Are you wondering what the best jobs and employment opportunities there are for trained dancers? Or perhaps you are questioning what career pathways and jobs are available after completing a dance major at college?
Well stress no more, we have compiled a list of almost 40 dance careers with real-life examples for each career that will hopefully put your mind at ease in knowing that there is an abundance of employment opportunities and pathways for all trained dancers!
1. THEME PARK PERFORMER.
So your kid wants to dance every single day of their life?
These parks put on multiple shows a day and need dancers of all shapes, colors, and sizes to fill all the different roles in the many different cartoons and movies they produce.
They need dancers for their parades, dancers to wear character suits, dancers who look like characters, and the list goes on.
The great thing about working for a theme park is the consistency of the work, being able to create a home base, and becoming a loyal member of a brand that you could work with for many years.
2. CRUISE SHIP SHOW DANCER
Nearly all cruise ships provide entertainment in the form of a theatrical show and therefore need to employ dancers.
Cruise ships generally employ dancers on a contract basis which can last several months to years.
Shows are rehearsed and developed in land-based studios or rehearsal venues before dancers embark on the sea-leg and performance part of their contract.
Some dancers whilst onboard find themselves in multiple roles beyond that of a dancer but these jobs should always be stipulated in the contract or added onto it when required.
These jobs might include greeting guests onto the ship, manning information stations onboard, or organizing activities for guests to participate in during sea days.
3. JOIN A CONTEMPORARY OR MODERN DANCE COMPANY.
Modern dance companies are all about creating unique movement.
Many companies, artistic directors, and choreographers are increasingly looking for dancers who can bring them something different to work with to be able to create diverse and thought-provoking works.
Many contemporary companies employ dancers on a full or part-time basis whilst others offer contract work based on the company’s current dancer needs and performance schedule.
A dancer generally needs to be proficient in ballet to be accepted by a contemporary or modern dance company but on occasion, a dancer’s uniqueness might be needed rather than their technical ability.
4. COMMERCIAL, SEASONAL, CORPORATE AND CONTRACT DANCE WORK
There are lots of different short-term jobs that need dancers and if a dancer works hard and approaches each paying job with professional appreciation it can mean they are continually employed and can make a good living dancing.
These jobs will range from dancing in high-profile music videos to performing in a Nickelodeon show at a local mall to entertain kids during the school holidays to appearing in a dance performance for a corporation celebrating its 10-year anniversary.
A dancer might be lucky enough to work as a backup dancer on tour with a popular singer or band or alternatively, have a weekly gig dancing for a local cover band at various events. It might mean being a magician’s assistant or dancing weekly on a podium at a high-profile night club.
Work such as this can be found from having an agent or by being part of a dance production and marketing company that specializes in sourcing contract work. Many commercial dancers also tend to freelance teach or choreograph to help supplement their income.
5. DANCE IN MUSICAL THEATRE
To dance in musical theatre one generally needs to be what they call a triple threat.
A dancer, singer, and actor.
Competition can be fierce especially if you want to work on Broadway or on the Westend, but there are many theatres and production companies who put on shows in cities more local to you.
There are also opportunities to audition and perform internationally for example in Germany where musical theatre is well loved.
Having an agent is key to finding out about and getting auditions, although some production companies will publically advertise them.
There are also several web pages dedicated to posting auditions such as Backstage.com or Broadwayworld.com
6. JOIN A TAP DANCE COMPANY
Ok…. so there is possibly not hundreds of tap dance companies to work for and earn a living with, but tap dance constantly gains popularity especially when fusing hip hop and commercial dance, and also because so many adults today are turning to beginner tap lessons for fun and fitness.
Have you heard of the Tap Dogs or the Syncopated Ladies?
The Tap Dogs tour the world performing and the Syncopated Ladies have danced with Beyonce, on Ellen and performed their own full-length concert to sold-out audiences.
There are also many tap-only dance schools out there and many of these have their own production companies.
These production companies create performance pieces for all those employment opportunities covered in tip #4 in this list.
Once at this professional level there are also opportunities to teach not only at a tap-only school but at tap festivals, intensives, and as a freelancer.
