such as Superprof
Years ago, you would have to do all your networking in person, but with Superprof, connecting with students has never been easier. You can set up your profile in just a few clicks. On your page, you'll list your dancing and teaching experience, any qualifications you might hold in dance education and the specifics of what kind of dance lessons you're offering.
You'll also have the opportunity to start building up a glowing reputation as past and current students leave reviews and testimonials.
Depending on your location, you should expect to charge between $20 and $70 per hour. If you live in central Sydney you'll generally be able to charge higher rates than someone living in rural South Australia! This will also vary according to your experience and the kind of dancing you offer. Finding private students through Superprof is also an excellent way to supplement your income if you work part-time at a dance studio.
Reading to plan your first dance tutorials? Find everything you need to know right here.