Ways & How

How to Be a Professional Dancer

How to Be a Professional Dancer

Even if you absolutely love dancing, passion isn’t enough to succeed as a professional dancer. You need to continually practice and grow in your art. In addition, versatility and knowledge about more than one dance style gives you a competitive edge. Whether you’re looking for extra income from side gigs or want to pursue a full-time career, start out with these pointers on how to be a professional dancer:

  1. Start and keep training. A lot of dancers start dancing even before reaching adolescence and then audition for full-time pro dancing work by the age of 18. Many enroll in dance training programs in various studios and performing arts schools. For a head start getting accepted to reputable dance school, attend their summer dance workshops. Find a school with professional dancers as teachers; that way, you not only learn about dance techniques but also get an inside look at the industry. Teachers can be a great resource for advice, recommendations, and future opportunities.

  2. Consider getting an undergraduate degree.

    aving a college degree is not a strict requirement for a professional dancing career. However, an undergraduate degree allows you to explore various dance genres and expand your capabilities before you focus on one discipline. For instance, if you want to be ballerina, learning dance styles like jazz, hip hop, and tap can be very helpful. Each genre improves your movement vocabulary and helps you become stronger and more flexible. Class requirements likely include choreography, dance history, contemporary dance trends, dance composition, and movement analysis. Those interested in academics can further their learning with a master’s, which supplements a career in choreography and teaching.

  3. Keep on practicing. Professional dancers spend many hours a day practicing, so to reach their level, you need to commit much of your time to dancing. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Even when you are tired, make it a habit to bust a move without overdoing it.

  4. Stay strong and conditioned. Dancing jobs are physically demanding and require long and irregular work hours. Therefore, following a healthy diet and lifestyle is key to staying fit and primed for your work. The very nature of the work places a lot of stress on the body; therefore, staying active, healthy, and fit decreases your chances of injury and increases how quickly you heal if you do get injured.

  5. Continue gaining experience. Every gig you get as a dancer helps further your goal. In the beginning, you may have to work for free or low-paying jobs just to get some experience. As you build experience and have a portfolio of dance pieces and performances, your chances of getting better and better gigs increases. Consider creating an online dance portfolio or a YouTube channel to showcase your dancing skills so that opportunities can find you. You could even sign up on online talent directories like Star Now and STA7S.

Knowing how to be a professional dancer helps you one, two step closer to a fulfilling career. However, you’ll have to do and learn much more to pave your own path in the dance world. Prepare to dance your heart out to follow your dreams.


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