Back in 2008, dancing for a living would have been a dream job for me…but I was working in a job which was running me into the ground, doing so many extra hours and never giving myself a break. I used to get ill all the time and when people said to me ‘So, you’re a primary school teacher – wow – you must really love your job!’ I’d smile and nod, thinking… to myself that I must love it and they must be right. It wasn’t until I actually became a dance teacher that I realised it was possible to truly love your job and get actual pleasure from getting up and going to work each day! I now realise that I did not love all aspects of my job and whilst it was a rewarding profession, it wasn’t quite the profession for me.
Despite everyone’s best efforts to warn me against quitting my job during the ‘credit crunch’ and embarking upon becoming self-employed and teaching dance, I quit my job in 2009 and started up ‘Street Feet Dance’. To begin with I had a couple of small classes but it wasn’t until I took my IDTA Freestyle Associate dance teaching qualification that the ball really got rolling. Suddenly I was employable in gyms, able toteach for the local authority who promoted my work for me AND I was able to obtain substantial dance teacher’s liability insurance.
The course didn’t just give me a piece of paper, it empowered me to achieve things I had previously thought to be almost impossible. The lecturers were fantastic positive people who were living their dreams through dance and had a successful dance teaching business with over 1,000 students!! They gave me all the business and marketing advice I needed to grow my business on the smallest of budgets. They even let me in on industry secrets that you wouldn’t expect leading business owners to share! Two years down the line and I now run an established dance school with over 20 classes and clubs per week with more opening up each term. I even host my own dance teacher training courses in conjunction with my dance teacher supply service – we’re running our next one in May….and the best thing about that? Those fantastic positive lecturers who have had so much success in the dance teaching world and empowered me to realise my full potential and achieve my dreams are also the lecturers who come to deliver my courses! I just love catching up with them and talking about how far I’ve come since they first trained me.
So, are you ready to make a living from dance like I have? Places on our May course are limited. Visit http://www.dancewerk.co.uk/teacher_training.html and fill out your details to receive further information and an application form for you to book your place! You could be qualified by June and open your own dance school in the September this year. Imagine that :)
So you’re thinking of becoming a dance teacher and looking to get a qualification…and there are a lot of courses out there claiming to be able to get you qualified…so which one do you choose?
Back in 2009, I had the same dilemma. In fact, I nearly made a huge mistake. There was this course claiming to make you a ‘certified’ dance teacher if you pay out the money and go on the course. You could even use their logo on your website and promotional material….of course you could! They were giving away some great sounding bonuses and had some testimonials on their site – I have no doubt that these dancers really enjoyed the course…however, were they really QUALIFIED at the end of it? Could they go out and get dance teacher’s liability insurance from any reputable broker? Was their qualification recognised in gyms or schools?
Then I found a course accredited to the International Dance Teachers Association. I had heard about the IDTA and knew they were an international awarding body. I also knew that many of those dancers you see on Strictly Come Dancing are professional members of the IDTA – it’s a prestigious organisation. I applied for the course, answered some questions about my dancing ability and experience and was accepted – this was the best decision I have ever made as I have since heard of other courses, which have great marketing strategies, but have made up their own qualification and are not regulated by anyone. Some of these courses use the term ‘government approved’ but what does this mean and who is it actually approved by?
Dance fitness classes are all the rage now and there are some very popular brands out there. Do these courses QUALIFY you to teach exercise safely to the public? Or does it just permit you to use their brand name? This is something else you might want to consider when choosing a course. You might also want to consider how long it will take you to complete the course and actually receive your qualification – the great thing about the course I took was that it was intensive and I got qualified within a couple of months – I know some dancers who started training to become teachers on a different course at the same time as I started my training, however theirs was a 2 year course and they have only recently completed…when I look back on everything I’ve achieved in the past 2 years since receiving my qualification (including now running my own dance teacher training courses with the very same lecturers who trained me) I feel so glad that I chose the intensive course. To help you in that decision of yours, I’ve devised a list of my top ten questions you may wish to ask yourself or the training providers when choosing a dance teacher training course…
1. Is the course accredited to an official awarding body?
2. How long will it take you to complete the course?
3. Does a formal exam follow the course?
4. Does the course allow you to put students through amateur exams?
5. Who is training you and what is their success rate?
6. Will you be able to obtain substantial dance teachers liability insurance from a reputable broker?
7. Will you be able to become a member of a professional organisation?
8. Is there room for further professional development and further qualifications?
9. Will there be continued support after passing the exam?
10. Will you learn how to start up a successful dance school on the course?
Remember, this is your money and your future so be sure to make an informed decision about what kind of training and qualifications you wish to receive
In the current economic climate, everyone is tightening their belts and finding ways to save money in everything they do. Dancers are weighing up the pros and cons of starting up their dance teaching businesses without a formal teaching qualification as they feel they can’t afford it and there are others out there doing exactly the same. But in today’s society, with the blame culture and government changes in regulations, can you really afford NOT to get qualified?
