Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Teaching: How to go about it?


Recommended Posts

What would I have to do to become a dance teacher (specialising in ballet)?

I was just wondering about it the other day and thought, how do get the certificates, what experience is needed etc. etc.

Could you please briefly fill me in?


Link to comment

I don't know what's necessary in the UK, but in the US, you don't need ANY credential to hang out a shingle saying "ballet teacher". A business permit is all that's required, just as if you were a greengrocer or ironmonger. Leads to a good deal of quackery.

Link to comment
  • Administrators

pointe bk, what it takes to become a really good teacher is to first become a really good dancer! During your years of study you should also do some extra study in terms of teaching, like really learning the vocabulary, the meaning and the spelling of all the terms, and why things are done and when they are done and how they are done. Music study is also very helpful, and some education in all the arts, as well as production, choreography, lighting, costuming, and some business classes will all help in the work of being a teacher. It takes many years and a lot of very hard work, but it starts with becoming a dancer! :rolleyes:

Link to comment

pointe bk - the RAD do have a degree course, to become a ballet teacher.


this is just ONE example of A way to go about it. there are VARIOUS ways to gain appropriate experience and skills and qualifications to become a god ballet teacher.


i use the word "appropriate" because, as mel says, there aren't any LAWS about what you need, in the UK.


not all teachers have qualifications - but its a definite 'plus' to do so. and not all teachers have professional performing experience, but it's a real 'plus' to have that, too.


in the meantime: follow victoria's advice to learn as much as possible, as broadly as possible, while you are a dance student.

Link to comment

In the UK, there are several universities which offer courses in Dance Pedagogy, in addition to the RAD accredited degree course. As others here who are expert teachers have said, firstly you need to be a good dancer.


And then, planning and information - and that always means getting hold of as much reliable information as you can (your dance and school teachers are a good starting place - but don't listen too much to "gossip" from fellow students!). I can point you in the direction you need if you're looking at university-level training, either at a university or university college, or affiliated conservatoire school. But as others more expert in ballet teaching than me have said, there are a number of ways to enter this area professionally.


If you're interested in a university-level training (tertiary) then you need to start thinking about that in your A-level choices. Go direct to the official sources - for the UK, you should look at the RAD website, and contact them for more information, and you should also look at the UCAS web-site, to see what else is offered across the UK at tertiary level.


You can then contact individual organisations (RAD, universities, conservatoire schools such as Central) to find out about their Open Days which all tertiary institutions hold at least twice a year. That's your opportunity to find out about expected levels of training, A levels, other experience (work experience, participation in extra-curricular activities, RAD/ISTD exam expectations etc). All of these organisations have good web sites, which can give you good starting information, but actually going to their Open Days to tal to the people likely to teach you is an essential once you've narrowed down your choices. In the UK system via UCAS, yoiu can apply to go to 6 institutions, and you need to know which are your top two so you can accept of reject any offers made to you after your applications have been processed.


P.S. lthough Ms Leighh didn't mention it, she's a properly trained specialist dance teacher - you might look at her biography on the Ballet Talk introductory pages to see a good example of an inspiring career trajectory.

Link to comment

Read as much as you can, particularly the Teachers forum :shrug: Here are some suggested titles (some of which you may have already read):


The Art of Teaching Ballet by Gretchen Ward Warren

Classical Ballet Technique by Gretchen Ward Warren

Teaching Classical Ballet by John White

School of Classical Dance by Vera Kostrovitskaya

100 Lessons in Classical Ballet by Vera Kostrovitskaya

Basic Principles of Classical Ballet by Agrippina Vaganova

Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet by Gail Grant

Link to comment
  • 11 months later...

I am hoping this is the proper forum for this question, but I also debated putting it into the teacher's forum...moderators, feel free to move this if I have misplaced it! My eventual goal is to become a dance professor at a university. I hold a BA in dance pedagogy and have professional dancing and teaching experience. My question is this, which of those will be more important later on when I am trying to get hired at a university? In my current situation, I dance for a very nice, but small regional company and make my living mainly by teaching. However, I have just accepted a job in a far more prestigious European company, where I will no longer need to teach to make ends meet. However, I also probably won't be able to teach, as I am not fluent in the language, and this country does not have our tradition of many small local schools. I am hoping that this increased level of professional work will be an asset later on and that I can make up the teaching experience later on....am I right in thinking this, or should I be concerned about not building my "teaching resume"? If it helps, I'm in my mid 20s and planning to dance another 8-10 years (if possible of course!) :) Thanks very much and Happy New Year to all!!

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Swanilda, right now just DANCE!!! Get the professional experience, as much as you can, and worry about the teaching later. Since you have a BA degree, it won't take you long to get an MFA if you need it. It depends on the University. Some house the dance department in the College of Fine Arts and accept a professional career as the equivalent of a terminal degree. Others house the dance area in PE or Education, and for these schools you will need a Masters degree. At least that is the way it was when I was teaching in the University....a long time ago, and with no degree at all! My professional career was accepted as a terminal degree. :)

Link to comment
  • 4 years later...


I am at a crossroads in my career. Dance is amazing, but web development is not satisfying for me 100%, and want start to explore teaching again. I've taught, but in a very limited capacity, and it was *many* years ago.


I might get into teaching on a part-time basis to see how it works out. I'm really excited to start, and I know I have a lot to offer, and learn. This forum has taught me so much.


I have a LOT to offer and need to begin. I'm going to asking for guidance from people who know me, and my dancing, but I'm ready. I'll start posting on teachers once I get a a job doing that.


Cheers, and happy dancing! Rock on!


Link to comment

Oh, Alyson!!!! You'll be a lovely teacher and you have so much to offer youngsters!!!!! Good luck to you- get that resume polished up!!! :):)

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...