Q: “I’ve danced all my life but have never taught before. Now, I want to break into teaching at my local studio. Is it important that I get certified before applying, or is my dance training enough?”
A:“The importance of getting certified depends on the person. If you were a dancer on Broadway and know everything about your craft, no, you probably don’t have to get certified. But if you don’t know the terminology, the placement and how to break everything down, certification is important.
“I would hire somebody with less dance training if they are certified, because I can trust their credentials. People say, ‘I’m a dance teacher’ all the time, but unless I know who trained them, it’s hard to say how good they are.
“You can be a great dancer and not necessarily a great teacher, so even accomplished dancers might consider continuing their education. It’s most important that, as a teacher, you keep studying all the time. I compare it to being a doctor. Those people are going for degree after degree, and it’s the same way in dance. You must keep studying and studying.”
Vickie Sheer is executive director of Dance Educators of America