Forum: Teaching Assistants

Becoming a Teaching Assistant with little experience.
By paulyd93
On Thu Jul 14, 2016 05:56 AM

I know this is a weird question, but please bear with me.

I am from Ireland, and contemporary dance isn't a huge thing here. I have been doing Irish dance since I was 3, and since then have toured with numerous shows, competed on world stages, and even achieved top 5 in the World Irish Dancing Championships. I have also been fortunate enough to work with and choreograph dances for numerous dances who have won the world championships. I am now a fully qualified Irish dance teacher, registered with the leading, most competitive Irish dancing commission in the world.

When I was around 16, I began watch SYTYCD and discovered contemporary/modern/lyrical/jazz dance. I immediately loved it, and since then have taught myself by watch various videos and taking online classes. I know all the correct terminology, and have even learned ballet terminology also. I have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to choreograph a few number for local dance groups and productions, and I believe that this is where my talents lie. However, the flexibility and everything that contemporary/jazz/lyrical etc. dancers need isn't there, as I was too old when I started self tutoring.

I would love to break into the assistant/teaching/choreography line of work in America, and would be willing to move to America to pursue this. I have degrees in Education and teaching (academic), so could also provide homeschool tutoring for pupils, and could provide Irish dance lessons. Is this a viable option, or should I just give up on it now? I like Irish dance, but my true passion lies in the more modern contemporary choreography. Sorry for the long winded question! Didn't know how to make it any shorter.

5 Replies to Becoming a Teaching Assistant with little experience.

re: Becoming a Teaching Assistant with little experience.
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:59 AM
What do you have to lose? Start getting your information together - a proper resume, a video reel with some of your choreography, that sort of thing - and start contacting studios in the states. You've got piles of experience otherwise, no one can dispute that. Plenty of qualifications that many studios in the area would love to have at their disposal. You never know if you don't ask, right?
re: Becoming a Teaching Assistant with little experience.
By paulyd93
On Mon Jul 18, 2016 06:37 PM
Thank you for your reply Theresa. I have taken our advice and e-mailed a number of studios and explained my situation and qualifications. I have told them that I would send on a video of my work (Irish dancing choreography mainly, both competitive and show dancing) if they are interested. I really hope this works out, it is my dream. However, I fear man studios will not take competitive Irish dancing as seriously as other forms of dance, despite the fact that Irish dancing is one of the most widely toured shows (so far I have toured Europe and Australia, as well as parts of Asia and America, and I am just 23!). If you would have any other advice I'd truly appreciate it!
re: Becoming a Teaching Assistant with little experience.
By dancinlinz
On Wed Jul 20, 2016 02:02 PM
My studio in Florida offers Irish dance and we are one of only two in our city who do - and it is POPULAR! I bet if we sat down and counted, we would have more Irish students than others. I would try to get in the door with being an Irish teacher, and maybe try to find a studio that offers adult classes in the genres you would like to study - ballet/lyrical etc. Take classes from them, and then offer to assist with younger ones and see where it takes you from there. It will never hurt to ask!
re: Becoming a Teaching Assistant with little experience.
By paulyd93
On Wed Jul 20, 2016 04:25 PM
Thank you dancinlinz. I will try to emphasize my Irish dancing so. Do you think I should send my video reel with first e-mail, or wait for a reply? Also, as I would have to move from Ireland to America I would need to ensure that I was making enough money to sustain myself, so it will need to be a full-time dancing job, or doing in-studio home schooling in the morning, then doing Irish dancing/conditioning/flexibility lessons in the afternoon.

I believe that I could make a world champion from a competitive dance studio in under 2 years (especially if the child in question has taken tap). The desired traits in Irish dancing and other forms of dance are the same; flexibility, turn out, stage presence, control, rhythm, timing. It is just about finding a studio that will take me. I've e-mailed a number of studios already, but am not getting any reply.
re: Becoming a Teaching Assistant with little experience.
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 21, 2016 07:58 AM
If you're needing full time income, you might be looking at more than one studio at a time. Most studios (maybe not all, but certainly the wide majority) don't pay full time income.

Keep your details a little bit sparse. Think like it's a job interview - cause in effect, it is - and leave out "I'm going to need a lot of money because I'm immigrating to the US for you, you know!". Think more "I'm awesome, and you'd all be lucky to have me!" :)

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