7. START YOUR OWN DANCE COMPANY!
Your child has the talent but they just can’t land a job or an agent!
Well, encourage them to do what many of the people running the production companies your child is auditioning for did – they created their own employment opportunities.
Akira Armstrong even after dancing in two Beyonce music videos wasn’t getting any dance jobs.
She realized that there was a need for a dance company that promoted body-proud dancers and so created Pretty Big Movement a New York-based full-figured dance company.
Gypsy House Productions is another example of a dancer starting their own business. Gypsy House is a small Melbourne (Australia) based corporate and commercial entertainment company. It was founded in 2014 and continues to frequently book work as can be seen on their Facebook page.
8. PROFESSIONAL SPORT TEAM CHEERLEADER
NBA and the NFL sports teams amongst others around the world, hire dancers to provide entertainment during timeouts, half time, etc.. and to help pump up the home crowd and create an electric and charged atmosphere during a game to help encourage their team to win.
Professional Cheerleading positions can be part-time or full-time dependent on the team and require the dancer to commit to weekly rehearsals and performance hours as well as charity and other appearances on behalf of the club.
Some cheer teams also require their dancers to attend fitness training and have strict rules on dancers’ image and presentation.
Getting a job on a cheer team, especially for a high-profile team, that pays well can be extremely competitive. The NY Times reported that at the New York Knicks audition several years ago, dancers were told pay would not be discussed unless they were successful.
As a parent I find this distressing especially as many of the dancers were fine with that, saying they were just thrilled at the opportunity to dance at this elite level – and at an elite level one would hope those elite artists are compensated well for their skills.
You might also want to have a view of the following video if you are serious about becoming a cheerleader as well so you know what you are getting yourself into!
A Choreographer is the person who creates the sequences of moves, steps or routine for the dancers.
They need to have a good understanding of movement as a language and know how to use it to express emotion or feelings or create atmosphere for example tension or anticipation.
A choreographer might only create routines by teaching dance lessons, they may be in charge of creating all the movements for a musical theatre production or a music video or they might be employed to create a specific piece of movement for an advertisement.
Unless improvised every piece of dance you view has been choreographed meaning someone had the job of making that movement up.
To gain work, a choreographer should have a showreel for prospective employers to view their work, whether it be of themselves or others dancing their work.
The following is the reel for Ashley Wallen who choreographed the dance scenes in the movies The Greatest Showman staring Hugh Jackman, Cinderella staring Camilla Cabello and Jingle Jangle with Forest Whitaker as well as for Kylie Minogue, Pink and Robbie Williams.
10. FREELANCE DANCE TEACHER
A freelance dance teacher, teaches dance for others rather than being tied down to their own studio.
The advantages of this are that they could be auditioning for other professional dance work, they might be studying, can travel and even move town or state without any financial or business ties.
The downside is it is just as easy for the employer to stop giving a teacher work as it is for the teacher to stop teaching for a studio.
A freelance teacher might have no formal teaching qualifications but have a lot of professional experience to pass on to students or they might have qualifications or the ability to teach a style of dance that the studio owner is less knowledgeable about.
Either way, it is important that they hold any working with children permits or checks required by their local authorities.
For more information about how to become a dance teacher and what it is like read our articles:
What Qualifications Do I Need to be a Dance Teacher?
How long does it take to become a dance teacher?
Day in the Life of a Dance Teacher – Competition Day!
11. DANCE STUDIO OWNER
Today the role of a dance studio owner also sometimes known as the artistic director might mean more than one thing.
The studio owner might be the dance teacher, choreographer, studio marketer, receptionist, cleaner, costume maker, etc… or they might simply own the studio and hire others to teach and do many of these jobs for them depending on how successful the school is.
Generally speaking, a studio owner is the principal or main teacher of a school who has trained and studied to obtain the necessary qualifications perhaps both in business and dance to run their school.
Owning a studio is a lot of responsibility and the amount of money any owner earns, totally depends on the amount of hard work they are willing to put into their business.
12. HIGH SCHOOL DANCE TEACHER
To be a dance teacher in a high school means taking on formal education and getting a degree or teaching certificate that majors in both Education and Dance.
