Whether you are teaching ten students or one hundred students, one parent or all of your students’ parents at once, it is important to always put your best foot and your best qualities forward. Your main duty to your students is to teach them how to dance, but beyond that, you may also end up being part of their support system, a role model, and even a friend.

1. Knowledgeable

“If you don’t know dance, you can’t teach dance.”

2. Attentive

“You have to be a good listener. Stop what you’re doing and look directly at whoever is talking to you. If you don’t have time at the moment, schedule time later. Respond to show you’re interested and don’t cut the conversation short. Pay attention to how the person is acting – nervous, angry, concerned, etc. – and react appropriately.”

3. Sincere

“Don’t say one thing and do another. Don’t pretend you’re interested in a student’s problem, then do nothing about it. The quickest way to turn off students and parents is to be phony.”

4. Understanding

“Do your best to relate to the students. You don’t have to be “Dear Abby,” but realize it isn’t easy being a kid today and show your concern when there appears to be a problem.”

5. Respectful

“Place all your students on the same high level no matter what their backgrounds, abilities, or personalities. Treat each one as if he or she were your only student. You very well may be their only dance teacher.”

No matter how many students you have, how diverse their personalities or their problems, show them you care in every move you make, and teach them to be the best they can be with every word you say.