How to become a dance instructor in Los Angeles, a full guide for the aspiring dance teacher.
For those with a passion for dance & want to make a difference in other’s life becoming a dance instructor is a perfect career path for you.
Dance is a form of expression and rhythm. There are many forms of dancing, ballet, hip hop, modern, jazz, tap, & many more.
No matter what style you want to teach always remember you are making a difference in the world.
Enjoy this guide on how to become a dance instructor in Los Angeles.
How Long Does It Take To Become a Dance Teacher?
Becoming a dance instructor takes years of experience, dedication, and passion. Some of the more popular dance teachers have been dancing since the age of 5.
Having a passion for dance and helping others is a must!
Your job as a dance teacher will be educating your students on the techniques and philosophy required to becoming a professional dancer.
You must be able to articulate how to perform certain movements and break down each and every move.
How to become a dance instructor in Los Angeles will depend on what level you want to teach. Small dance studios and smaller schools only require a high school diploma.
If you plan on teaching at an elementary, middle, or high school will require having a bachelor’s degree.
Teaching past this level will require having a graduate or master’s degree.
Having your master’s or graduate degree will enable you to teach ballet and professional dancers.
Specialties such as dance education, ballet, fine arts, and performing arts can also require a doctorate degree.
How To Become a Certified Dance Teacher
Becoming a certified dance teacher requires courses in education, dance education and the completion of a teaching internship.
Become a Trained Dancer
The first step in your journey to becoming a certified dance teacher will require you to become a trained dancer. Many dancers start dancing at a very young age and get better as they age.
Leading dance companies offer full-time training programs. Another tip is to study drama and literature to help with portrayal of characters through dance.
Complete a Teacher Education Program
The next step is to complete a teacher education program, this will make you eligible to teach in public schools. Getting your bachelors degree in dance education will really benefit you if you plan on teaching in private studios.
Degree programs help you develop technical, performance, and complicated choreographic skills. Completing an internship or gaining student teaching experience is a must.
Visit the National Association of Schools of Dance for more information.
The third step is obtaining your certification. The following courses are required in order to get your certification: education, dance education, and the completion of a teaching internship.
You must also score highly on the PRAXIS exams. PRAXIS exams are state-administered exams that measure a teacher’s basic skills and knowledge.
Obtain a Master’s Degree (Optional)
This step is optional but to guarantee you’re able to teach in public schools you must have your master’s degree.
Los Angeles Dance Academies
Now that you know the process of getting certified, now we will go over the various dance schools in Los Angeles you can complete your courses.
Academy At Edge (AAE) offers a professional certificate in dance. The course is 36 weeks long or 690 hours with 57 units. Inspired by the renowned EDGE scholarship program.
You can also obtain your certificate of Study in Dance. Getting this certificate will only take you 12 weeks to get, which is 216 hours with 18 units.
The last certificate AAE offers is the Immersion in dance, this course will take 12 weeks to complete, which is 228 hours with 18 units.
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance is one of the most prestigious schools in Los Angeles. If you plan on attending this school you’ll be provided with studio practice, choreography and intersecting dance techniques.
The Colburn School is another great choice to attend for pursing your dance career. Colburn specializes in dance, music, & drama.
This prestigious school has sent its alumni to work with dance companies such as L.A. Dance Project and the San Francisco Ballet.
The West-side School Of Ballet is another fantastic choice for furthering your dance experience.
West-side School of Ballet has been in business since 1967 and many students have been awarded scholarships with major ballet company schools.
The alumni of West-side School of Ballet dance with professional companies such as Los Angeles Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet and Kansas City Ballet.
The International Dance Academy offers international training, this can give you an advantage over other dancers.
IDA offers one year dance diplomas and an advanced two year program. The one year program is only 7 months and offers free lodging for 3 months while going abroad in the USA.
Sonny Fredie Pedersen is the owner of the academy and his family has been teaching dance since 1935.
Santa Monica College has an amazing dance class that prepares their students for their future careers in performance, choreography, and teaching dance.
The SMC dance program offers a two year training program. Upon completion of the program you can earn your associate in arts and department certificates.
Your courses at SMC will cover 6 different technique levels of ballet and modern dance, dance history, choreography, and performance.
Millennium Dance Complex is known worldwide for it’s acclaimed international dance studio. MDCCP has one of the best commercial dance programs in the nation.
Their program is geared towards intermediate and advanced dancers, beginners will not be accepted. MDCCP offers a 2 and 12 month program.
If you choose to attend Millennium Dance Complex you will be given 12 classes with a minimum 10 classes per week. You’ll be learning various dance styles such as Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Tap, Voice, Breaking, Jazz Funk, and Yoga.
There will also be 2 one hour certificate program workshops every week.
Los Angeles City College offers courses in Yoga, Ballet, Modern Dance, Jazz Dance, Choreography, Social Dance, Tap, and Flamenco.
By attending LACC you can acquire an Associate in Art for Transfer option.
AMDA is a school with a rich and historical background, at the forefront of their fields in Broadway, Shakespeare, Hollywood film, world renowned dance, play writing and academia.
Attending this school will give you the full spectrum of acting, singing, and dancing. Along with the prestige you’ll be in the heart of Hollywood’s creative community.
One of the programs AMDA offers is the Bachelor Of Fine Arts: Dance Theatre. AMDA’s Dance Theatre program is created for dancers looking to perfect their craft.
The 8 term program’s course of physical study will cover classical techniques in theatrical, commercial, and concert dance disciplines.
The second degree AMDA offers is the Associate of Occupational Studies: Dance Theatre. This course is built upon classical technique, foundations in ballet, jazz, and modern contemporary.
But it doesn’t stop there, you’ll be taught various cultural styles such as Hip, Hop, Contemporary, Jazz Funk, Broadway, Heels, Latin Fusion and many more!
Additionally you will study practical applications of theory, choreography, and dancing for the camera.
The last program AMDA offers is the Conservatory Certificate: Dance Theatre. This is a 4 term professional program that covers the demands of Dance and Theatre.
During the course you’ll be building on a solid foundation of classical technique in theatrical dance. As you advance you will be able to perform complicated choreography with accuracy and interpretive passion.
In addition to the dance technique classes you’ll be studying singing, musical theatre, and acting. During the final term the focus shifts to industry and career preparation.
These specialized subjects will prepare dancers to enter the competitive performing arts industry.
How To Become A Dance Teacher In Los Angeles
Now that you know what to expect on your journey to becoming a certified dance instructor, the next best thing to do is get started!
Don’t wait too long to make a decision, but at the same time don’t rush into a situation.
Choose a school and a path that suites your life and goals. Are you going for your bachelors degree or your masters? Would you rather just get certified and open your own private studio?
There is no right or wrong answer with the way you choose. Just make sure you choose the path that’s best for you.
Dancing is a form of expression and sometimes people can get lost in the grind and lose their joy for dancing. Although might you have to do programs that might restrict your creativity, never lose your passion and joy for dancing!
Keeping your goals and your “why” in mind will help you stay focused and keep your fire alive.
Imagine feeling the joy you’ll feel by graduating from any of the required programs. These programs aren’t easy and will take some time to complete. Which will be a major accomplishment.
What will you do with your new dance career? Will you participate in Broadway musicals? Are you going to open your own studio and teach private classes?
The possibilities are endless with a dance career. You’ll be making good money and if you choose to teach, you can better your community.
By teaching others to dance you will create a sense of joy, passion, and unity within your community.
That will conclude your guide on how to become a dance instructor in Los Angeles.