Drama and Dance Teacher

Learn how you can become a drama and dancer teacher, including what types of degree programs can prepare you for a career in the field. Find information about employment prospects, helpful prior experience and licensing requirements here.

Is Drama and Dance Teaching for Me?

Career Overview

Drama and dance teachers provide students with training in the performing arts, which can include instruction in acting and movement. You may also plan and implement theatre arts classes in dance or theatrical history, dance forms or stage design.

A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement for obtaining a job as a teacher at a primary, middle or secondary school. If you plan working at the post-secondary level, you may need a master's degree in a related field, such as performance or choreography. Prior work experience as a choreographer, actor or professional dancer may grant you access to the best job opportunities.

Career Options and Outlook

As a graduate of a drama or dance education program, you may be qualified for a position as an acting or voice coach, a drama teacher or creative movement instructor. As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an average growth in jobs is expected for elementary and middle school teachers, choreographers, dancers and self-enrichment educators nationwide between 2012 and 2022. During the same 10-year period, high school teachers can expect a slower-than-average increase in openings. Opportunities for elementary, middle and high school teachers may be greater in rural areas and inner cities, the BLS projected.

Salary Information

According to the BLS, the average annual wage for an elementary school teacher in May 2012 was $56,130. In the same year, middle and high school teachers had corresponding average salaries of $56,280 and $57,770. As of May 2012, the average compensation for a self-enrichment educator was $19.40 an hour or $40,360 a year. During the same month, choreographers and dancers were paid average hourly wages of $21.60 and $19.02 respectively (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Become a Drama and Dance Teacher?

Education

Potential degree programs for aspiring drama and dance teachers include a Bachelor of Arts in the Performing Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre or Master of Arts in Educational Theatre or Drama and Dance Education. Course topics typically include the study of drama and dance history, choreography, voice and stage design. You'll also receive training in teacher education and acquire communication and public speaking skills.

Licensing

If you'll be working in the public school system, you must be licensed by your state. Requirements for licensing can vary, but typically include graduation from a teacher education program. If you have professional experience in drama or dance, you may qualify for a transition to teaching program, which typically takes less time to complete than a traditional education program and also prepares you for teacher licensing.

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