Grand River Academy Of Dance

What it Means to Be a Dance Teacher

Miss Carley – a teacher at the studio – has written a guest blog for us!

Thanks Miss Carley!!


A dance teacher, something I have always wanted to be. From the age of 3 in my first dance class, up until the age of 18 in my last senior class, I had always looked up to and admired my instructors. They weren’t only viewed as a teacher, but they were looked at as a role model, a mentor, and a friend.. A dance teacher is a full time job, and a life style.


You see your dance teacher come into the studio with their venti soy-chai latte from Starbucks, 3 bags over their shoulder, and their dinner, at 3:30 PM. You see them set everything down, and begin to get everything ready for their first class of the evening.  They look collected, they look relaxed, and you may think that’s because we’ve slept all day prior to coming here for the evening. You think to yourself, “wow, must be nice…” This is where you’d be wrong. Working as a dance teacher is much more than the 3 hours of class time in the evening. What you don’t see, is the fact that we wake up early in the morning to go to the gym to make sure that we are able to keep up with our students for 6 hours a night, 7 nights a week, with no breaks in between classes.  You don’t see that we are up until 2 AM every night because we’re worried about Suzie picking up the choreography, or about what combination we are going to teach tomorrow. You don’t see the fact that we are working 24/7 editing music, planning choreography and formations, constantly sourcing out costumes and props, and emailing all of our dedicated parents and dance family updated schedules or dealing with conflicts. You don’t see the fact that we rarely get to have an actual dinner we’re living off protein bars and snacks that we can eat while we teach. You don’t see how little we see our loved ones and families because we leave for work when they get home. You also don’t see how much we love it. It’s a crazy life style to lead, and it is constantly hectic. It’s something we would never change. I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world. I love coming home from work covered in sparkles after a costume try on day. I love seeing my student’s hard work pay off and see them grow into beautiful dancers. I love being a role model and a friend to the amazing kids that I teach.  I love watching my students grow up and succeed in every aspect of their young lives. I love being able to share my talents and passion for this art form with others and inspire young minds. You see, I’m not just a dance teacher in that room. I’m a mentor, and educator, an artist, a music editor, a designer, a friend, and sometimes even a therapist. I’m playing a huge role in sculpting these young minds, building their confidence and creating strong independent individuals.  The career isn’t for anybody; some people are just made for it.


To all the fellow dance teachers like myself, thank you for everything that you do. Thank you for all the sleepless nights, all of the hours spent fighting with garage band, and all of those evenings where you’re dinner was an apple and a cold cup of coffee. You are the reason these students can hold their heads high. You are the ones that these kids are writing reports on in school, and you are the ones that they look up to and want to be like one day. To all dance parents and students, be sure to thank your teachers at the end of the day. Give them a hug, let them know how grateful you are, a single thank you can go a long way. Here’s to the wonderful world of dance, and all that is has to offer!