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How does one become a high school dance team director?? en>fr fr>en
By luvs2dance27 Comments: 25, member since Mon Oct 25, 2010
On Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:18 AM

Besides having a degree, what would be another way to be considered for a teaching job (dance) at a high school...?

I'm interested in applying to be a director of a high school dance team but do not have a degree. I have been teaching dance (jazz, lyrical, ballet, hip-hop, tap, musical theater...) for 15 yrs, so I definitely have experience, but I'm not sure if that's enough for a school district. Anyone familiar with this? Any suggestions or ideas on what I can do? Are there teaching certificates I can acquire (within a year or two) that would meet a school's requirements? Any help would be greatly appreciated! :)

5 Replies to How does one become a high school dance team director??

re: How does one become a high school dance team director?? en>fr fr>en
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member Comments: 7286, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:49 AM
Most coahces now-a-days that I know of must also be a certified teacher: schools don't have as much money as they should, so they have the teachers act as coaches for dance and sports. Even when some schools allow non-Education majors to do something like Art classes or Dance classes, they still have to have at least a Bachelors. I really doubt you'd be able to reach that position within the next year.

You need to look up the legal requirements in your state: start with your State's Department of Education website.
re: How does one become a high school dance team director?? en>fr fr>en
By vista5Premium member Comments: 1150, member since Mon May 07, 2007
On Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:12 PM
If it is dance team - not a class - you may not need a degree. Two of my teachers are dance team coaches (at two different high schools) and neither has a degree. Both started as assistant coaches and moved to head coach when the position opened up. Warning - does not pay much, lots of teenage drama and angst, parent politics. Fortunately they both have Athletic directors who are willing to back them up.

I would say the thing to do is go to the school to express your interest in the position and watch the employment listings for your school district. Just be ready to go into the school with the attitude that you will "help" for a while.
re: How does one become a high school dance team director?? en>fr fr>en
By Triskitmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 5126, member since Mon Jul 22, 2002
On Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:57 PM
Edited by Triskit (33746) on 2011-03-15 12:58:39
I do have a degree in dance, but in my state you don't need a degree to be a coach. I've had multiple offers to take on dance and cheer coach positions if it didn't cut into my teaching time then I might do it, but I have a full teaching schedule and make way more teaching then I would coaching.

Each school is different in regards to their budget for a particular sport. In general cheer has a larger budget then the dance teams.

Talk to the Athletic Director at the schools in your area to find out the requirements.
re: How does one become a high school dance team director?? en>fr fr>en
By luvs2dance27 Comments: 25, member since Mon Oct 25, 2010
On Tue Mar 15, 2011 01:08 PM
Thank you for all your suggestions! This helps - I'm looking into it as we speak. I also teach dance (part time) but have always wanted to direct/coach a dance team. Thanks for the heads up about the salary though - that will be something I'd have to consider, as well as, maybe just 'helping' out for a while before becoming perm... :)
re: How does one become a high school dance team director?? en>fr fr>en
By Tap_Dance_Kid Comments: 585, member since Sun Dec 09, 2007
On Wed Mar 16, 2011 09:42 PM
I'm in Michigan and you do not need any type of degree or certification to coach at any level. Some schools will hire any puppet...and I do NOT use the term "puppet" loosely.

The fact that you have 15 years of experience teaching dance will probably be more than enough to impress the higher-ups. I got a job coaching a high school JV Pom team with only 10 years of dance classes, 4 years of high school Pom experience and 1 year of assistant coaching experience under my belt.

If the school's Dance Team has a very long tradition of high standing and prestige...then they may want more of a structured education/degree in a Coach.

I have to warn you, being a coach for a high school dance team is a WORLD different from being a Dance Teacher...the mindset is completely different. In a school program, most parents look at it as a free babysitter and put their noses into EVERYTHING and some team members look at it as a popularity contest. At studios, parents have to pay for the education so they tend to take it more seriously. I coached for 3 years and after teaching in studios for 5, I will NEVER go back to coaching...EVER!

I say go for it! Dont worry if you dont have a degree, you dont need it. If you have the passion and the talent, you will be great! I taught with someone who had a bachelors in Dance and she was a complete talentless hack. She couldnt physically teach a class (she always sat down), her choreography was bland, she refused to teach anything below an advanced level and she had no clue how to interact or speak to/with students. This led to major lack of respect from the students and ultimately her departure from the studio. She was then hired by another studio and let go 2 months later, after the SO realized the same thing we did years earlier. I hear she is making decent money now as a waitress...lol

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