7 Highs and Lows of a Career in Dancing ...


For those of you interested in a career in dancing, you’ll find some audition information at the bottom of this article. I hope it leads you to a great job or maybe you can make some connections that will prove valuable to you as you continue to pursue a career in dancing.

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Professional Ballroom Dancer

If a career in dancing is your passion, and ballroom dancing is your genre, you can find work on cruise ships as well as public schools and private studios. You might participate in competitions and get to wear those marvelous costumes. Ballroom dancers might find it hard to get the kind of steady work they dream about, and might end up working in an environment that is less than ideal for low pay.


Ballet Dancer

If you love practicing, rehearsing, auditioning, and working harder than you believed possible, then a career in ballet might be right for you. The younger you are when you begin, the better skills you will attain during your career. The pinnacle of this career is to become a soloist; principal dancer; or prima ballerina. This is a short career, with most dancers hanging up their tights in their thirties, and then pursuing related interests, such as dance teacher or choreographer.


So You Think You Can Dance

If you’re a fan of SYTYCD like I am, and you’re also a great dancer, you might consider auditioning for the upcoming season of this show. If your experience lies in contemporary dance, it wouldn’t hurt to take a few lessons in another genre, since you’ll be expected to perform outside of your wheelhouse. If you want information on auditioning for this show check out fox.com periodically. They usually won’t post anything about auditions until the current season ends.


Cruise Ship Jobs

Dance jobs on cruise ships can range from typical production shows to more intricate aerial performances. If you can sing as well as dance, you’ll stand a better chance of being hired. Cruise lines like Carnival and Holland America can often be found seeking dancers. If you love travel and dance, this could be the job to pursue. Information on upcoming auditions can be found at the bottom of this article.


Music Videos

To dance in a music video you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. Competition is fierce, so be at your best when auditioning. This means showing up well-rested, dressed appropriately, and ready to work. As with all dance auditions, the more you know, the better chance you have, so if you’re proficient in hip-hop as well as other styles of dance, you’re ahead of the crowd.



As a choreographer you will need an extensive background in dance. While a bachelor’s degree is not required, your competition might well have one. You will go through periods of unemployment while searching for your next position, but if you’re lucky enough to find a steady gig, or you’ve made a name for yourself, you could have the career you dreamed about.


Dance Teacher

If you aspire to teach dance in the K-12 public school system, you’ll need to earn a teacher certification in dance, as well as a bachelor’s degree in education. While the job can be rewarding when your students achieve a level of excellence, there are always students that will be disruptive and lacking in motivation. Running your own dance studio requires capital, finding teachers, advertising your services, obtaining insurance, overcoming competition and a whole lot of passion.

Two of the best online sites for audition information are answers4dancers.com and backstage.com. There’s a ton of information on both of these sites. Can we hear some additional advice or good/bad stories from the dancers reading this?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I did ballet, jazz, hip hop and tap for years but stuck to ballet for 16 years. Used to think that being a choreographer would be fun, but after I quit ballet I'm glued to watching So You Think You Can Dance - I'm from Australia and seeing the show back after a hiatus everyone blew me away! The world would be a boring place without dance, well at least for me! :)

@Isabella, I LOVE SYTYCD. I love Mia, Travis, and really all of them!

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