Dance teacher


Dance teachers instruct students in a recreational context in the various dance genres and forms, such as ballet, jazz, tap, ballroom, hip-hop, latin, folk dance etc. They provide students with a notion of dance history and repertoire, but mainly focus on a practice-based approach in their courses, in which they assist students in experimenting with and mastering different dance and dramatic expression styles and techniques and encourage them to develop their own style. They cast, choreograph and produce performances, and coordinate the technical production and the set, props and costume usage on stage.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to dance teacher:

dance and performing arts teacher
teacher of dance
dancing teacher
dance coach
dance trainer
teacher of dancing
specialist dance teacher
dance instructor
instructor of dance

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as dance teacher. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Dance teacher is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Dance teacher career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to dance teacher.

music teacher
performing arts school dance instructor
adult literacy teacher
photography teacher
digital literacy teacher

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of dance teacher. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of dance teacher with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of dance teacher.

Teamwork principles: The cooperation between people characterised by a unified commitment to achieving a given goal, participating equally, maintaining open communication, facilitating effective usage of ideas etc.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of dance teacher.

Guarantee students’ safety: Ensure all students falling under an instructor or other person’s supervision are safe and accounted for. Follow safety precautions in the learning situation.
Consult students on learning content: Take students’ opinions and preferences into consideration when determining learning content.
Develop a coaching style: Develop a style for coaching individuals or groups that ensures all participants are at ease, and are able to acquire the necessary skills and competences provided in the coaching in a positive and productive manner.
Prepare lesson content: Prepare content to be taught in class in accordance with curriculum objectives by drafting exercises, researching up-to-date examples etc.
Inspire enthusiasm for dance: Encourage and enable people, especially children, to become involved in dance and to understand and appreciate it, either privately or in public contexts.
Bring out performers’ artistic potential: Motivate performers to take on challenges. Encourage peer-learning. Establish an environment for experimentation using various methods, such as improvisation.
Demonstrate technical expertise of your dance style: Demonstrate, describe or correct movement with your participants to enable them learn about their body and the dance style one is delivering in the participants. Compose and structure dance with the participants in the chosen dance style. Communicate the creative and compositional skills and experience and their relevance to the target market.
Observe student’s progress: Follow up on students’ learning progress and assess their achievements and needs.
Direct movement experiences: Assist clients or patients in moving in a structured or improvisatory manner for expressive purposes.
Manage student relationships: Manage the relations between students and between student and teacher. Act as a just authority and create an environment of trust and stability.
Adapt teaching to student’s capabilities: Identify the learning struggles and successes of students. Select teaching and learning strategies that support students’ individual learning needs and goals.
Apply teaching strategies: Employ various approaches, learning styles, and channels to instruct students, such as communicating content in terms they can understand, organising talking points for clarity, and repeating arguments when necessary. Use a wide range of teaching devices and methodologies appropriate to the class content, the learners’ level, goals, and priorities.
Express yourself physically: Express emotions and ideas through movements, gestures, and actions.
Inspire dance participants to improve: Inspire your group of participants in your sessions through embodied understanding of dance and dance-making. Demonstrate dance movements regarding a correct body alignment, and applied anatomical knowledge in relationship to the dance styles you lead.
Help performers internalise choreographic material: Teach the choreographic material, using physical demonstration and any relevant documentation (written, visual, audio), conveying the choreographer’s intent, the nuances and details of the choreography.
Maintain safe working conditions in performing arts: Verify the technical aspects of your workspace, costumes, props, etc. Eliminate potential hazards in your work space or performance. Intervene actively in cases of accidents or illness.
Demonstrate when teaching: Present to others examples of your experience, skills, and competences that are appropriate to specific learning content to help students in their learning.
Give constructive feedback: Provide founded feedback through both criticism and praise in a respectful, clear, and consistent manner. Highlight achievements as well as mistakes and set up methods of formative assessment to evaluate work.
Teach dance: Instruct students in the theory and practice of dance, recreationally or with the aim of assisting them in pursuing a future career in this field. Deliver correcting instructions that support difference and pay attention to ethical codes of conduct around touch, personal space, and appropriate pedagogic methods as a tool to foster participants.
Perform classroom management: Maintain discipline and engage students during instruction.
Provide lesson materials: Ensure that the necessary materials for teaching a class, such as visual aids, are prepared, up-to-date, and present in the instruction space.
