How do I Become a Dance Instructor?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2019
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In order to become a dance instructor, there are three steps that you need to complete: train as a dancer, complete instructor training, and find a dance instructor job. There are many different types of dance, ranging from classical ballet to hip hop dancing. All these different styles require the same steps to become a dance instructor.

The number of career options for dancers is very limited, and vary by dance type. Opportunities for classical ballet dancers are restricted to national or state dance companies. Modern dancers can work for performers or as part of a musical theater production. Competition is fierce, and a significant amount of travel is often required.

Dance instructors are typically former dancers. It takes at least ten years of full time dance training to become a professional dancer. After about eight to ten years, most professional dancers are no longer performing, and look to teaching as a career. There is a great deal of flexibility in professional dance teaching, but it often requires evening and weekend work.

All dance programs offer instructor training. There are several colleges and universities that offer degrees in dance. These programs combine practical dance with instructor training. There are also a wide range of certificate or diploma programs that offer dance instructor training.


To become a dance instructor, you need to obtain a job as an instructor. Many people start their instructor career at a small, private school or local community center. Positions at national dance school or training centers have a complex, multi-stage application process. They typically require an audition, interview and references. The candidate meets with the lead instructor, administrator and then the principle of the school.

People who were not professional dancers, but want to become dance instructors often focus on a specific area of dance. Most cultures in the world have a particular style of traditional or folk dancing. This type of dance instruction does not require professional experience. Instead, training, interest and an effective teaching style are more important.

Modern dancing changes with the trends, and there are many opportunities to become a dance instructor teaching pre-teens and teens the latest club dances. This type of instructor doesn't typically have a dance training background, but may have great athletic ability and is a natural dancer. Most dance instructors also have full time jobs or careers. It is very difficult to make a living as a dance instructor. The career advancement opportunities are limited and it becomes increasingly difficult to meet the job requirements as time passes.


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Post 2

@bfree – There are no formal qualifications to teach Hip Hop dance. Before you teach it, you should have a good understanding of the various moves and techniques though.

Because you're both physical therapists that may be all the training you really need to choreograph your own moves.

There are several dance studios scattered about that offer Hip Hop dance instructor training complete with a certification.

But from my understanding, that’s about as formal of an education as you need.

Post 1

My boyfriend and I are both physical therapists and we’ve been toying with the idea of incorporating some hip hop dance moves as part of the training.

I was wondering if anyone knows how to become a hip hop dance instructor. Are there any special training requirements needed to add it into our program?

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