Ms. Tiffany's Dance

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September Topic- Protecting Yourself as a Dance Instructor

Posted by mstiffy on September 8, 2009 at 7:37 PM

So you were just hired as a dance instructor huh? Or maybe you have been teaching for a while and still don't know exactly all the details at your studio. As instructors, we are the backbone to any dance studio. We work directly with the students harvesting their technique. We also talk directly to parents about the progress of the child/children. Without us, there would be no studio. Before accepting an opportunity to be an instructor, there are several things that should be discussed between you and your SO (Studio Owner).

 

  • Know exactly how much time you will be committing to your studio. It's important to know how many classes you will be teaching a week.  You should have a concrete schedule that does not change from week to week or month to month. This is not only good for you as the instructor, but also for your students. If things seem shaky, consider going somewhere else. Never commit to more time than you know you can commit to. Committing to more than you can handle can hurt you and the studio. If you feel like a lot is being put on you, talk to you SO before anything is written in stone.
  • Know exactly how much you will be paid. There is nothing worse than getting your first check and receiving a lot less than what you expected. Whether you are paid by class or by hours spent at the studio, make sure all the details are clear before jumping on board.
  • Have all important information in writing. All the details about your job description, pay and other responsibilities should be received in writing, before accepting the position; this way if anything changes without your knowledge, you can go back to your originial policy agreement.
  • Talk to your SO. You should feel comfortable enough with your SO to talk to him/her about any problems you may encounter. He/She should be easily accessible and there to help and make things clear. Also, if there is ever a problem with a parent, you should only work for an SO that backs up the instructor (within reason) and not automatically sides with the parents. Having an SO that does not back his/her employees is bad news.
  • Never teach a class that you are not properly trained in. Never feel pressured to teach a class that you do not have the proper training in. Doing so can hurt your reputation and the business of the school. Always make sure you know your craft inside and out. Attend classes, read books, or do anything else that helps you grow as an instructor. Your students will thank you.
  • Always be honest about your training. Nothing is worse than stretching the truth about your dance background and then landing a class that is way beyond your dancing ability. If you have only done ballet for 2 years, than make sure you SO knows that upfront. If your experience is the difference if you being hired or not, don't lie. You can always train more, or apply for a lower level class or perhaps at another studio.

These are just a few things that I feel are very important before taking the leap to being a dance instructor. It can be stressful at times, but the rewards outweigh the stress. Feel free to comment and add!

 

Stayed tuned! Next month we will discuss protecting yourself as a freelance dancer.

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4 Comments

Reply taishimmalk
6:18 AM on January 15, 2010 
I would like too take some time too thank the active members for doing what you do and making the community what it is im a long time reader and first time poster so i just wanted to say thanks.
Reply Mycle
12:17 PM on January 31, 2010 
I think this is very important for all dance instructors to know. Thank you for posting this. I will forward to my friends.
Reply Utisrurse
9:51 PM on February 8, 2010 
Just wanted to say hello to all here. This is my 1st message here.

It certainly appears the moderators of the forum sure are doing a wonderful job.

I look forward to learn a lot of info here and help other people all I can.
Reply Wahrsagen Kostenlos
5:38 PM on February 20, 2010 
Thx for the informations!!

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