Dance teachers - how do you measure success?

by Nadine Armiger

Here I am, running my own dance school which I started in Feb 2008 with 14 dancers  . . 


After nearly 6 years, how successful have I been? Have I been successful? How do I know?


Possible measures of a successful dance school could be:

  • High numbers of students
  • Large annual income
  • Sold out audiences at annual concert
  • Winning results at dance competitions
  • Graduating students being accepted into prestigious schools or professional companies
  • Excellent exam results

Hmmm . . Do I qualify as successful under any of these criteria? (Spoiler: not hugely.) 

Do I feel successful, though? Actually yes, a lot of the time I do!

  • People pay me money. 
  • They trust me with their children. 
  • My students turn up to class. 
  • Many of them have been with me for years.
  • Plenty of people keep coming back! 
  • I am learning and improving.
  • My confidence is growing.
  • My students enter and pass exams.
  • Our overall exam results are improving year by year.
  • My dancers turn up for and perform in the concert.
  • We have a lot of fun! 
  • We love to dance.
  • We laugh a lot.
  • My students love me and I love them.
  • Dancing is fun! (For me and for my students.)
  • Teaching is fun - I love it.
  • I have built relationships with so many children and their families in this small rural community.
  • I have been able to maintain those relationships even if those students are no longer dancing with me.
  • I love knowing who everyone is!
  • I like being well-known in a small town (world-famous in Waimauku!).
  • I enjoy working for myself.
  • I appreciate being able to work from home. (The hall I teach in is just over the road.)
  • I love my job.
  • My job is fun! 

I remember reading somewhere that people are most strongly motivated by one of:

  • Fun (wahey!)
  • Power
  • Being right
  • Having an easy life

If I measure success as fun then yes! It's happening. 


However, fun doesn't pay the bills, and I am always very conscious of where every dollar is coming from and where it is going.  My life would definitely be easier and I would do a lot more travelling if I made more money.


Tell me - what does success look like to you? Is it measured in money? In fun? Love? Power, control, influence? Fame? Winning? Share here or here - I'd love to know!

- Nadine