We have plenty of articles about college dance on the website for you to read if you are interested in studying to teach dance at an academic level and these include:
Dance Colleges Across All 50 States: The Ultimate List with Links
How Much Does It Cost To Study Dance or Ballet At College?
What is a Dance Major? And what classes do you take as a dance major?
How to Dance in College Without Majoring in Dance.
Can You Major in Dance With No Experience? No Audition College List!
Not all high schools offer dance as a subject of study and those that do usually only need one person for the job.
The role can entail many out of hour rehearsals for school shows, recitals or dance team competitions or events.
It also includes a lot of organizational tasks for example costuming all students in the school dance production and editing music that take up time outside the classroom setting, on top of creating lesson plans and organizing school curriculum.
That being said a high school dance teaching position brings with it stability and a constant wage.
It is also good to note that some schools might require their dance teacher to be qualified to teach other areas of the arts such as drama, music or even visual art as they either do not have the funds to cover dance on its own or do not have the student population to cover the need of a full-time dance teacher.
Some schools may choose to have a dance coach instead of a dance teacher depending on their needs and we go over this role in more detail a little later on in this list. However, the following video is about a schools fine arts teacher who also coaches the JV dance team.
13. COLLEGE DANCE PROFESSOR
The previous three dance careers have all been in the areas of teaching dance and the fantastic thing is that someone has to teach the teachers to teach.
Therefore there is a job out there in the dance industry that is needed to fulfill this purpose.
Becoming a professor of dance will mean years of study.
It also means that not only do you need to be able to dance, you also need to teach dance, be able to write and talk well about dance, enjoy studying and learning not just about dance but about education practices and other related areas of expertise such as how the body works and moves.
A dance professor or person in a similar role needs to be able to create courses and curriculums for prospective students that meet criteria that ensure the people graduating from their course are properly trained.
Here are some articles about college dance on our website:
Dance Colleges Across All 50 States: The Ultimate List with Links
How Much Does It Cost To Study Dance or Ballet At College?
What is a Dance Major? And what classes do you take as a dance major?
How to Dance in College Without Majoring in Dance.
Can You Major in Dance With No Experience? No Audition College List!
14. COLLEGE, HIGH SCHOOL or JUNIOR VARSITY CHEER COACH
To be a high school or college cheer coach you will generally need some formal education – but each state is different and therefore it is always wise to find out the specific requirements for coaching where you intend to live and work.
Coach specific training includes learning about safety practices, how to teach the fundamentals to students, conditioning and stretching, health and well-being amongst other things.
You may also need an education degree depending on whether your role is solely coaching or combines teaching classes as well.
Becoming a high school, Junior Varsity, Varsity or College Cheer coach will look different depending on whether you are a teacher at the school or just employed on a part time basis or even full time for large competitive institutions.
But what will be the same is your attendance at college and school events possibly outside of normal working hours when your cheer team is performing.
You will be responsible for uniforms, auditions and a variety of other nondance administrative jobs.
Experience and knowledge of tumbling, acrobatics, stunts, and cheerleading may also be required rather than a solid background in ballet or jazz dance.
15. DANCE EXAMINER FOR A SYLLABUS SUCH AS RAD OR CECCHETTI
A dance examiner has usually grown up studying a syllabus such as the Royal Academy of Dance or Cecchetti curriculums since they were young.
They would have completed all of their examinations including their teaching qualifications for that syllabus and would have taught the content of the syllabus to students for many years, preparing students and taking them through examinations before going through the process of becoming an examiner themselves.
An examiner might continue to own and run their own dance school or may work within the examining organization continually developing the curriculum and standards whilst also teaching the teachers how to teach the syllabus and prepare their students for exams.
16. DANCE COMPETITION JUDGE OR ADJUDICATOR
Judging and adjudicating requires an experienced dancer who enjoys critiquing others’ performances with clear judgment and an excellent understanding of what makes any dancer or performance better than another.
They need to be able to quickly assess better than anyone else in the room the competitor’s placings whilst also giving helpful and knowledgable feedback about the competitor’s performance.
Many adjudicators are current dance teachers or professionals, judging competitions as an add-on to their income and resume.
