Dance teacher

Performing arts and media

Career outlook for dance teacher

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland

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What's it like?

You would teach people how to dance. You’d help your students pass dance exams and organise performances where they can showcase their skills.

You could work with people with different ages and abilities from school pupils to adults and pensioners.

As a private dancing teacher you would usually work for yourself and offer classes in a venue like a leisure centre or a church hall. You’d teach individuals and groups, some of whom may find it hard to learn and remember the steps.

You could also teach people who want to learn more about dance and movement so they can improve their health and wellbeing.

You could work in schools: in primary schools, dance is usually taught by the class teacher. In secondary schools dance teachers could also teach other related subjects like, drama, performing arts or physical education.

You might also work with professional dance students and train them to develop their skills and knowledge of dance, or work at a further education college or university.

You would:

  • Show students how to warm up and move safely
  • Demonstrate how to perform dance moves
  • Design dance pieces and performances
  • Keep records of students’ performance and progress
  • Give students’ feedback
  • Enter students for dance exams
  • Design or choreograph dances routines for your pupils to perform
  • Teach the theory of dance

You’d also need to maintain your own dance skills and techniques. You’d need to understand how to prevent injury and meet health and safety requirements.

You could teach one or more forms of dance, such as:

  • Ballet
  • Contemporary dance
  • Tap
  • Modern
  • Social dancing like ballroom or line dancing

You may also need to know about anatomy and physiology, and subjects such as the history of dance or dance notation - the written system for recording dance movement.

Working conditions


In a state school, you would work normal school hours from Monday to Friday. You may also have some evening commitments, such as attending rehearsals, performances or parents' evenings. As a private teacher, you could have classes during the day and in the evening, and sometimes at weekends. In both types of teaching, you may be required to work at weekends when putting on performances.


Your working environment could include classrooms, halls and dance studios. Facilities can be quite basic in some venues.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Positive attitude
  • Verbal communication
  • Creative
  • Developing a plan
  • Self esteem
  • Time management
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Motivating others
  • Taking responsibility

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Dance teachers usually start off as dancers and many study dance at college or university.

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

Entry to a degree (SCQF level 9/10) course usually requires an audition and relevant HND.

You will also need

  • Work towards qualifications through the Council for Dance Education and Training to be able to submit your students for dance exams
  • Pass a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) Disclosure check for some jobs

Helpful to have

Many dancers start at an early age and undertake graded examinations through dance classes.