Becoming A Belly Dance Teacher - 2. So You Think You Can Teach?
After you’ve researched a potential teaching area, found a studio and lined up a student base, you’re ready to start teaching. Or are you?
While this is not a comprehensive list, here are a few more things you need to consider before that first class:
1. Are you charging the correct rates? Perhaps you think you might entice students by offering a lower cost. This could be an appealing thought, but what happens if you decide to stop teaching after a few months? Have you unknowingly helped drive down the teaching rates in that area? The best practice would be to gauge what other teachers in that area are charging and set your rates commensurate with those.
2. What about safety? Do you understand enough about proper posture and body alignment? If movements are taught incorrectly, not only will you perpetuate poor habits, but you might put your students at risk for injury.
3. Why do you want to teach? This can be a sticky question to answer. Are you offering something new and different? Filling a unique niche, perhaps tribal belly dance in an area with only cabaret teachers? Are you looking to share your knowledge with others or are you selfishly looking for validation? To some, the moniker of teacher brings a legitimacy they may feel they are lacking, but teaching before you are ready will often bring about scorn in a community. (It is not always intentional on the part of the community, but it can be hard to take someone serious as a teacher if they’ve not had the proper instruction beforehand.)
4. Have you given serious thought to the structure and tone of your classes? Are you prepared to give gentle, non-combative correction to your students, encouragement when needed, and homework? Even if you’re teaching beginner basics, you need to make sure your classes are well thought-out to provide a true learning experience.
All of these things need to be given proper consideration before embarking upon teaching. Teaching is not an automatic right granted after taking classes or performing for a certain length of time. Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher; it is up to you to determine if you’re truly ready for the responsibility.