It is not a pre-requisite to be a dance teacher or have professional experience if you are able to prove you are good at what you do.
There are some who work with big companies and run conventions, intensives and workshops alongside judging competition events.
There are also others who are just good at what they do and so are booked up quickly by various competition companies for their expertise.
For some information about dance competitions and judging take a read of our article How Dance Competitions are Judged & Scored? What Parents Want To Know!
17. DANCE COMPETITION, INTENSIVE OR FESTIVAL EMPLOYEE/PRODUCER
Dance competitions are huge machines that need a good amount of staff to run them.
From the administrative team who answers the phone calls, puts the program together, and balances the books to the staff that set up the actual events and runs them.
Being an employee of a dance competition company allows your dancer to perhaps not be dancing, but using their skills, knowledge, and passion for the dance industry in a fulfilling way.
Many competition companies advertise on their own websites such as Beyond the Stars Competition and ask you to fill in an application form.
Sending a cover letter and resume to one of the many companies who run competitions is a good starting point as well, followed by a phone call to ensure they know you are serious about working with them.
If your child currently attends competitions you could ask around for information about how to get a job working with the company as well.
18. ARTS ADMINISTRATOR.
The wonderful thing about an Arts Administrative position is that your child can still be surrounded and live their passion.
An Arts Administrator is one of those people who look after all the day-to-day operations and management of a ballet company, a dance school, a college dance program, a performing arts center and the list could go on.
This could mean managing projects and events, secretarial administration, marketing, budget management, fundraising, program development and review or any other administrative or management related tasks.
To become an Arts Administrator your child doesn’t always need a degree or certificate, for example, if working for your local dance school. But getting one will give your child a better chance of landing that dream job of working with their favorite ballet company for example.
An Arts Administrative Degree usually means that your child will study business but also major in their chosen art – in this case, dance.
Sometimes your child may not get into the dance course at college that they were after but may have the school scores to get into an arts administration degree which would then allow them to enroll in many of the dance classes they would have studied through the dance degree anyway.
19. DANCE OR PERFORMING ARTS DIRECTOR
A Director of a dance company is not a job one gets straight out of dance school or college.
It is a position that comes with experience, but nonetheless it is a job that your child can be striving for.
The director is the boss, the person responsible for staff, budgets and the artistic vision and trajectory of the company.
They need a good understanding of the company they are working for and knowledge and understanding of how to manage it as well.
Artistic directors are not always professional dancers who absorbed the culture and values whilst a company member.
Because both knowledge and skill in dance and business is needed, those extremely experienced in arts administrative roles are also primed for the position.
20. PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Most dance students are familiar with Pilates as it is a complementary strengthening form of exercise.
Therefore instead of heading into the field of dance teaching, it might be a more interesting option for your kid to pursue becoming a Pilates Teacher.
A Pilates teacher may work for a gym or fitness center or open their own business and offer a range of lessons and programs.
They might also work for a professional dance company, school or college as a full-time employee or consultant.
I really enjoyed reading this article by Robin Long from the Balanced Life which gives you some great information and links on how to become a Pilates Instructor.
We also have some articles about pilates on the website which you can read:
What is Pilates?
Is Yoga or Pilates better for Dancers? Your Guide!
Why ALL Dancers Should Do Pilates – The 5 Key Benefits!
Pilates Exercises Parents can do to Cross-Train with their Dance Kid
21. GYROTONIC INSTRUCTOR
The Gyrokinesis and Gyrotonic Methods, originally called yoga for dancers were developed by professional dancer Juliu Horvath.
It is similar to pilates in that it provides dancers with a different way other than through dance classes themselves to strengthen and lengthen their muscles and core strength.
From my research, there are two different methods to learn.
Gyrokinesis is a method that uses a mat or chair and ‘addresses the entire body, opening energy pathways, stimulating the nervous system, increasing range of motion, and creating functional strength through rhythmic, flowing movement sequences’ (gyrotonic.com).
Whereas the Gyrotonic method uses specialized equipment to gain similar results. The teaching qualification course for each method takes a year to complete.
