CREATED: 07.03.2024UPDATED: 09.03.2024

Teach Dance Online in Seven Steps

Teach Dance Online in Seven Steps

Discover how to teach dance online and open up your classes to a whole new audience of people who want to get into your groove.

Dancing is a social activity. There are no two ways around that, as you’ll see in almost any dancehall or dance class around the country – all feature multiple people learning or grooving along to the music. You know this as a dance teacher, which makes the idea of trying to conduct lessons online seem strange. You lose the social “glue” that has been part of dance instruction for decades. But what you may not realize is that you also have the potential to create a more comfortable environment for your students.


Simply put, not everybody who wants to learn how to dance wants to do so in front of other people who they may feel are judging them. Many feel more confident taking lessons in their own homes – away from prying eyes – until they’re ready to dance in public. As a dance teacher, this presents you with an opportunity to not only offer lessons online but to monetize an audience that you may not be able to serve with traditional dance classes.

But you need to know how which is where this article comes in. Read on to discover the steps you need to take to teach dance online effectively.

Why Teach Dance Online in the First Place?

Before we get into the how, let’s focus on a different question:

Why become an online dance tutor at all?

That’s a question that’ll definitely be swirling around in the minds of existing teachers – who already have their own studios – because their current models may be profitable. But even for those old heads, there are plenty of reasons to take your dance lessons online.

Reason 1 – Enormous Reach

If you’re a local teacher, you can maybe handle between five and ten students per lesson, depending on your studio’s size. And those lessons are restricted by student availability and simply the number of people in your area who want to learn how to dance.

Those restrictions disappear when you start to teach dance online.

You open your lessons up to a global audience, with anybody being able to access them as long as they have an internet connection and a device that plays video.

Reason 2 – Mitigate the Missed Class Issue

Missed classes are a nightmare for traditional dance teachers.

Whether the class is canceled at the last minute because an issue arose for the student or you have to cancel yourself, missed classes ultimately take money out of your pocket. Plus, we know what a few missed classes in a row for students means – a decline in confidence that could lead to them quitting altogether.

Missed classes don’t necessarily go away when you teach dance online, especially if you livestream lessons.

But they’re not so much of a burden, for you or your students. On the student front, somebody who’s struggling with confidence can catch up in their own time, without having to worry about falling behind the rest of a class. As for you, the online domain gives you more schedule flexibility anyway, so a few misses aren’t going to cause issues with rent and lost students.

Reason 3 – Overcoming the Shyness Barrier

We touched on this one above, but it’s worth digging deeper into just how much of an impact shyness has on a dance student.

Dance – by its very nature – is a performative art.

Performing takes courage. A level of expertise. Both of which – especially those new to dance – some students may lack. So, forcing those prospective students into a studio situation where they’re essentially forced to perform in front of an audience of fellow students is counterproductive.

Much better to have those students learning from home until they’re ready to dance in front of people.

Online classes facilitate the process.

Traditional classes don’t unless you go the profit-restricting one-on-one route.

How to Teach Dance Online – The Key Steps

You have the why, but you’re still left with a problem:

You have your dancing shoes on but no idea what to do next when it comes to setting up your online classes.

That’s where these steps come in – seven things you have to do to get your classes up and running.

Step 1 – Know Thy Audience

The intro touched on this a little, as many members of your potential audience will be people who feel uncomfortable with the traditionally social aspects of dance lessons. They prefer to learn alone. Your online courses and videos help them to do that.

But there’s another reason why people want to learn how to dance:

It makes them happy.

They are so happy, in fact, that they become actively unhappy if they don’t know how to dance. That unhappiness may be a skill-based problem, i.e., the prospective dancer wants to get their groove on because they see others enjoying it. But they don’t know how and don’t want to humiliate themselves by tripping over their own feet. Thus, they’re unhappy because they can’t dance at all.

Or, your prospective student is already a capable dancer, but they’re unhappy because they feel like they’ve stagnated in their learning. Dance has become boring – even repetitive – to them, and they’re looking for new moves to stimulate their passion.

Whatever the case may be, your first step is to realize that your videos and course content solve a problem for these people. Yes, you’re teaching them how to dance. But your reason for doing so is that you’re helping them to feel happy again. And therein lies a tool you’ll be able to use in your ongoing marketing. While your credentials (and your moves) show that you’re an able teacher, it’s what you can offer beyond the steps that will mark you out as an online dance tutor with whom students will want to engage.

