Ask the Experts: Where Do I Find Good Replacement Dance Teachers?

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Q: Are there good sources to find replacement dance teachers? When I go through standard employment services, I get people who are not properly trained or lack experience.


A: Building a team of qualified teachers for all levels is ongoing work. Search for dance teacher groups on Facebook in your geographical location, since they often attract a variety of studios and teachers looking to network. We post to a Facebook group near us regularly looking for guest artists, substitute teachers, choreographers and faculty. We have also had success posting advertisements to a job site called Indeed. By paying a $5 per day fee for two weeks, we were able to boost our ad, and we got an excellent response from a wide variety of talent in varying locations. Many of the potential employees were willing to travel up to an hour to teach for us. We included specific details: exact days, times, levels of students and pay rate. One big factor in attracting teachers is pay: It's wise to set a competitive pay scale that meets or exceeds their requirements.

You might also connect with a local college and/or university that offers a dance major or minor. Schools will often have a current-student or alumni Facebook page where you can post your teacher opening.

For areas where it is not as easy to find teachers, many studios build their faculty from within by inviting advanced students to learn through a studio-directed teacher-training curriculum. We like to stay connected with our studio alumni as some go on to major/minor in dance, to perform professionally or just stay active by dancing as adults. You may be able to train teachers to provide preschool, recreational and/or advanced tracks by sending them to an in-person or online event.

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Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

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Former Houston Ballet dancer Chun Wai Chan has always been destined for New York City Ballet.

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