Finding the Best Dance Teacher for You

The Qualities of a Good Dance Teacher

Ballet instructor helping girl at class
Robert Llewellyn/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Once you have decided to take dance lessons, it is important that you find the right dance teacher. When you begin your search, keep the following qualities in mind.

  • Experience: How long has the teacher been teaching? How long has he or she been dancing? Find out what dancing certifications, if any, he or she has. While credentials are important, don't overlook retired professional dancers. These dancers often become exceptional dance teachers, with no previous certifications.​​
  • Qualification: Does the teacher teach different styles of dance? Some dance teachers conduct classes for several dance genres, such as ballet, tap, modern, hip-hop and jazz. Make sure the teacher is actually qualified to teach the style you prefer, not simply filling up his or her enrollment book.
  • Dedication: Does the teacher seem truly dedicated to dance? If he/she was a professional dancer, you can probably assume a great deal of pride and dedication for the profession of dance. Observe the way he or she teaches a class. A dedicated dance teacher will appear to be completely in love with the idea of teaching others how to dance.
  • Punctuality: Is the dance teacher always running behind? Do classes continually begin late? A good dance teacher will always strive to be an example of responsibility, as responsibility is a trait of a good dancer. If you feel as if you are always standing around waiting for the teacher, it's probably time to look for a new one.
  • Respect: Do you feel invisible in your dance class? Every student in a dance class should feel important and respected. Even if you are dancing on the back row, the teacher should make an effort to make eye contact and communicate with you. A respectable teacher will pay attention to each student and correct them individually, helping them to gradually build their technique. A good teacher will respect every one of her students.

Tips for Finding a Dance Instructor:
If you're looking for dance instructors in your area, check the yellow pages or local newspapers. Many universities offer adult dance classes in the evening, usually at very reasonable costs. Also check local health clubs, as many people are realizing the health benefits of dancing.