Only one study has explored the experiences of dance teachers’ career perspectives (Duffy, 2020). Teachers employed at higher education dance faculties seemed to negotiate their aging bodies in a variety of ways and faced distinct challenges. 39% of the participants confirmed they experienced physical requirements difficulty, and 19% reported no difficulty.
The difficulties they experienced were regarding diminished strength and flexibility, with injuries and surgical procedures were often cited. Also evident were challenges with emotional and mental processes as the teachers moved through dance teaching careers, in addition to issues of job security and identity. (Duffy, 2020).
Interestingly, mid-career dance teachers seemed to experience more physical and emotional pain than their senior counterparts, even though their bodies were younger. Teaching demonstrations had been affected by the aging process, from showing to indicating.
The following negotiation strategies were identified:
- various modes of strengthening, stretching, and cross-training
- approaching teaching differently
- adapting workload requirements
- adjusting the goals of technique class and choreography
- taking advantage of differing therapies
Duffy, A. (2020). Teaching Dance Techniques in an Aging Body: Perspectives and Recommendations from Dance Educators. Journal of Dance Education, 1-10.