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University Majors to Become a Dance Teacher

by Ashley K. Alaimo, studioD

Becoming a dance teacher is a rewarding career for those who are dedicated to the performing arts. If you are an experienced dancer, you may have entertained the thought of becoming a teacher. A dance teacher can not only teach in a studio, but public schools, private companies, community centers, summer camps and musical theater programs. Music, musical theater, education and -- of course -- dance are all university majors that can put you on the right track to starting your career as a dance teacher.


Being a dance teacher means you are not only knowledgeable in dance steps, but music as well. Rhythm, tempo, melody, sequence and genre are some of the many aspects of a song that a dance teacher takes in consideration when choosing musical pieces for choreography. Becoming a music major at a university will teach you the skills needed to dissect music theoretically and emotionally in order to create a movement masterpiece for an audience.

Musical Theater

Many dancers set their sight to Broadway, so having a musical theater background is attractive to someone that is looking to hire a dance instructor. Musical theater majors are performers that dedicate their studies to acting, singing and dance training. Using your musical theater training as a teacher will give you the confidence to enhance dances using singing and acting as well as movement. This will not only give your students a creative dance experience, but also introduce them to what it means to be a triple threat in the world of Broadway.


Taking education courses at a university can give you the confidence you need to run a dance class in an organized and efficient manner. If you are looking to teach dance in a public school atmosphere, an education major will also prepare you for state standards expectations, age-appropriate goals and behavior management skills. An education major can also be geared towards a specific subject and age, so take some time to choose what best suits your needs and career goals.


If you are serious about starting a career as a dance teacher, enroll as a dance major at a university. Dancers are disciplined performers and dedicated to their art. Your classes as a dance major will not only focus on executing different genres of dance, but also dance history, choreography, body composition, music, terminology and notation. Take this time to retain all you can about the world of dance. Not only will you be passing this knowledge along to the future generation of dancers, but it will make you a well-rounded teacher and performer.

About the Author

Ashley K. Alaimo is a writer, blogger and certified teacher in New York. She has a master's degree in elementary education and early childhood education from Medaille College, as well as a bachelor's degree in music and theater from Buffalo State College. Alaimo has also worked as an education specialist with ages birth to 12 years old, creating classroom and enrichment curriculum for various early childhood centers.

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