Know Thy Audience

Step 2 – Figure Out How You’ll Deliver Your Lessons

Next up – lesson delivery, or how to teach dance online in a way your students can actually access your lessons. You won’t be working in the traditional dancehall environment with online lessons, which means you have to choose between four ways of teaching that may be unfamiliar to you:

  • Live group lessons
  • Pre-recorded lessons
  • Live solo lessons
  • Gamification

Live Group Lessons

The idea with live group lessons is to stay as close to the classroom environment as possible while allowing people to learn in their own homes. These lessons are similar to traditional classes. Participants follow your lead and will be able to observe other students dancing, meaning live group lessons are great for students who like the social aspects of dance. Of course, that also means they may not be the best choice for people who’d rather learn without others watching them.

The tech you use is key here. While you need a good camera – high-definition is a must because your students must observe your movements – you’ll also need access to video conferencing software that enables group use. Zoom is a good choice, though you’ll have to deal with its 40-minute time limit on lessons if your students are using the free version of the software.

Pre-Recorded Lessons

Pre-recording your dance lessons is a great choice if you’re showcasing steps and your students don’t need live feedback from their instructor. It also opens you up to a large audience – a live group session may only include about 10 people, whereas a pre-recorded video could theoretically be watched (and bought) by millions.

Choosing an appropriate hosting platform is your biggest challenge here. Social media sites, like Facebook and YouTube, offer video hosting, but they’re difficult to monetize. Plus, in the case of YouTube, peppering your video with ads to make some money from it could distract from the lesson and irritate your students.

Thankfully, there are alternatives. BlurBay is an example. Operating on a pay-to-view streaming model, BlurBay allows you to upload videos to its platform and charge viewers whatever price you choose to access the recording. The platform takes a 5% commission in return for hosting the videos and handling the payments for you, meaning you only need to worry about getting your video right. It’s a great choice for people who want to monetize their online dance lessons without building their own website dedicated to selling their courses.

Live Solo Lessons

Live Solo Lessons

Online solo lessons use the same approach – live streaming over an appropriate platform – as their group equivalents, only with the obvious difference of being one-on-one sessions. They’re ideal for dance coaches who offer lessons to complete novices, as well as those who work with experienced dancers to refine their movements ahead of shows.

While monetizing these lessons is easy (you charge per hour), live solo lessons are less profitable than group sessions or pre-recorded videos that can be purchased by a large audience.


Turning learning how to dance into a game may be a good idea if you’re looking to create some competition within your lessons. For instance, you could conduct a class where you showcase a move before challenging students to create and submit their own recordings of them completing the same action.

Social media is usually your best platform for this approach, though monetization is an obvious issue. Consider using dance-based games as marketing tools instead. For instance, somebody who’s made a popular pre-recorded dance lesson could incorporate a dance challenge into which participants submit their entries to social media with an appropriate hashtag. You get free exposure among each dancer’s friend group, with the videos they submit also serving as social proof to demonstrate how effective your lessons are.

Step 3 – Pick a Lane

When you start to teach dance online, you’ll soon realize that you’re entering a broad category.

Ballet. Tap. Street. Swing. Contemporary.

There are so many options to choose from and you can’t try to teach them all. Even if you’re capable enough to do so – well done, dance maverick! – trying to do it all will lead to your videos and courses becoming confusing. You’ll struggle to build yourself up as a master of one style when you’re bouncing between dozens of different types of dancing.

Not being a master means your students bounce away to somebody who is.

So, pick a lane.

In other words, choose the style of dance with which you’re most comfortable – and most knowledgeable – and focus on developing lesson plans for that style.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never be able to branch out into lessons on other dance styles in the future. Rather, we’ve found that starting with one style – and building a strong reputation for that style – helps you to build a committed audience. Once that audience realizes you’re a master in the style you’re teaching, they’re more likely to follow you once you start teaching other styles.

Trust us – trying to do it all will just lead to you wasting time and eventually zoning in on a niche that’s successful anyway. At best, it’s a way to figure out what type of dance your audience wants to learn if you’re not certain in which direction to go.

Step 4 – Ensure You Have the Necessary Equipment

Ensure You Have the Necessary Equipment

The equipment you’ll need has been touched upon already. Access to appropriate software – live streaming for live sessions or a platform for hosting videos – is a must. But you also need to ensure those videos, streaming or otherwise, are actually viewable. Thankfully, you only need three pieces of hardware to make that happen:

  • A camera
  • A microphone
  • A laptop or smartphone

The standards you wish to reach with your recordings determine how much you invest in this equipment. For instance, basic lessons that cover theory and only showcase basic dance moves don’t need the most spectacular recording equipment around. You can often stream directly from your phone or laptop – using the microphone and camera built into those devices – to deliver your lessons.

Pre-recorded videos may need better quality equipment to meet the audience’s expectations of professionalism. Use a video camera that’s capable of shooting footage in 1080p without dropping frames, and ensure your microphone is of a high enough quality to pick up your voice with minimal angling and repositioning.

Beyond your tech, the only other equipment you’ll need relates to the lesson itself. For instance, the right footwear for a tap-dancing lesson or a hula hoop for a hula lesson is a must.

