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Dancer Apprenticeships

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Helping you find a career as a Dancer

Dancers dance. That’s the long and short of it. Whether it’s for theatre, ballet, film, television or music videos, there are many capacities in which professional dancers conduct their work. It’s a hugely physically demanding job and you have to be athletic and entirely dedicated to dance as an art form. Some dancers may go to educate other dancers or work in a promotional capacity.

It takes a long time to build up the necessary skill and experience to become a full time dancer, but there are also opportunities for dancers to become choreographers or specialists in a certain style of dance, of which there are hundreds!

What does a Dancer do?
  • Attend auditions and practice sessions

  • Rehearse and exercise regularly

  • Maintain a high level of physical fitness and flexibility

  • Studying and interpreting choreography

  • Looking after costumes

  • Teaching dance

  • Running workshops on dance

  • Promoting your performances or classes

  • Developing a knowledge of different styles of dance and music
Skills & interests required for a Dancer
  • Physical fitness

  • Reliability and dedication

  • Creativity

  • Patience and resilience

  • An attentive listener and learner

  • Hard working

  • Willing to work hard to promote your own qualities and abilities

- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Accounting
- Customer Service
- Data Analysis
- Decision Making
- Excellent phone manner
- Finance
- Microsoft Excel
- Numeracy
- Verbal Communication
- Written Communication
What hours does a Dancer typically do?
The working hours of a dancer are hugely variable across professional roles and many dancers have to perform without payment for a long time before they secure a paid role. Even paid roles are often undertaken on a short term contract basis. Consequently, it is unlikely you will have regular hours, so you’ll need to be flexible concerning your schedule.
What environment is a Dancer based in?
Venues and teaching areas of all different kinds can be part of a dancers career.
How much does a Dancer travel?
Famous dancers might travel the world performing or be asked to go overseas to perform in productions. For many dancers travel is more limited to touring with a show or taking their workshops to nearby cities.
How much does a Dancer get paid?
The performing arts trade union, Equity, negotiated a minimum weekly pay rate of £440 with the Independent Theatre Council. This applies to rehearsal and performance weeks which would form part of a wider contract. These contracts are often short term making it hard to suggest average salaries. Low pay is a problem in the industry and many dancers struggle to find sufficient paid work. Consequently, most dancers have a second job.
Perks & benefits
Fame and fortune can accompany the highest echelons of the dancing profession. However, for those trying to make a start, it is a tough industry.
What qualifications does a Dancer need?
Requirements are more physical and skill-based than educational but there are opportunities to study dance. Otherwise studies in physical education would complement a career in dance.
Further reading

Photo by Roy Campbell-Moore, via Wikimedia Commons, cropped and resized.

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