5 Qualities Every Wonderful Dance Teacher Possesses

Dance teachers are the best. They are endlessly capable, talented and caring. They work long hours to help students reach their dreams and give them the skills they need to make a difference in this crazy world. What did we ever do to deserve these wonderful people?

We believe every great dance teacher has five specific qualities. Let us know if you agree over on our Facebook page!

1. Stamina

Dance teachers need stamina to make it through long days of rehearsals, private lessons and regular classes. Oh, and don't even get us started on competition season! You observe classes; take teacher classes (and regular classes, if you're feeling bold); observe auditions; console and encourage dancers after auditions; run back and forth between stages to catch mini, teen and senior pieces; and cheer through awards. You people deserve an award.

2. Problem-Solving Skills

For dance teachers, a myriad of unexpected things is likely to go wrong on any given day. Whether it's a performance or a class, they have to be prepared to solve problems.

3. Tough Skin

Dance teachers have to be good at dealing with angry, competitive and jealous clients. While dancers and their parents are wonderful, they can also be difficult and say some hurtful things. Dance teachers need to let stuff slide of their backs or they'd never be able to get any work done. Tough skin is a necessity in this industry.

4. Empathy

Like we said before, dancers in training are dealing with a lot emotionally. Dance teachers need to be kind and caring when it comes to dealing with their students. They need to be able to put themselves in their dancers' shoes and help them know that they're not alone.

5. Patience

We're pretty sure this one speaks for itself 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️. THANK YOU dance teachers for your ENDLESS patience. We love you!

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Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

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Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

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"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

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Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

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