Step 5 – Price Yourself for Success

Now comes the tricky part – setting prices for your classes.

Running classes online at least means you avoid some of the ongoing costs that come with running a physical dance studio. Rent isn’t going to be a problem – at least not an ongoing one – as you can run the lessons in your home or batch-produce videos in a day or two rather than keeping a studio open full-time.

You also won’t need to worry about insurance for your students because they’re not physically working with you. However, you may need to spend money to license the music you use, especially as you’re using that music for commercial gain. Expect to spend in the $50 to $150 range for lesser-known tracks, though you may have to pay much more for a renowned artist’s music.

The point is simple – you need to know what you’re spending to create a profit margin for your courses or videos.

Our advice?

Bundle up.

Let’s say you’re selling videos at $25 a throw. Try creating bundles – perhaps three videos for $60 – that give students a discount while encouraging more buys. The goal here is to get people engaged in your content. More videos mean more training with you, resulting in a higher likelihood of the student coming back for more courses and videos in the future.

There are also ways to supplement the direct income from your courses and videos.

Take tipping as an example.

Platforms like Twitch and other livestreaming services allow you to receive tips from your viewers during your streams. It’s not a consistent source of income – you’re relying on the kindness of strangers after all – but it can supplement what you’re already earning.

Platforms like Patreon, which are useful if you go down the YouTube route, can also allow you to develop a subscription model without having to invest in developing a course-specific website. And, of course, there’s the pay-per-video option offered by platforms like BlurBay, which gives you more control over how you charge for your lessons.

The key here is simple:

Figure out how much you’ll spend each month, use that number to work out how much you need to earn, and tweak your pricing model accordingly so you’re in the black.

Step 6 – Get a Music Streaming License

We mentioned getting your hands on music licenses in the last step, and that’s something you’re going to need to get sorted unless you intend to have students dance along to copyright-free music.

Dance students tend to prefer learning along to songs they already know. You’re setting yourself up to lose some students if you don’t have the appropriate music playing as you dance.

So, you need a music license.

Specifically – a synchronization (sync) license.

These are licenses that form an agreement between you as an online dance tutor and the rights holders to pieces of copyrighted materials that grant specific permissions. You’ll need this license if you intend to use music for DVDs, YouTube videos, and, yes, the dance lessons you post online.

The challenge here is that every sync license you negotiate has to be handled separately and can become quite complex. Our advice is to compile a list of tracks you hope to use and start getting in touch with copyright holders. Scratch any that want exorbitant fees off the list immediately and hone in on the people who actually seem to want to work with you.

Step 7 – Start Marketing Your Classes

By now, you have a platform chosen and a format for your lessons, be they live or pre-recorded. Marketing is your next step. Two components come into play when marketing your online dance classes – pricing and finding an audience.

It’s all about balance when it comes to pricing. Your instinct may tell you to price yourself low, at least while you’re building an audience, but that can often be a mistake. Consumers often agree with the mantra that “you get what you pay for,” leading to the perception that a class priced substantially lower than others is so cheap because it’s not as good.

That’s not the impression you want to create.

Striking a balance with pricing starts with research. What are other online dance teachers charging? What do they offer in return for that money? Do you offer an equivalent or better experience, and if it’s the latter, can you charge more for that experience? These are all questions you need to answer, with the key being that you don’t price your videos based on guesswork.

Then, there’s the marketing side of getting the word out about your online dance classes to a wide audience. The section on gamification provided a clue on the best way to do this – use social media to your advantage. In the competition example shared earlier, having existing students post videos of moves not only adds a competitive element to your classes but also advertises the results of those classes for others to see.

Posting your own clips, along with testimonials from happy students, also works, as both offer social proof that you deliver what you say you will in your lessons. Plus, participation in dance communities helps to build your authority as a teacher, making people more likely to come to you. Join forums, Facebook groups, and any other dance community that will have you so you can start building your reputation and drawing people toward your classes.

Conquer the Online Dance Tutor Market

Conquer the Online Dance Tutor Market

It may feel alien to teach dance online to some, especially experienced dance teachers who are used to in-person sessions where they’re able to coach their dancers’ techniques directly. But it’s not impossible to do. In fact, teaching dance online can be extremely lucrative because it opens your studio up to a new audience.

Live sessions can be held with people who would otherwise not be able to travel the distance required to reach your physical studio. And if you move into the pre-recorded classes and courses model – aided by a video hosting platform like BlurBay – you’re able to create classes that live forever online and become consistent sources of passive income because they’re accessible all over the world.

With the seven steps you have here – knowing your audience, knowing the types of lessons you’ll teach, getting the right equipment, and marketing online – you have everything you need to start your lessons. All that’s left is to do it!

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