How To Become a Ballet Teacher

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: March 16, 2022  •  8 min read  •  Creative
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If you love ballet, you might want to learn how to become a ballet teacher. This can be a very rewarding career for the right type of person.

You can work with children, high school students, up-and-coming ballet dancers, and even professionals. There are several levels you can choose when you decide to become a ballet teacher.

Before you decide this is the right career for you, it’s important to understand what it includes. Let’s look at the job duties of a ballet teacher and how to become one.

Job Duties of a Ballet Teacher

Ballet is a type of dance. If you become a ballet teacher, you will instruct students in this form of dance. You may also offer private lessons to those trying to become ballet dancers.

As a ballet teacher, you will likely perform the following:

Depending on the type of ballet teacher you become, you may do all of these or just some of them. The type of job duties may also depend on the level you teach.

How To Become a Ballet Teacher

Step #1 – Learn Ballet Yourself

Before you can teach something, you must know it well enough to teach it. Most ballet teachers will start with this type of dance at a young age. You might decide to take ballet classes as a young student or a bit later in high school or college.

Regardless of when you learn ballet, you will need to learn ballet. Professional training in ballet is often necessary to teach ballet. Your training may include a degree program, too.

Step #2 – Get the Right Degree

Not all dance teachers get a degree. However, if you plan to get a degree, you will likely get an Associate of Arts in Theater Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet. Both of these types of degrees can help you become a ballet teacher and give you some credentials.

Step #3 – Complete a Teaching Certification Program

It may also be necessary to complete a teacher training course. This type, of course, will help you learn how to properly teach the ballet techniques and the correct form. Most of these programs will provide different levels you can learn to teach, such as beginner, advanced, and professional.

Teaching training programs will show you the correct instructional methods to handle teaching ballet. You will receive a teaching certification once you pass the necessary courses.

Step #4 – Consider a Master’s Program

You can enter into a master’s program in pedagogy to help you become a ballet teacher. This type of master’s program will focus on teaching quite a bit, along with private studios and conservatories. You will take courses in arts management to help give you more employment opportunities, too.

Some master’s programs emphasize choreography or performance. Many of these programs will offer teaching apprenticeships or assistantships, too.

Step #5 – Find an Instructor Position

you may need to work in a part-time position or as an assistant to a ballet instructor first. You will likely find positions at a school, college, or private studio. When you first start working as a ballet instructor, make sure you continue to perform, as well.

You may also want to continue to take teaching and ballet courses. This can help you to learn any new dance techniques or teaching techniques.

Necessary Qualifications to Become a Ballet Teacher

When you want to become a ballet teacher, you will need to meet specific qualifications. Those qualifications include:

These qualifications and skills are necessary if you want to become a ballet teacher.

Benefits You Gain from Getting a Dance Teacher Certification

While it’s not required to get a dance teacher certification to become a ballet teacher, it can be helpful. This certification can help you to become a teacher faster and give you the credentials you need. Some of the common benefits you gain include:

There are multiple dance teaching certifications to consider and they all offer benefits. Three of the most common certifications include:

Any of these certifications can help you grow your resume and credentials as a ballet teacher.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Ballet Teacher

How much can I make as a ballet teacher?

It might be a bit difficult to find a solid salary specifically for a ballet teacher. The pay can vary, depending on what level you teach at. However, Salary.com puts the median salary for a dance teacher at about $43K. They have the range going from about $32K to about $56K.

ZipRecruiter.com puts the average salary for a dance teacher at $51K. They have a range all the way from $12K to $100K and an hourly wage average of $25.

How much you make it dependent on you, too. Many ballet teachers end up running private dance studios and teaching private lessons. You might make more than the average salary if you run your own dance studio.

Can I become a ballet teacher without any qualifications?

Yes and no. If you have no training in ballet or any knowledge, you probably won’t be able to become a ballet teacher. However, if you want to teach ballet to K-12, you just need a state certification. You won’t need a degree or extensive experience in ballet.

How long will it take me to become a ballet teacher?

You will need to spend at least four years training to be able to teach K-12. If you prefer to teach at the college or university level, expect to spend six to eight years training. Those looking to become company teachers or teach at a professional ballet school will likely need 20 or more years of experience.

Do I need a degree to become a ballet teacher?

No. According to Indeed.com, about 48% of dance teachers only have a high school diploma or GED. About 34% have bachelor’s degrees with another 11% having associate’s degrees. About 5% also have a master’s degree.

Where do ballet teachers find jobs?

There are many places where ballet teachers can find work. Public and private schools often have dance instructors on the payroll. You will likely need to be state certified to work at a school.

You can also work for or start your own dance studio. It’s also common to find ballet teachers working at gyms, recreation centers, or even gymnastic clubs.

What is the common type of work environment for a ballet teacher?

If you become a ballet teacher, you will likely work in a studio of some sort. You may also work in a gym or an exercise room, in some cases. Rarely, but sometimes, you may work in the home of a client when giving private lessons.

Your hours may depend on when you teach dance classes. If you teach K-12, expect to work later in the evening, as your dance classes may be after school hours. In other cases, you may teach during the day at a professional dance school. The hours can vary quite a bit and will depend on where you teach.

If you want to pass along your passion for ballet, you can learn how to become a ballet teacher. There are a few different paths you can follow with this career. Whether you want to teach children or professional dancers, there is a place for you in this type of career, with the right training.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story is coming soon!