Dance Instructor Certification and Certificate Program Overviews

Oct 20, 2021

Essential Information

Dance instructor certificate programs provide training in expressive movement principles and various forms of dance, including modern, jazz, tap and ballet. Some schools might offer certificates in each form, rather than include them all in the same curriculum.

Most programs require only a high school diploma or equivalent for admission. Some programs expect a bachelor's degree. Applicants with prior training in dance are strongly preferred. After graduation, students can earn voluntary certification from one of the many professional dance instructor organizations, which will prove expertise in the field.

Dance Instructor Certificate Programs

Dance instructor certificate classes cover elements in performance and style. Students develop lesson plans and learn proper alignment and movement. Coursework is a combination of classroom study, performance and independent projects. Often available are electives related to physical movement, such as fitness training, kinesiology, anatomy and physiology. Some common courses include:

  • Teaching dance technique
  • Dance composition
  • Production choreography
  • Dance rehearsal and performance
  • Tap dance
  • Jazz dance

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a dance instructor certificate program are qualified to teach in local recreation programs or as private tutors. Certificate holders who go on to earn an advanced degree in education may teach at the elementary, high school and college levels.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Although specific figures for dance instructors are not available, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of choreographers over the 2019-2029 decade will grow at a rate of 14%. Their mean annual salary as of May 2020 was $52,000 (

Continuing Education Information

Certification isn't required for dance instructors by law, but a number of professional organizations, like the Dance Masters of America and National Dance Education Organization, offer it to instructors who meet their background and continuing education standards. Instructors who want to work in the public school system need a state teaching license, which generally entails earning at least a bachelor's degree, completing a training program and demonstrating proficiency in the subject.

Dance instructor certificate program curriculum includes performances and projects. Students learn about various forms of dance and teaching techniques.

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