Aspiring To Teach

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I have recently given up on the idea of becoming a professional ballerina but continue to love ballet and choreography. I know that teaching dance requires a different skill set than performing (and yes, I'm pretty good with children) but what sort of skills should I try to develop? Should I try to start my own studio or apply for a job teaching at someone else's? Does anyone have helpful stories of how their dance teacher got started in ballet pedagogy?

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, KT. :)

Since you are still a young dancer, the most important thing is to continue your own training the same way you would if you aiming to be professional. You need to get to the highest level of technique and performance that you possibly can. In addition to that, you should be spending a lot of time on really learning everything you can about ballet technique, including the history of ballet, it's development and changes over the many years, and of course studying the how's and why's of technique, class structure, curriculum quides for various levels. I hope you are considering attending a college program that has a focus in ballet and also pedagogy. 

Since you are new, it would help us help you if we know more about you!  How old are you, how long have you studied ballet, your current level in your school, other forms of dance you study, etc. :)  

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Thank you, Ms. Leigh! I am still rather young (coming out of 10th grade) but this is a big decision-making year for me. I've studied ballet my whole life, but mostly at a hobby level until high school. I do other dance styles (lyrical, contemporary, jazz and a bit of tap here and there) but seem to have "outgrown" the level of ballet my school teaches (think country dance school which has no professional alumni). I guess what I really am trying to figure out is, where do I go from here? I'm considering enrolling full-time in the most professional ballet school attainable for me (GrBallet) but I don't know if that would help me toward a teaching career, especially if I want to look into the other styles.

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Thank you for the information, KT!  

I think that getting the most professional training you can get is very important. You will want to get into a good college dance program, and that will require really good training.  And of course as a teacher, you want to be become the best dancer you can be. Most professional schools and college programs will also offer other styles of dance, even though ballet is the main focus. But, if  you every want to teach ballet, it is essential to get the training and education. You should also be attending Summer Intensive Programs!

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