Train The Trainer

Become a MindLeaps Dance Teacher and Help At-Risk Youth Around the World

MindLeaps is an NGO working in East and West Africa to empower vulnerable youth through a dance-based program. The program develops cognitive skills and improves social-emotional learning to help youth perform better in school and make positive life decisions. In 2020, MindLeaps has program operations in Rwanda, Guinea, Uganda, Mauritania and Kenya.

MindLeaps instructors teach all of MindLeaps curricula (Foundations, Contemporary, Jazz Intermediate, Choreography I & II) and follow a specific pedagogical approach to improve emotional well-being and child development. MindLeaps instructors also track and record changes in cognitive skills and social emotional learning through a software-based monitoring and evaluation system called Tracker.

MindLeaps instructors contracted for international work are provided payment, travel, accommodations and per diem.

Join us and make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable youth around the world. 

How to become a MindLeaps Dance Instructor:

In order to become a MindLeaps Dance Teacher, you must:

  • Be accepted into MindLeaps Train The Trainer program
  • Complete Tier 1 of the training and be invited to Tier 2
  • Complete Tier 2 and pass the teaching evaluation

What you will learn in the MindLeaps Train The Trainer program:

Our skilled instructors will guide you through a rigorous and focused series of daily classes designed to prepare you for teaching in the MindLeaps program.

Training is between 160-200 hours depending on the level of existing dance knowledge.

During Tier 1 you will:  

  • Learn and study the MindLeaps foundations and choreography I curricula, including physical movements, anatomical terms, and mental development objectives
  • Learn and practice the pedagogical approach used to work with at-risk children and youth with an emphasis on the contexts of post-conflict and developing countries
  • Intensively use Tracker, the data collection tablet and online software system demonstrating changes in learning skills, to inform teaching practices and decisions regarding child development
  • Interact with MindLeaps international instructors to share case studies of work with street children, at-risk youth, and refugees

Tier 2 takes place at our MindLeaps Center in Kigali, Rwanda or Conakry, Guinea.

Tier 2 training includes:

  • Rigorous 8-hour days that combine movement learning and teaching
  • Study of MindLeaps Contemporary and Choreography II curricula
  • Supervised teaching and grading of MindLeaps student dance classes
  • Direct learning opportunities from experienced MindLeaps staff and educators
  • Cultural immersion and visits to students homes and schools


As a result of completing the Tier 1 & 2 trainings you will:

  • Be able to use a movement-based curriculum to improve child development
  • Be able to assess the changes in cognitive and social emotional learning skills in students
  • Be eligible for teaching contracts with MindLeaps to teach in our program locations in Africa


Who is eligible to apply:

  • Dancers, athletes or people with extensive movement experience
  • English or French language proficiency
  • Full-time availability for the dates of training
  • Interest and passion for working with vulnerable youth

What you can expect:

  • Rigorous 8-hour days that combine intensive dance movement with classroom work
  • Interactive teaching with the expectation of active participation
  • Theoretical and practical classes including time dedicated to your application of concepts learned
  • A diverse environment and mixture of languages to facilitate the practice of cultural adjustments
  • Dedicated time to learning about the countries where MindLeaps trainers work with the anticipation of travel to those programs and work with youth

“I have been teaching dance for 16 years, and the MindLeaps Train The Trainers program is by far the most rewarding thing I have ever done. You get to work with students dealing with some of the most difficult life situations, yet they come to class some of the happiest, hard-working people you will ever meet. It has been a humbling experience.”

Deanna Cormier
Attended Tiers I & II Training 2019
Dance Professor, St. Lawrence College

Applications are now open for the June 2020 Train The Trainer, Tier 1, in New York City. Apply now:

Please complete the online form to apply:

For further details, download the Train The Trainer information packet here.

Upcoming Trainings
Tier 2: March 2021
Tier 1: June 7 – 18, 2021 in New York City
Tier 2: December 2021