7 Steps To Getting Teaching Experience
In today's video post, Corio creator, Elle Kealy is talking about how to get invaluable teaching experience in the dance fitness biz.
It doesn't matter if you're a professional dancer looking to go from performer to instructor or if you've never taught before and you simply need some time standing at the front of the room to test out your skills….
...this video is going to show you how to get teaching experience even if you don't have your qualification yet. A quick caveat, we believe that teaching dance and choreography to music is something that comes with practical experience and as long as your class is fit and healthy and your choreo is simple, then don’t be shy to test your teaching before you get that piece of paper.
(We’re not suggesting that you present yourself as a full-fledged fitness trainer before you know how to safely guide your clients, that will come later..OK..back to those tips...)
SEVEN STEPS TO GETTING DANCE FITNESS TEACHING EXPERIENCE
#1 TAKE CLASSES
The first one is just simply to take as many classes as possible. You can take them as a student, but as you're going into that class, try and notice what the instructor's doing. What works? What doesn't work? What do you like? What do you not like?
Rather than just seeing it from a client point of view, analyze exactly what the instructors are doing, and take as many different classes as you can. Each one is going to be a totally different experience, based on the instructor and the way that they teach.
#2 TELL EVERYONE!
The second option for getting more teaching experience is to tell people that this is what you're planning to do. No one's going to offer you teaching experience if they don't know that you're training or looking to become a dance fitness instructor. So, put it on Facebook. Tell everyone that you meet. When you go to these classes, tell the studios.
Say hi to the instructor and tell them that you're hoping to teach soon, you're not qualified yet, but you're looking to get experience. The more you put it out there the more opportunities are going to come your way, and I know this can be scary sometimes, especially if we suffer from impostor syndrome which I will be talking about later on, but just be public about what you're doing and more opportunities will flow your way.
3# ENLIST FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Number three is to actually teach. (I know you're thinking, "Yes, but where?").
Start with your friends and your family. You're going to need a group of people that you can road-test on, so, start now. Get together a small group. Do a workshop if people won't commit to a regular thing. Hold it in your house. Hold it at your friend's house. Hold it at a local community center. It doesn't matter what you do, but just practice, even if it's for an hour, you will learn so much from teaching those friends and family.
#4 NO GROUP? GRAB YOUR CAMERA
Point number four is if you don't have friends and family to teach to, teach to yourself. Now, I love this one. It's something I didn't start doing as soon as I should have done. Teach to camera.
These days it's really easy to pop up an iPhone and film yourself teaching a class or teaching imaginary students and then watch it back. The key when you do this is don't stop! Imagine you're in a real class and imagine you're really teaching. You can practice your vocal cueing, you can practice your mirroring, and then you can actually watch yourself back and see where the gaps are and what you need to improve. (I love this one…)
#5 ASK YOUR LOCAL STUDIO
If you are already taking classes somewhere and there's a particular place that you want to teach, then just tell them that you're interested in teaching. Some of these places may have instructor training programs, some of them may have apprenticeship programs, where you can actually shadow or assist a current instructor, and they may do that as a swap for classes, for example.
This is also going to help you build credibility on your resume.
#6 START YOUR OWN CLASSES
Feeling all bosslike? Sometimes we can't get experience because there's no positions in our local area, so your only option is to start your own thing. Now, the pro’s of this is include that it’s very profitable AND you can learn on the job, so this is certainly something that we actually encourage our instructors to once they’ve passed basic training.
This is also a way that you can actually start to build your client base and practice what you're learning as you go.
#7 REACH OUT TO YOUR COMMUNITY
Number seven is to offer your services locally to events, to charities and to schools. You don't necessarily need to be paid to get experience, and there are lots of people who would love to have an aspiring dance fitness instructor come to them and share their skills and knowhow. So have a look in your local area at events that are going on and contact the organizers, and just offer a 30 minute or 40 minutes workshop for free, and again, that will go onto your resume, and help you build your confidence skills.
You can also get access to teaching a lot of different demographic populations doing this, so you may be teaching adults, you may be teaching children, and it really broadens your horizons.
Those are my top tips for getting teaching experience. Whatever you do, do not be afraid to put yourself out there, even if you haven't quite got your qualification yet, there are always steps you can be taking to master the art of teaching dance fitness.
Until next time... I'll be back with some more tips and tricks to turn you into a rockstar dance fitness instructor.
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