Good Dance Teachers are Hard to Find
There is a huge difference between being a dancer and being a dance teacher. Often, people think that because they are a good dancer, they will automatically be a good dance teacher. That is not always the case and is why, sadly, I often see average dance teachers leading kids dance classes.
It is important for a dance studio to choose their teachers based on a wide set of criteria, and every studio will have different ideas about what that is. The teachers are what differentiate or ‘make’ a studio, so it is important that you trust the studio to choose great ones. I believe that Rise Studios has the best dance and drama teachers around, but since they are all different and have different teaching methods, it is also important to find the right teacher for your dancer.
If the fit isn’t right maybe try a different dance class. Some teachers are higher energy and louder. Some have a much calmer quality to them. Neither of these types are bad, just different and can have affect a child in different ways.
The criteria for any dance or drama teacher will depend on the studio’s ethos and age group that they are teaching, but in general, here are some key qualities that I think are imperative to any dance teacher. This is what I look for when hiring and mentoring the Rise Studios teaching faculty.
- Reliability and consistency are so important for children’s learning. Teachers need to be able to answer parents’ questions and communicate important information. Nurture is one of our ‘key’ words at Rise, and our teachers are employed with this very much in mind.
- Our teachers don’t teach because they HAVE to, they teach because they WANT to. There is a big difference, and children can sense true passion in a class. In order to inspire our dancers, we have to LOVE what we do.
- Teachers are mentors to their students and need to set a great example with how they dress, the music and language that they use, and the positive encouragement they incorporate into their dance classes. We are big on ensuring the music and lyrics are appropriate for the age group listening to them in our classes. We also place huge value on appropriate costuming for our shows. You will never see our little ones dressed in mature or skimpy costumes!
Knowledgeable About Dance Development
- Teachers need to know when students are ready to advance. It is crucial that they do not teach above the student’s age or level if their bodies are not ready.
Good Class Management
- One of the biggest qualities that I see missing in a lot of teachers is the ability to manage a class. Dancers need to stay engaged and focused in a way that makes the class fun, while also keeping them safe, and teaching them something! Class management is imperative to a successful, efficient and productive class. This is an acquired skill and should definitely be continually checked so the teacher can improve.
- Rise teachers are expected to pre-plan and choreograph their classes and not just ‘wing it’. This is even more important during our online sessions, as adaptations, due to personal space, have to be made. A good teacher knows exactly what they will be teaching at every class. They record what they have been working on. You may see our teachers ticking off syllabus exercise charts each week, keeping tabs on exactly when and what routines were learnt that class. This is crucial to student development.
To summarise, a dancer has a passion for dance…a dance teacher, guides others in a highly skilled way to develop that same passion…
I hope that you found this helpful. You can find out more about our teachers here