22. DANCE SPECIALIST
A Dance specialist is a consultant or someone that has authoritative knowledge in an area of dance that is needed by others.
Some examples are a competition coach, a flexibility consultant, or a technique specialist.
Or who knows, your child might develop their own specialization and be able to teach that to the world.
Professional dancer and teacher Marie Walton-Mahon created Progressing Ballet Technique.
It is an example of a specialized method developed to help dancers retain muscle memory through specific exercises.
Learning PBT techniques can be done online or through the attendance of workshops.
It is currently taught as a separate class to ballet at many schools around the world.
A flexibility coach is a dance specialist who should be able to help a dancer safely lengthen their muscles to achieve greater flexibility and strength at the same time.
Some examples of people working as flexibility coaches are Staceynemour and FitandBendy.
Although a physiotherapist is not a dancer all dancers will need a physiotherapist at some point in their life, therefore who better to treat the ailments of dancers than a person who has danced themselves?
A physiotherapist is a medical specialist who treats injury, disease or deformity of the body through methods such as massage, stretching, exercise and manipulation to help a patient gain the best mobility and function of their body as possible.
A physio helps dancers prevent injury and assist in rehabilitation after an injury.
Becoming a qualified physiotherapist requires at least four years of full-time study or five if taken as a double degree.
Physiotherapists are extremely important to dancers and every ballet company that can afford to will have at least one if not a team of physiotherapists on their staff.
kinesiology is the study of human movement.
It involves studying imbalances of the body and therefore movement that is causing disease, pain or injury.
It can also be about rehabilitating patients from disease, pain or injury.
The role of a kinesiologist is not the same as a physiotherapist. kinesiology is a holistic treatment that looks at the balance of a patient’s physical, chemical, and emotional state.
A kinesiologist can also assist dancers in developing the full potential of their movement through their holistic treatments.
Many dancers are fascinated in learning more about how their bodies move the way they do and therefore studying kinesiology (which can be done as a double major) and becoming a kinesiologist can be a great option.
So this might not be the most scientific definition but I have always felt that a myotherapist was a massage therapist crossed with a physiotherapist. A myotherapist treats muscular and joint pain and they have extensive knowledge of the muscles of the human body and of how they interact with each other. They know that when you are complaining of lower back pain the culprit can be a tendon attached to the hip at the front of your body and will assess and treat that rather than just massage your lower back to help relieve the pain. They know exactly how to relieve aches and pain through physical therapy which can consist of massage, pressure points, cupping, soft tissue therapy, myofascial therapy and more. They can also give their clients exercises and stretches to do to compliment their treatment.
Many sporting clubs, as well as dance companies, employ the services of myotherapists to help warm up, rub down, treat and rehabilitate their athletes and dancers. As a myotherapist is someone I recommend all dancers visit to relieve general aches and pains that do not need to be treated by a physiotherapist or doctor, who better than to treat dancers than someone who has danced themselves.
26. PSYCHOLOGIST OR PSYCHIATRIST FOR DANCERS
So becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist might not be jobs that you would have thought to be on this list but keep on reading as we tell you why we think it is a really good career for a dancer to pursue.
A psychologist is a person who has trained for many years to help treat patients with mental health problems and behaviors. A Psychiatrist does the same but is a trained medical doctor who can prescribe medication.
A psychologist or psychiatrist such as Terry Hyde in the YouTube video above specializes in treating dancers with mental health issues. A dancer might alternatively need the help of a performance psychologist who are used to increase athletes performance in high profile sporting clubs. Once again because dancers need the services of these professionals, the best usually come with an understanding and background in dance to best help their patients.
27. REGISTERED DIETITIAN OR NUTRITIONIST
Firstly it is important to state that different countries and states have different standards of study for the roles of a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, so before your child enrolls into a course because they are so passionate about what dancers put into their bodies to keep them in top performance condition you will need to investigate what type of study and accreditation is best for them to gain as it really should involve at least fours years of study at a university or college.