Assist students in their learning: Support and coach students in their work, give learners practical support and encouragement.
Balance participants’ personal needs with group needs: Apply a variety of approaches in your practice that balances the needs of each individual with that of the group as a whole. Strengthen each individual’s capability and experience, known as person centred practice, while at the same time stimulating the participants and support workers to form a cohesive group. Create a supportive and safe atmosphere for an active exploration of your artistic discipline.
Encourage students to acknowledge their achievements: Stimulate students to appreciate their own achievements and actions to nurture confidence and educational growth.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of dance teacher. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Assessment processes: Various evaluation techniques, theories, and tools applicable in the assessment of students, participants in a programme, and employees. Different assessment strategies such as initial, formative, summative and self- assessment are used for varying purposes.
Link between dance and music style: The relation of a practiced dance style with music structure and musicians.
Learning difficulties: The learning disorders some students face in an academic context, especially Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and concentration deficit disorders.
History of dance style: The origins, history and development of the dance styles and forms used, including current manifestations, current practices and methods of delivery in a chosen dance style.
Evolution in delivery practices in practiced dance tradition: Technical evolution of dance making, stylistic and aesthetic aspects of a dance tradition or style and its relation to technical evolution of dance making taking into account historic, ethnographic, ethnological, musicological and sociological aspects that can influence the selected dance style tradition or genre. Social customs, clothing evolution, any props present in the dance making process.
Movement techniques: The various types of movement and physical postures undertaken for relaxation, body-mind integration, stress reduction, flexibility, core support and rehabilitation purposes, and that are required for or underpin occupational performance.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of dance teacher. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Develop a rehabilitation programme: Develop a rehabilitation programme to help patients rebuild their skills and restore their confidence.
Develop awareness for your group participants: Identify and record the learning that has taken place both for individuals in the group and for yourself to support development of quality in the work produced.
Devise choreography: Compose choreographies for individuals and groups of dancers.
Facilitate teamwork between students: Encourage students to cooperate with others in their learning by working in teams, for example through group activities.
Keep up to date on professional dance practice: Keep up to date with practice advancements and apply them to your professional dance practice.
Read dance scores: Read and note dance scores (if the choreography is notated or is reconstructed from a historical approach).
Assess students: Evaluate the students’ (academic) progress, achievements, course knowledge and skills through assignments, tests, and examinations. Diagnose their needs and track their progress, strengths, and weaknesses. Formulate a summative statement of the goals the student achieved.
Assist students with equipment: Provide assistance to students when working with (technical) equipment used in practice-based lessons and solve operational problems when necessary.
Maintain dance training: Participate in training sessions and classes to ensure the highest possible level of technical proficiency, physical ability, and physical fitness. Identify the requirements of the work that orientates the goal of the training.
Develop curriculum: Develop and plan the learning goals and outcomes for education institutions, as well as the required teaching methods and potential education resources.
Develop artistic project budgets: Developing artistic project budgets for approval, estimating deadlines and material costs.
Manage resources for educational purposes: Identify the necessary resources needed for learning purposes, such as materials in class or arranged transportation for a field trip. Apply for the corresponding budget and follow up on the orders.
Develop educational activities: Develop speeches, activities and workshops in order to foster access and comprehension to the artistic creation processes. It can address a particular cultural and artistic event such as a show or an exhibition, or it can be related to a specific discipline (theatre, dance, drawing, music, photography etc.). Liaise with storytelles, craftspeople and artists.
Contextualise artistic work: Identify influences and situate your work within a specific trend which may be of an artistic, aesthetic, or philosophical natures. Analyse the evolution of artistic trends, consult experts in the field, attend events, etc.
Keep personal administration: File and organise personal administration documents comprehensively.
Define artistic approach: Define your own artistic approach by analysing your previous work and your expertise, identifying the components of your creative signature, and starting from these explorations to describe your artistic vision.
Present exhibition: Present an exhibition and give educational lectures in a comprehensible way that is attractive to the public.
Coordinate artistic production: Oversee the day-to-day coordination of production tasks so that the organisation fits within the desired artistic and business policies and in order to present productions in a uniform corporate identity to the public.
Manage artistic career: Present yourself and your artistic approach. Position your work in target markets. Promote and market yourself and your oeuvre.

ISCO group and title

2355 – Other arts teachers





  1. Dance teacher – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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