Dance Teacher: Salary, Certification & Qualifications

If you're interested in becoming a dance teacher, there's a lot to learn. We've compiled all the essentials here including certification requirements, qualifications, key skills and common salaries. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Dance teachers instruct students in the art of dance, usually at K-12 schools, colleges or private dance schools. Many are working dancers or former dancers and hold a bachelor's degree in dance, though some specialize and get a degree in dance instruction. Take a look at the chart below for an overview of the career.

Training Required Dance
Key Skills Public speaking, leadership, physical fitness
Certification Optional NDEO Certificate in Dance Education
Job Growth (2016-2026) 16% (self-enrichment education teachers)*
Median Salary (2019) $38,092**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

What Do Dance Teachers Do?

Dance teachers offer instruction in dance at a variety of venues. Some teach kids from elementary to high school, some give lessons at private dance schools and others teach at a college level. Dance teachers are tasked with designing curriculum, teaching theory, and helping students physically perform the dance moves. Depending on the school, they may be asked to mount a production to show off the students' abilities.

What Degree Do You Need to Teach Dance?

The educational requirements to teach dance can vary from school to school. Dance teachers at a public school will need a bachelor's degree, while teachers at colleges or dance companies might need a master's of fine arts with a concentration in dance. A private dance school, on the other hand, might accept a candidate with experience in the industry but no degree. College dance programs might include coursework in ballet, modern dance, hip-hop or jazz.

Do You Need Certification to Be a Dance Teacher?

Certification requirements and standards for dance teachers vary significantly from state to state. Some states don't require K-12 dance teachers to be certified. Regardless of whether your state requires it or not, getting a teaching certification might help you land a job and command a higher salary. A Certificate in Dance Education from the National Dance Education Organization requires a range of courses in professional development and could help aspiring teachers learn how to give instruction effectively.

What Skills Are Important for Dance Teachers?

Aside from dance training, a good dance instructor needs a few skills to succeed. Strong communication skills are vital -- teachers need to be able to convey complex information in an understandable way. Patience is key, too. New students (and even seasoned veterans) may be slow to understand new concepts or execute difficult movements. Teachers need to be physically fit, also; dance is a physically demanding artform and teaching it requires an advanced level of fitness.

How Much Do Dance Teachers Make?

As with many careers, a dance teacher's salary can fluctuate. Factors such as the employer and the experience of the teacher will both make a difference. However, Payscale.com provides an estimate for the median salary of a dance teacher in 2019 -- $21.59 per hour or $38,092 per year.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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