Are you an International or Full-Time teacher that has more specific questions? Click here
What is it?
This is a retreat for 7 - 12 dance teachers &/or organizers from around the world to get together and spend 3 - 5 days trading dance techniques, teaching techniques, organizing techniques, and more. Everyone will have approximately 1 hour to teach the rest of the group something unique and important to them, as well as get to take 6-11 classes from the other participants, share in discussions, make action plans, enjoy other fun things, and of course, dance!!!
What style of dance is this for?
This event is designed for all styles of dance teachers &/or organizers. That being said, the main organizer is mostly known in the Lindy Hop, Blues, & Fusion dance scenes, so most of the attendees are usually most well known for their skills in one of these 3 fields. Still, we highly encourage all forms of dance to apply as the event will improve your teaching & business regardless of what style of dance you do. Plus, we can open up events for other styles if there is a demand for it.
Can I still come if I don't teach or organize events?
We try to accommodate 1-2 aspiring teachers/organizers at every retreat.
What will we do during the retreat?
Have a look at an example of a Retreat schedule. Don’t forget that the content of individual classes will differ. We tailor each Retreat according to the areas of expertise of the individuals who are attending.
Click Here to see some of the other things we will do.
Why is there an application process?
The application process allows us to have a group of possible attendees to choose from (who have already confirmed their interest and ability to afford the retreat). From these possible attendees, we want to make sure:
1. you will be with peers that can provide you with loads of valuable information.
2. you have valuable information to share as well.
3. there is some variety in areas of expertise.
Should I apply even if I don't have a specific retreat I know I can attend?
Yes! We recommend you fill out this general application now so we can give you suggestions on what you can do to increase your chances of being accepted when it comes time to apply for a specific retreat. This often means we will talk to you about your class ideas and help guide you to make your classes as interesting as possible for all the other teachers. This process can also be very valuable even if you never attend a retreat.
What experience level/style of teacher/organizer do I need to be to apply?
The main thing is that you need to be very serious about your dancing. In 2008, everyone involved was either a full-time dance teacher or full-time organizer. In 2007 we held 2 events during which 10 dancers were full-time, 6 were part-time, 3 had been dancing 8+ years, & 2 had been dancing less than 3 years.
Most of our participants are Lindy Hop & Blues dancers. Still, we are very open to other dance styles as well, we just don't advertise to them as much. The main thing we need to make sure of is that you will be able to participate in most of the classes without anyone feeling out of place. This must be examined on a year to year and personal basis.
We encourage everyone interested to apply as we might start up different levels of retreats (or even different styles) if there is enough interest.
I am not sure if I have anything to contribute to the retreat group. Should I even try?
Definitely, some of the most memorable classes have come from people who initially thought they wouldn't have anything to contribute. (Many exceptional dancers & teachers feel this way.) Everyone has something to contribute, sometimes it is just hard to see your own talents. Ask some other people you trust, what they think you could contribute. If you are interested, we will also continue to help you figure this out.
Only 12 can go! How can I improve my chances of attending for this and future years?
Every person that wants to come probably has something wonderful to offer, and unfortunately, we have to limit the number of attendees. To improve your chances of attending for this or future years:
Share your excitement & passion for attending with us.
Get involved in your dance community (or more involved).
Tell us how your other areas of expertise might be valuable to dancers, teachers, & organizers.
Send us an informal (or formal) resume telling us of all your dance experience (we probably don't know everything you have done). This can be sent to TheDanceRetreat@gmail.com
When will I know if I made it?
We try to have the final list of attendees known at least 2 months ahead of each event. We find this is usually the best time to start buying flights and preparing your travel arrangements. By the way, we fly a lot and will happily help people find cheap flights.
What if I can't afford it?
First, let's just clarify... if you don't feel it will be worth it, that is a whole different story than not being able to afford it (and these two often get confused). If you are not sure if the retreat will be worth it, please know that we offer a 100% moneyback guarantee. So if it isn't worth it, just tell us and we will refund you the entire workshop, housing, & food fees. The only thing you will have lost is your time and any travel expenses (which will hopefully be offset by eating for free). That being said, over 5 years, 8 retreats, and 58 participants, we have never had a single person ask for their moneyback. In fact, I suggested it to someone who was having a hard time at one retreat and she refused saying it was definitely worth it even though she was having such a hard time at the event.
Why are these retreats sooo worth it? One of the retreat's big goals is to help teachers make enough so that events like this won't even dent their wallet. From putting them in direct contact with other organizers for 4 days giving them access to potential jobs, to devoting at least one class to the subject of building your business, to talking with other instructors who have dealt with or are dealing with similar issues in building their scenes, this is a chance to learn how to (and sometimes more importantly, how not to) build your income as a teacher. Think of it this way... How much would it be worth for you to have just 1 more student join or stay in your weekly classes each year? What about 5 - 10 students? What if you taught at one more yearly event? What about 3 - 4? What if you got paid an extra $100 - $1000 per weekend workshop that you were already teaching at? The higher your level, the more you can take away from this weekend. The retreat creates an environment that can be a huge investment in your future. Of course, as much as we will help, you will still need to be active in getting what you want. Apply Now and be active in getting what you want! :-)
"I've taken business leadership and personal development classes for years, and seldom gotten as much out of those as I did out of the dance retreat. That's impressive, since those classes are often $3,000-5,000, and the dance retreat smokes 'em all for size and value. Too bad my colleagues don't dance!" Ted Maddry, Seattle, Washington
Ok, but what if I really can't afford it?
Now, if you really can't afford it, here are some suggestions.
You can ask us for an installment plan to pay the full balance over several months rather than all at once.
You can refer your teacher & organizer friends and get $50 off for each referral that attends a retreat (see details at bottom of Cost page).
You can write up a proposal asking local businesses, Elks Lodges, your non-profit dance club, etc, for donations (they need to donate a certain amount of money every year anyway).
You can hold a fundraiser or a couple of rent parties (they are super fun anyway!).
People often overlook simple things like going around to your neighbors houses selling them fresh baked goodies, running a lemonade stand on the beach, or holding a car wash on a hot day in a high traffic area. These might sound silly but they are fun & you can often make more doing these simple jobs than many people make at their 9 to 5 jobs. Plus, if you can get a few of your friends to help you (increasing the amount of stuff you can make, cars you can wash, etc), not only can you make a whole lot more, but it can be a really fun outing that provides a break from the normal "let's go to the movies".
Also, think about this... if you are seriously interested in becoming a full-time dance teacher (or continuing to be one for many years to come), it is important to be able to afford events like the Teachers Retreat that will improve your dancing, teaching & business. Don't let yourself get stale! We would venture to say that you can't afford NOT to attend something like this. All this being said, if you still feel worried about the money, apply now and on the last question of the application mark the answer, "Want to attend, might not be able to afford it."
I have friends that would be interested in this. Can I tell them about it?
Definitely! There are plenty of people we would like to tell but we have lost their email or don't know how to contact them. We would appreciate the help. In fact, we will pay you for your referrals that attend!
When I get there, what should I expect?
"Expect your life as you know it to be pleasantly and necessarily challenged... Expect to get very little sleep, yet still feel energized. Expect to tighten friendships and meet new people who share the same passion. Expect to be sad to go home." Amy McIntire, West Virginia
Do you have any advice for how to become a dance teacher?