Becoming a ballroom dance teacher is a big decision. Often your immediate family and friends are not supportive—they don’t think it’s a “real” career and are concerned you won’t “make it”. I know, because I had this experience when I decided to become a dance teacher.
My story begins in 1971, after graduating college with a major in Mathematics. I was supposed to become a math teacher. After all, teachers got summers and holidays off, benefits and pensions, and were home from work early enough to take care of their own kids.
But for me, it just wasn’t feeling right. My father was a professional musician who taught piano, accordion, and guitar. I grew up with music, dance, and a father who loved his work. So perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised when, after college, I found myself wanting to pursue a career in the arts, not in math.
At first I had lots of doubts. Thoughts like, “Am I doing the right thing abandoning a career with security and benefits?” played in my mind. Then I reminded myself of people I knew who had those things and were not satisfied. I often heard people say, “I’m doing this job because it pays well, but I’d really rather be a musician (artist, dancer, etc.)”.
I recalled the saying “No one on their death bed ever says ‘I wish I spent more time at the office’.” Then I thought, “If this doesn’t work out, will it be the end of the world? At least I will have tried!” With these thoughts guiding me, I liberated myself from parental scrutiny, and decided to become a ballroom dance teacher.
Becoming a professional ballroom dance teacher was the best decision I ever made. I get to dance every day, make a good living, be creative, help people, improve my own dancing, and always feel challenged and excited. I’ve enjoyed watching students blossom from shy and reclusive to confident, social people.
I also have a wonderful group of friends who all love dance and teaching. My posture is excellent and I don’t have the aches and pains my non-dancing friends seem to have. I dance with my husband—what a great marital aide! The opportunities and benefits of the ballroom dance world are endless.
Sometimes you have to step out on a limb in order to reach the flowers!