Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / SEP. 03, 2013
version 4, draft 4

How to Become a Dancer

Becoming a professional dancer is a dream for most people, and unfortunately, that’s where so many people go wrong. If you think of a dancing career as merely a “dream”, you will never have the motivation or belief to make it a reality. It is those who truly believe that dancing is the only career for them, who manage to break into the overly competitive industry.

How to begin…

One thing to bear in mind is that each dance style requires different techniques and discipline. The art of ballet for example is considered a way of life. Your diet is even ruled by it! Other styles just as jazz, tap or hip hop are less restrictive, but nevertheless, still as demanding.

Therefore, the first thing you need to discover is the dance style you are most passionate about, and then follow it. If your desire is to do ballet, then remember that this type of training and dance school will be much different from that of a hip-hop dance style. Hone in on what style you are most passionate about and go for it.

Find a dance school

The most important decision you will make when beginning your career, is the dance school you choose to enroll in. If you are not in a competitive school that will push you far, if your teacher is not one of the best in the business, if you feel that you are not reaching your full potential, then you are at the wrong school. You need to research heavily into which school is best for your own needs. One thing to bear in mind however, is that dance school tends to cost a lot of money. If you are there part time while you attend school for example, then your classes shouldn’t be too pricey, but once you enroll fulltime, you can expect your “tuition” fees to be on a par with some university fees.

It’s not all fun and games…

You may find your way onto the big stage as a professional dancer, enjoying the lime light and reaping the benefits of fame, but what you need to keep in mind is that this will not become a reality without grueling hard work.

Professional dancers will practice rigorously (on a daily basis), they will include a solid work out at the gym with their daily practices also. The food (and even drink) a dancer can have will be determined on their body weight, the dates of shows they are appearing in, and their ability to maintain a healthy weight and image. You have to remember that image is everything in this industry, and the fact that it is a very cut throat environment to work in, you need to look and dance your best at all times.

Budget

It is widely known that professional dancers do it for the love of the art, and not the money. Why? Well quite simply put – there is not a huge amount of money to be made as a pro dancer. Even those who dance for the stars are bound by surprisingly low salary brackets. A professional dancer with 1-4 years of experience will make between $18,000-$33,000 per year, whilst a dancer with 5-9 years experience will make $35,000 to $71,000 per year. When you think about the consistent effort, training, and dedication it takes to be a professional dancer, these salaries are relatively low. Because of this, you need to learn to budget properly when first starting out as a pro dancer.

Tips

1.       Be confident

2.       Practice whenever you can

3.       Smile at all times when dancing

4.       Learn as many techniques and styles as you can to vary your skillset

5.       Develop your own signature move

6.       Take courses in becoming a dance choreographer

If you love dancing with all your heart, then this is the job for you. If you aren't keen on dancing then why on earth would you even think about dancing in the first place.

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