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Becoming a Dance Teacher
Posted by Wanabee Teacher
4/20/2008  4:37:00 AM
I am looking for advice or guidance regarding the process of becoming a dance teacher.

I am a middle aged man who would like to take the IDTA Associate qualification in International Style Ballroom in the UK.

I am an experienced social dancer, who has been dancing on and off for about twenty years, but seriously for the last two. I dance about ten hours a week, made up by two weekly group classes, an hour's private lesson, two hours of private practice with my partner in a hired hall, and I dance socially at least twice (and sometimes more) a week. I have two regular partners, and while I have not been in the amateur medal system long enough to have progressed very far, I am preparing with one of my partners for her IDTA Star 4 Ballroom exam – and I am at least at (and in some respects beyond) her level. As I have only previously taken Bronze & Silver medals (both HC), there seems little point in progressing to Gold now. I have so many levels to dance through (and pay for!) before I could be examined at a level that would represent any real challenge, that I can't see much point.

However, I don't know how I should now go about the process of trying to find a teacher/coach, and a partner to train with. My two existing social dance partners are both significantly older than me, and have no interest beyond social dancing. I feel that I need to find another student, nearer my own age, so that we can train together. It is clear to me that the process of learning to teach is not just about the development of my personal dancing, and (apart from anything else), I am currently gaining no practical experience of dancing as Lady, rather than exclusively as Man, and I feel the need to be equally proficient as both.

My current teachers do not want to take on a student for professional coaching (and in that, unless I misread a gentle put-down, they are not trying to tell ME anything!), so I need to start from scratch with someone new.

I don't really know what would be the best way to go about taking the next step (really, the first step) towards becoming a dance teacher. Should I see whether any of the local dance schools want an (unpaid) assistant to help at lower level classes, and get to know one or two teachers that way? Should I just ask directly whether they would consider taking on a student for coaching, and whether they might be in a position to introduce me to a possible partner to train with, so that we could try out.

Any suggestions/advice/accounts of own experience would be welcome.
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