Some Advice for Becoming a Dance Teacher
Advice for becoming a Dance Teacher - Written By: Andrew Sutton
You want to be a dance teacher. This is great to hear! There are a lot of things involved in teaching and SOOOO many things I would suggest that I don't really know where to start.
First and foremost... keep improving your teaching, dancing, & business knowledge FOREVER (possibly hire someone to handle the business side). I see too many top notch teachers getting passed up by other newer teachers because they are no longer learning and so they aren't knowledgeable about the latest trends & improved techniques.
I guess my next suggestion is just to start. Go for it. Even if it is just teaching a group of your friends for free, start teaching (single classes or full weekend workshops) and getting used to it. Organize your own workshops and don't be afraid to start small (in someone's house if need be).
Ask for feedback from your students. Find ways to get sincere feedback on what you need to improve on. Ask for quotes & testimonials on the things you do outstandingly well.
Try to build a scene, don't steal a scene. I see it happen time & time again when a new teacher tries to start out, they want to do it the easy way and so they advertise to the current crowd and end up taking students away from other teacher's who have been there longer. This only hurts scenes and causes politics. Instead, start advertising to non-dancers or organizers who are excited to help you out. Build your own group of dancers and NEVER stop advertising to the non-dancers.
How to advertise?
Get a friend or two and go Blues Bomb a night club with live music and no dancing. Blues bomb the farmer's market or any other place where there are hundreds of people walking around. Get people to try it with a 5 minute lesson as they are walking by. Make it easy so they can feel successful.
Gosh, there are sooo many things. It would probably be easier for me to give you better & more relevant advice, if you ask me more specific questions. What part of teaching do you want to know more about?
Good luck and keep asking questions! (sometimes it might take me a while to get back to you, but I will)
1. Check out my articles on my website, especially "Growing a Lindy Scene" www.smoothsavoy.com/articles_lindy.php
2. Join my mailing list and I will try to give teaching/organizing tidbits in my newsletter occasionally. www.SmoothSavoy.com/MailingList/signup.php
3. If you would prefer to learn the business side of things on your own rather than use our services at www.TheGigManager.com, here is a list of books, tapes, & classes to check out that helped me along the way. Disclaimer: Reading all these books will not get you ready for running your own business. Rather it is the commitment to continually reading business books for the rest of your career that will allow you to run your own business really really well (or as mentioned before, hire someone to do that for you).
The thing that started me in the direction that I am now going was a
motivational tape. It was a totally nerdy guy with an annoying voice but
dang it, it got the job done. If you find yourself saying, "I don't have
the time" or "It is too much work" or "I could never do that" to anything,
then I would really recommend listening to a motivational tape or go see a
motivational speaker live. I was amazed at how well it works. If you don't
have the right mind set, the rest of these books will be a waste of your
time. Financial wealth (and I seem to be noticing everything else in life)
is 90% attitude and 10% what you do about it. I am not saying that you
don't have to do things, I am just saying that the success of whatever you
do will be greatly determined by your attitude. Now you might be saying,
"My attitude is already great, I don't need this." and I warn you, that is
exactly the attitude you want to avoid if you want to increase your wealth
(and in my opinion, do anything else great in life). If you hear someone
say, "Wow, this is amazing, you should definitely check this out!" I
recommend checking it out. You might like it or you might not, but more
knowledge is more power. That being said, I will try to find the name of
the tapes that I listened to, but I don't think it matters if you listen to
the same tapes as me or not. My tapes were 15 years old and I am sure there
are even better motivational tapes out there today.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen - gives you the techniques to stop procrastinating and live stress-free, very hard to implement but really works when you do it!
Richest Man in Babylon - lays the fundamental groundwork for finances, definitely read this book
How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie - great book, the title sounds evil, but it is not evil at all, it mainly talks about how to be a great person
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki - gives you a very important
fundamental thought process for finances
1 minute millionare - this book gave me the idea on how to create my very unique proposal for my job (I think it would work for any type of job but you will probably need to sit with the ideas for awhile to make it work for you)
Good to Great - more fundamental concepts
Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki - more fundamentals for financial thinking
The Everything Time Management Book - there are probably even better Time Management Books, but this one was solid
The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss - this is my new bible! I can't recommend it enough!
**Landmark Forum - besides everything else I have told you about this, this class can give you the inspiration to live your dreams and become more clear on what you want to do and get you to do it, it is a great combination of motivation and teaching you how to find the areas in your life that are holding you back and then not let them hold you back anymore. I definitely recommend this more than anything else! If you trust my judgement on anything, do this and it will help you do everything else! I really believe this is such an important program for sooo many reasons. Someday, when I own my companies, I will definitely pay to put all of my employees thru the Landmark Forum as a training program because I truly believe they will be more effective at their jobs after doing the forum. Here is the link for the website: http://www.landmarkeducation.com/
Hope this all helps!