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Research Paper

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  • 1. Lemons 1Emily LemonsMrs. LesterAdv. Comp.11 October 2011 Dance Educators Approximately 43 percent of American children receive dance as part of theirphysical education in school. Out of these 43 percent, only 7 percent received thiseducation from a dance professional, all others were taught by a physical educationteacher (Statistics). Different dance forms have always had a spot in the life of a greatpart of American children. If asked, most girls would say that they received some sort ofdance training as a child. But, dance is beginning to make a greater appearance in theeducation of children. Although dance has started to come back, there are many issueswhen pursuing a career in dance education. A dance teacher may be scattering thoughtsin many different ways, seeking higher pay, the job is also physically demanding, and jobopportunities are dwindling with the economy. Dance educators have many responsibilities that require one to be able to handlemany different tasks at once. Teachers may choreograph dances, teach students propertechnique, correct any mistakes to prevent injury, and record any progress made to adance or what the dancers being taught need to improve on in order to keep movingforward in their dance career. It is the responsibility of the dance teacher to keep studentssafe and help them progress (“Choreographers“). Because this job has so many duties,many people are not able to stay on task and get everything done. The many requirementsof a dance educator weed out the good teachers from the bad very quickly (Grist). Any
  • 2. Lemons 2person who is not able to multitask will realize this quickly, and should either improve onthat skill, or choose another career. Although some can not juggle the manyresponsibilities at first, there are many ways to improve upon this issue. One solutionmay be staying organized. By keeping a notebook of lessons and improvements forstudents a teacher can easily keep track of any issues that the students face. Likewise,having an older student to help a dance teacher could minimize the stress that is being puton the dance teacher. Assistant teachers can help give corrections, remember anycombinations from one class to the next, and keep notes for the teacher. Lack of focusand multitasking skills will always be an issue in the career of dance educators. Manypeople are not able to multitask successfully, meaning that some are not able to be a gooddance teacher. No matter what, this will always be a struggle. But, in time a person canfigure out what organization skills work best for them and successfully overcome theirproblems with multitasking (Risner). Handling all of the many tasks a dance teacher faceseffectively, could affect pay. Another issue that dance teachers face is pay. Most dance teachers are not paidwell (Career Information- Dancers). Many dance teachers face low pay that createstension in their life. Most feel the pressure and decide that it is too much. Having low paycreates conflict that may cause one to worry about paying bills, supporting a family, andstaying happy. A solution to the low pay of a dance educator is to take a second job thatdoes not conflict with the teaching schedule. Taking a second job could alleviate anypressure that is put on a dance teacher to make more money. Most dance teachers teach atmore than one dance school, or have another completely unrelated job (Risner). Althoughsome sources conflict, overall it seems that the need for dance teachers has gone down,
  • 3. Lemons 3meaning that the pay has also declined. According to some sources, the future for danceeducation is bright. If this is true, there will be a higher demand for dance teachers, andtherefore a higher pay. Dance teachers are stressed mentally by the low pay, but there isalso physical stress that comes along with the position of a dance educator (“BusinessIdea Center”). Being a dance teacher can be physically demanding at times. When a danceteacher is young, it is expected that dance lessons are taken and the teacher is able toshow the dancers being taught what to do. If a teacher also takes classes, it can be tiring.But, taking classes and being physically able to show students what to do makes a greatdance teacher. If a teacher is able to help students, it could help improve some of theother challenges of being a dance teacher. For example, a raise in pay could be plausibleif a teacher can help the students. Although taking classes as well as teaching them can bephysically straining, it can also be its own solution. If a person only takes a dance classevery so often, it would be more strenuous, therefore more demanding. But, if that persontook dance classes more often, they would seem easier, and they would be less difficult.Also, taking dance classes often opens a dance teacher’s eyes to new techniques thatcould be used in class to help the students understand better. No matter what, danceteachers will always be expected to stay physically fit. As a dance teacher gets older, theexpectations will become lessened and students will rely more on word of mouth. By thetime a dance teacher has become too old to show students, the teacher should be able tofully explain how to do things for the students. If a new dance teacher is in shape, it couldhelp in the search for a job. When a teacher is fit and able to lead by example, it is morelikely that the person will get a job (“Choreographers”).
  • 4. Lemons 4 Although dance education is not a common career choice like early childhoodeducation, it still lacks jobs. Because there is a low availability of jobs, many people areseeking jobs in other fields. Although dance teachers love teaching, sometimes there is nochoice but to look for another job that either pays better, or is available. Some argue thatdance is making a come back in the culture of Americans, but there is still a lack of jobs(Career Information- Dancers). If more people were to take an interest in dance, morejobs as dance teachers would be needed. One solution to the lack of jobs could be raisingawareness of the arts. Most people do not realize the importance of arts in a child’s life.By staying involved in an extracurricular activity, such as dance, keeps a child fromgiving in to temptations. By raising parents’ awareness of these effects, more childrenmay be involved in dance classes, and more dance teachers would be needed. Theoutlook for job opportunity is all dependent on the economy. If the economy starts to getbetter, more positions as dance teachers will be open. If a parents have money, childrenare more likely to be involved in extracurricular activities that require a monthly bill,such as dance. Jobs for dance teachers could become more available if the economy startsto improve and if the public is more aware of the positive effects of dancing(“Choreographers”). Some of the issues that a dance teacher faces are more serious than others.Overall, a career in this field may not be the wisest choice. The research done suggeststhat there are a few very serious issues that may not make teaching dance worth the risk.The job is demanding mentally, the pay is low, it is also physically demanding, and thereare not many job opportunities. But, if a person loves dance and is willing to work, thecareer could be okay.

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