How can adults learn to ballroom dance professionally?

Maybe you’re someone who loves to dance or maybe you just like to watch the dancing shows on television. Perhaps your friend said to you, “You’re such a good dancer. You should learn to ballroom dance professionally!” You think to yourself, “Yeah, that would be so cool.” But, how?

you're a good dancer, you should go to teacher training
You’re a good dancer. I know – so are you!

First, let’s define ‘professional’:  “A professional is someone who is engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.”  

There are a few ways to learn to become a professional ballroom dancer. 

In general, outside of the USA, most ballroom dancers start as amateur competitive partners. Subsequently, they’ll move on to become professional competitors and coaches.  

However, in the States, it’s easy to find an independent ballroom dance studio that offers free training for qualified prospects.  During training, you’ll learn some basic steps, how to teach private lessons and group classes, and the ins-and-outs of selling dance lessons.

Free dance instructor training classes are often casual and conditional.

For instance, there may be an instructor who’ll be working with you. Or, you may work with all of the teachers at one time or another. Furthermore, your training may consist of watching lots of videos and solo practice.

One condition may be that when it’s over, either you teach at the studio or pay for the training you received.

Franchise studios like Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray tend to have a more structured approach to preparing new teachers. In fact, some may even offer paid training.

Whatever course you take, the end result is a career in an exciting industry that will change your life.

My training began at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in NYC. As a student, I made the decision that I wanted more. When I saw an ad in the NY Times for candidates for the training class, I applied. The rest is history.

ballroom dance professionally
Fred Astaire Dance Studio

To learn more about what it was like in the old days, try this Dance Safari post, “Dance Lessons Then & Now – Some Differences“.

Ballroom Dance Teachers College

There’s another option that’s been around for quite a few years. A very well known and respected ballroom dance professional, Diane Jarmalow, created the Ballroom Dance Teachers College in Oakland, CA in 1992.

It’s designed for “anyone with the desire to make teaching dance their career and/or for those who want to improve their dancing by learning both roles in a structured environment.” 

It may be a good choice if you:

  • …want to make a shift from your current career.
  • …are a young adult who knows ballroom dance is the perfect choice for their career.
  • …have retired and would love to spend your free time teaching ballroom dancing.
  • …need a second income and want to earn it as a ballroom dance professional.

There are a variety of options available to future ballroom dance professionals. Should the BDTC location be inconvenient, there are a number of ballroom dance studios across the country that have adopted the program.

The Ballroom Dance Teachers College is proud to announce it is now a state licensed post-secondary education program.

Please visit their website here for more information.

ballroom dance professional
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