What does a Ballet Teacher do?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 February 2020
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A ballet teacher is a person who teaches ballet, a classical form of dance. The field of ballet dancers is dominated by women, but there are also male ballet dancers. The same is true among teachers of this dance form. While most ballet teachers are women, there are some male instructors in the field.

Most dance teachers operate out of a studio. The studio may focus on one kind of dance such as ballet, tap, jazz, or salsa. Some studios do teach numerous forms of dance. It is not uncommon for a ballet teacher to also teach classes in other forms of dance such as modern dance or swing dance.

It is key for a dance teacher of any sort to have a good deal of experience in his or her field. A ballet teacher, for example, should have many years of training that includes experience as a performer. It is this kind of experience that prepares a person to become a dance teacher. He or she must not only know all of the basic steps, but also the philosophy of movement that guides the dances.


A working knowledge of ballet history and famous ballerinas and choreographers is both important and helpful for a ballet teacher. This kind of information will help a teacher to understand the story behind famous ballets such as The Nutcracker and Swan Lake and pass on this knowledge to students. Understanding the origins of the art form as well as the current practices helps to make a ballet teacher a more effective educator and provides a better experience for the students.

A ballet teacher may teach students at a number of different skill and experience levels. Some ballet classes are geared toward very small children, as young as three or four years old. These classes focus on the fundamentals of movement and the basic steps in ballet. Other classes are for advanced students who may already be performing on the professional or semi-professional level.

There are also ballet classes for adult beginners. These classes are intended for adults who are looking for a fun way to exercise and become more limber. A ballet teacher may be responsible for teaching a wide range of classes such as the kinds discussed thus far. The kinds of classes that a teacher leads depends on the needs of the studio as well as the teacher’s background and experience.



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