A few years ago you could walk into a mainstream school and tell them that you are a dance teacher and the school would accept this without asking for any proof of qualification to say that you are knowledgeable about working with children, special needs, disabilities, what to avoid in your classes to prevent injury and how to plan lessons effectively so that all your children achieve your desired learning outcomes regardless of their ability or individual needs. This caused a big shake up in the dance industry about the importance of formal qualifications.
As an experienced dancer/dance teacher you may have a wealth of knowledge in your chosen dance genre and feel already qualified to teach it…in fact you may feel better qualified to teach it than some of the other dance teachers in your area – so why are they getting all the jobs?! A qualification is proof to your customers and employers that you are knowledgeable about how to facilitate learning, prevent injury, protect children, manage behaviour and actually teach, no matter what your dance genre or dancing ability is. More and more organisations, such as schools and gyms (and of course the parents of the children you teach) are specifically looking for teachers with dance teaching qualifications. Would you want your child being taught by someone who may not understand how to teach physical activity safely? Dance teaching qualifications are more important than ever now to make it in this industry.
Just 3 months ago, our last group of dance teacher training graduates received their IDTA Freestyle Associate certificates in the post. Some of them have already reported now being awarded contracts to teach for their local authority within the council and local schools where they were previously unable to! A whole new world of opportunity has just opened up to them that previously didn’t exist, thanks to this qualification.
Going back to affordability, there are some courses out there with no official examination board claiming to get you qualified for over £2,000! I know, crazy right? Our courses are intensive, meaning you won’t need to take time off work to complete them and you won’t have to wait years until you are qualified. In fact, you could even earn back the cost of the course after just a month or so of teaching dance with your new qualification. Our courses are fully regulated by the International Dance Teachers Organisation - an official examination board, recognised all over the world! Contact us now to access our early bird booking offer of just £895 or book with a friend to get this course for just £695 each! We’re even offering FREE revision support and continue to support you in your journey AFTER you are qualified! Consider the value that this investment could give you and your career this year and then consider this…can you really afford not to get qualified?
Complete your details for further information about our next course and an application form at http://www.dancewerk.co.uk/teacher_training.html
Street Feet Dance Ltd’s new brand ‘DanceWerk’ was officially launched in March 2012. Since launching the brand, people have asked me how DanceWerk and it’s services started. So I’m going to share my story with you…
Through the expansion of my dance school ‘Street Feet Dance’, I have had the pleasure of working with some very talented dance teachers. While talking to some of the dance teachers I met, one thing became clear. A fair few of them had been dancing with the same dance school throughout their entire childhood and even some of their adult lives until they themselves became qualified dance teachers – some of these teachers, hoping to work with or for their lifelong dance school principals, sadly found themselves being turned away and not spoken to, seemingly just for getting qualified! It seems the old school way of thinking is to keep your cards close to your chest and view any other dance teachers as competition!
Personally, I don’t share the same opinions as those particular dance school principals – I was taught to share and I know that when you share with others, great things can happen! After hearing these stories, I made it my mission to actually help people who want to teach dance, whether that be through offering professional dance teaching qualifications, mentoring programmes or providing work opportunities….and so the dance teacher supply services and IDTA dance teacher training courses began. Initially these started up under the same name as my dance school, but it soon became clear that this service could help teachers of all genres and not just those who teach Street Dance – I needed a name that would reflect this and that’s how the brand ‘DanceWerk’ was born! A play on the words ‘Dance Work’ which is fundamentally what the service provides, with ‘Werk’ being a declaration of support, praise or approval for an outstanding achievement! Pretty fitting in terms of this service being all about supporting dance teachers in their work and career development.
Teachers who sign up to the dance teacher supply service, not only receive all the latest job opportunities directly to their inboxes, but also a monthly newsletter containing information and advice to help them progress through their dance teaching careers. We also provide mentoring programmes for those who want to start or expand their own dance businesses and professional qualifications for those wishing to professionally develop further. Whether you are new to dance teaching or a seasoned pro and you think this service could benefit you in some way, you can sign up for free at http://www.dancewerk.co.uk/supply_service.php
Try us – we might just be able to help you