At work with Alison: day in the life of a dance instructor

Published: May. 24, 2018 at 6:14 PM EDT
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Dance instructor Bethany Kalalau started dancing as a teenager. Her first love was ballet, but she quickly expanded into other genres including modern and jazz.

"You're not just exercising your body, you're exercising internally by letting things out and being a performer," she said.

Kalalau was born in Clarksburg but grew up in Belize. It was a performance trip to the states that encouraged her to pursue dance as a career.

"I got to travel to New York City when I was 16 and that's when I realized this was something I really wanted to do," she said.

Eventually, Kalalau moved back to Clarksburg and became a dance instructor. She now works as the artistic director at Altered Productions Institute and does everything from costuming to choreography, to choosing music and scenes for shows.

"That's pretty much my job is just picking a theme, being creative with it, and getting the staff all on the same page."

On a typical day, Kalalau teaches five or more hours of classes.

According to this dance teacher, the most rewarding part of her job is watching her students succeed.

"It's like after 8 years of working with a kid and one day the kid gets it. It doesn't matter to me if they go on to dance or not, but they had some type of victory and their victory is my victory."

In addition to being a great workout, dance can teach kids a lot of life lessons including discipline, teamwork, responsibility, and time management. To register your child for classes at API, visit