Without a doubt, the professional dancers on Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) are raking it in—and they deserve to! The amount of hard work, dedication to their art (not to mention the time spent on tanning beds, gym workouts and eyelash glue!) earns them the reputation of being la creme de la creme of the ballroom dance world.
Does everyone want to take lessons from these pros? Yeah, it might be fun to do it once ($250 for 45 minutes).
Do beginning students need the talents of a DWTS pro to learn to dance? Most certainly not!
Is there room to be successful as a regular, everyday ballroom dance teacher? Totally!
My experience is that what matters most to people is having a teacher who is knowledgeable, clear, caring, considerate and responsible. This type of teacher can come in a range of ages, sizes and dance levels.
I know a teacher in the SF Bay Area who consistently earns a six-figure salary every year. Is he on a television dance show or have championship titles? Nope. He’s a regular guy in his 50s who has never competed professionally.
What makes this particular teacher successful is his outstanding work ethic, his ability to connect with his students, and his knowledge (he takes regular training to both inspire him and keep his skills at a high level). These are the kinds of qualities that make teachers a magnet for students.
Last weekend, while teaching a Move Like a Champion workshop in Maryland, I met another successful teacher (also in her 50s). She teaches social dancing only, and says her students never leave her. Well, you only need so many students who never leave you before your teaching calendar is fully booked!
So, how does a non-celebrity, non-championship dance teacher make a good living? Let’s calculate:
- 20 lessons/week at $75/hour = $1,500/week = $75,000/year…not bad!
- Add another 10 lessons/week and you’re making six figures: $112,500…you can spend $12,000 on training and other expenses and still hit $100k!
So the moral of this story is clear: Being a financially successful teacher has little or nothing to do with whether you’ve been on television or won a championship title.
Instead, having a thriving business as a ballroom dance instructor simply comes from being dedicated to your craft, teaching in a clear and consistent manner, and being considerate toward your students.
Are you an “everyday dance teacher” making a living doing what you love?
Leave a comment and help inspire dancers who worry they’re not “good enough” to become a ballroom dance teacher.