“Alice:How long is forever? White Rabbit:Sometimes, just one second.” 
― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland

Program Philosophy

Spotlight Director Jen Barden’s path to becoming a dance teacher involved participation in a great student teacher program offered by her studio on Long Island. Spotlight Vermont’s Assistant Teacher & Apprentice Program (ATAP) was established to provide our students with a similar path.

Program Description

Spotlight’s ATAP program is available to a limited number of students who are interested in learning what it means to be a dance teacher and how to work successfully with students. Students will work side by side with a Spotlight faculty member once a week. In addition, students will be assigned to a class that is appropriate for their age, ability, and level of experience. Students will be selected after all student teacher applications have been reviewed. Our program runs from September to June. This internship program is free of charge to those who meet our guidelines and are selected for participation. This program is highly popular and there are always more students wanting to participate than available positions.

There are two categories of assistants in this program:

  • Apprentices - ATAP members in their first year are Apprentices. They must fulfill all program obligations and are ineligible for the tuition credit feature of the program. Successful completion of one year as an Apprentice will make them eligible for consideration as an Assistant Teacher the following year.
  • Assistant Teachers - Have successfully completed a year at the Apprentice level in ATAP. In order to enjoy the benefits of the program including tuition credit they must continue to meet program guidelines and responsibilities


  • Student is at least 13 yrs. old
  • Students have danced a minimum of 1 year at Spotlight Vermont.
  • Student takes at least 3 classes a week one of which must be ballet.
  • Students are expected to treat this position like a job and reliably be at their scheduled classes. Family emergencies or illness, are always treated as an excused absence. Otherwise, if a Student seeks to miss a scheduled class, they must either:
  • Arrange for a replacement from the approved ATAP list 
  • Call/e-mail director as far in advance as possible requesting an excused absence.
  • Examples of excused absences are; school commitment, family trips, etc. An example of  an unexcused absences would be going to the mall with your friends.
  • Student arrives on-time to class & Student dresses in the appropriate attire to help instruct class. Studio dress code is followed while assisting/taking class.
  • While in school, in public, or at the dance studio student is expected to be a responsible and respectful representative of our school.
  • Student is a positive role model for others.
  • Student enjoys working with children.
  • Student must respond positively to teacher evaluations and constructive criticism during their tenure in the ATAP program.
  • Student teachers accumulating more than 3 unexcused absences will be dismissed from the program in order to make room for other participants.

Why Student Teach?

  • Gain valuable leadership experience
  • Earn community service hours for your resume/college applications
  • Gain valuable teaching skills from your mentor.
  • Share your love of dance with others
  • Should you wish to teach dance someday, you will gain valuable experience that can help you prepare for future employment in the field.
  • Help offset your class costs. (Assistant teachers in the ATAP program receive account credit at a rate of $9 for each hour of class time assisting.)
  • How to Apply to be an ATAP Member

Fill out this application form and return to the studio. All applications must be received before September 1st. for consideration. Late applications will not be accepted.