Career Corner Life as a... dancer

If you love practicing dance routines with your mates at every possible free moment (or alone in your room, if you're anything like us...), or if you've ever found yourself watching a music video, closely studying the moves of the backing dancers over the lyrics of the song, then a career as a dancer could be for you!

Being a professional dancer involves a lot of hard work and a great sense of rhythm, but with dedication and determination you could find yourself strutting away in those music videos you've been admiring, on stage, or developing a rewarding career as a teacher.

Where do you start? Our guide can get lead you in the right direction to becoming a successful dancer.

fancy a peek at the lives of people training to become professional dancers, singers, performers and more? Catch the NEW series of Stage School Mon 25th Sep, 5.30pm on E4 or catchup on All 4.


Would you consider a career as a dancer?


Getting started

Stating the obvious here, but to become a professional dancer, you need an ability to... wait for it... DANCE! You'll ideally be able to do at least one form of dance and have been doing it from a young age. This could be ballet and street dance, or Asian dance and tap, or any other combination you can think of! Dance school can be expensive, but there are ways to get funding. Click here for more info.



As mentioned above, a talent for dancing is of course a must, but as well as that, you will need a great sense of rhythm, a good memory for routines, and the ability to dance solo or work well within a group.


A day in the life of a dancer

So how will your time be spent? You will attend plenty of dance classes, and go to audition after audition! Rejection can be disheartening, but work as hard as you possibly can and that dream job should come along!

It's also vital to promote yourself well - why not set up an Instagram or Twitter account just to show off your dance moves, and hashtag them with relevant words such as #Dancer #HireMe or, on Fridays, you can use a hashtag used by many employers, as well as those seeking work - #HireFriday.



Dance jobs will differ largely in the fee that you will receive. You could be hired on a contract, or you might be paid per performance. The independent Theatre council has a good guide on the recommended amount to pay dancers. You can find that here.


Environment and hours

It'll come as no surprise when we say that dancing is HARD WORK! Hours can be long and inconsistent - you may be dancing during the day or in the evenings, and depending on the job you're hired for, you may potentially spend weeks or months away from home.


What next?

As you progress and develop your talent as a dancer, you could become a choreographer or dance teacher. This is something that can be done privately on a one-to-one basis, or you could apply to teach dance in a school!

Visit the UCAS website for further useful info.

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