Are you interested in becoming a dance teacher? Maybe you were pushed into it by your own teacher asking you to provide some guidance for beginners or maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to do. You’re probably feeling a mixture of nervousness and excitement – that’s perfectly normal. With our experience, we’ve compiled a few key steps so you can be the best dance teacher possible.
1: Keep Learning
Above all else, you should continue to work on and improve yourself and your dance skills. You can never be a good teacher if you don’t focus on yourself first, and a good teacher is always learning. Teachers tend to let their own training time slip because they’re so busy but it’s important that they are able to demonstrate the moves and have the skills to be an authority.
It’s also important to have an overall grasp of effective teaching methods. Drop in on some teachers that you admire and find out how they conduct their classes. As a teacher, we might be complacent, thinking we know it all. Don’t fall into this trap. If you keep learning and mastering your skills both as a teacher and a dancer than you’ll be sure to succeed.
2: Create Detailed Lesson Plans
Teaching is all about being prepared. Create lesson plans for each class, including the concepts and steps you plan to go through. It’s important not to get too rigid or stale in your lesson plans. When you have a good set of plans, you can get an overarching look at what you’ve taught your students and what they still need to work on.
It’s also important to update your notes after every class, including how each student is faring. If not, what’s your next course of action?
3: Provide and Take Feedback
The best teachers don’t let their ego’s get in the way of becoming better. They know how to use feedback to become better teachers. Feedback can come from all places. Sometimes it’s from other teachers, sometimes it’s from the parents, and sometimes it’s from the students themselves. Good teachers don’t dismiss feedback just because of who is giving it, but instead, take it and evaluate it based on actual data.
Good teachers also know how to give their own feedback based on the different types of students they have. Feedback isn’t just about telling students what to do. It’s about motivating and encouraging and also offering them a path forward to improvement.
It’s also important to consider the goals of the students and what they want to get out of the class. Remember that not every student wants to be a professional dancer. Some students just want to have fun and learn a little. Each person who steps onto the dance floor is a little different and you have to treat them as such.
4: Don’t Be Afraid of Making Mistakes
All teachers aren’t going to be perfect and they’re going to make mistakes along the way. That’s simply part of the teaching journey. It’s a lot of pressure to be put in front of twenty children who are looking up to you for guidance.
You’ll notice that some methods are effective and some simply aren’t. Take time to evaluate each and why it is or it isn’t working. There are so many different ways to teach dance. You’ll find you adapt to some easier than others and you have to the find the approach that best works for you. That’s only possible through trial and error.
Teaching is itself a learning process; you make mistakes and correct them. A teacher-student relationship is very special and unique. It’s very rewarding to see a student take their dance skills to the next level. No matter where you are in your teacher journey, you can’t help but feel proud of your students.