1. Description

Humanities and Social Sciences

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While you may dream about becoming a principal with the American Ballet Theatre, there are many different options in the wide world of professional dance. You may dance with smaller classical companies, modern troupes, or folkloric and ethnic dance groups. You could dance in musicals, pop music videos, and commercial TV productions.

However, finding steady work in the fiercely competitive world of professional dance is never easy. It takes both passion and patience to pursue a career in this demanding field.

Dancers express ideas and emotions through dance forms such as ballet, modern, jazz, ethnic, and folk dance. In this demanding and competitive field, dancers challenge their bodies and their minds.

Did You Know?

Dancers begin training at an early age -- some as early as four years old.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Interpret the visions of choreographers
  • Perform in front of a live audience
  • Spend a lot of time in the studio and at rehearsal
  • Eat healthily
  • Cross-train to prevent injuries
  • Work nights and weekends
  • Travel or move frequently

It Helps To Be...

Creative, passionate, and expressive. You should also be patient and determined, and have a thick skin. Dancers face a lot of rejection, as competition in this field is fierce.

Make High School Count

  • Take dance and drama classes at your high school. If these classes are not offered, look into classes at local community centers or private dance studios.
  • Practice at least two different types of dance, such as ballet and modern.
  • Dance and act in high school productions.
  • Train and perform with community dance groups.
  • Enroll in a summer dance camp or workshop.
  • Attend as many professional dance performances as possible.
  • Learn about good nutrition, cross-training, and other ways of taking care of your body.

Did You Know?

Dance is so hard on the body that many dancers stop performing by their late thirties.