A dancers diet is a tricky subject. Dance is all about aesthetics, that is – about what the body looks like moving and therefore dancers can be very conscious of what their body looks like even when it is not moving. Many dance companies today either have registered dietitians on staff or consultants to help their dancers stay in top condition and to help them make good food choices. Meal and snack planning that caters to a dancers routine is important and many parents of young dancers also seek advice from dietitians who are knowledgeable about the requirements of a dancers body as they seek help to optimize their child’s nutrition.
Some dancers are instinctively interested in their own eating habits and how they can fuel their body for peak performance and further study of the field comes naturally to them as well as advising others of what they should and should not be eating for optimal health.
28. COSTUME DESIGNER
Liz Vandal, costume designer for the Kansas City Ballet wanted to be a ballerina before she discovered her love for design. Being a dancer lends itself to understanding how a costume will look and move on stage. A dancer will understand what is comfortable and what is not and how important a strong clip or hook is to make sure everything stays in the right place, because from experience one of the most awful things as a dancer is to be on stage worried that your costume or leotard is about to move and reveal something you don’t want it too.
The road to becoming a costume designer can be varied but as Liz says in this video, having some talent is good, but talent is nothing without hard work and the discipline and motivation to constantly learn and get better. Your child can begin to learn design at high school and continue through a university degree or other course. They might learn through internships and experience or they might even be self-taught as Liz was, just following her passion and becoming the best she could be at her craft. Most costume designers begin as dressmakers or tailors sewing, embellishing and making the costumes first before being promoted to design and this in itself is another job that is fulfilling to many people.
Apart from designing costumes for ballet companies, the costumes sold to your dance teacher need a designer and they also need a distributor and marketer – all jobs your child might be interested in doing in the future.
29. DANCEWEAR DESIGNER
Every dancer needs a leotard and so as long as there are dancers there will always be a demand for well made, on trend dancewear. Does your child love to sew or create new looks for their dance wardrobe? Well perhaps designing or making dancewear is for them? Dancers know how dancewear should be designed to withstand the rigors of a sweaty dance lesson, they know that they want to look their best and want to keep up with the styles and fashion of the moment.
To become the best at their craft your child might choose to pursue a college degree in design or intern with a dancewear company. Or like Liz Murphy they might choose to make and sew dancewear in there spare time as a side business, honing and developing their craft until the time is right to take it on as a full-time business.
Dancewear also needs to be sold and marketed by someone, perhaps you child has dreams of owning their own dancewear shop or having an online business where they curate and select the best dance gear they can find. The dance wear industry is made up of many individuals doing many different important jobs and one might just be the right fit for your child.
30. MAKE UP HAIR ARTIST
Many dancers fall in love with doing their stage make-up, playing with different looks and products. But some people just have that extra gift for choosing the exact right colours and shades and know just how to apply the products to create the most complimentary effect on anyone’s face! They are the person everyone calls on and asks for help when stuck doing their own make-up. If your child is that person, perhaps a career as a make-up artist for the stage or even film is something that might light them up inside and bring them fulfilment, whilst also being able to stay rooted to their love of dance.
The above YouTube video by Lisa Elderidge, a professional make up artist explains that most make-up artists fail because they don’t focus on being good at one style of make-up wanting to work with clients for film, stage, and editorial work. She says to become good and known for what you do instead of wanting to do every single type of make-up niche down and concentrating on only one area. For dancers, this might be stage make-up of even film. It can also be doing make-up for weddings, prom or any other occasion people want to pay you for because it means you are working and employed.
31. HAIR DESIGNER OR THEATRICAL WIG MAKER
So a Theatrical Wig Maker might not be a job you ever thought a dancer might end up doing, but the thing is that nearly every production be it big or small uses them – I was in an amateur version of 42nd Street and wore one! So if your child wants to keep within the industry and have a love for hair, apprenticing to become a hair designer or theatrical wig maker and work within the hair department of a production company might be the perfect vocation for your child.
32. SET DESIGNER OR BUILDER
Set design is the creation of a place in time or space which helps tell a story, set a scene or atmosphere that is believable to the performers and audience.
Tanja from the video above is a set designer based in Melbourne, Australia. Her advice on becoming a set designer is to be involved in as many productions as you can and to learn as much as you can from just doing – which is very much what a dancer does – they look for any opportunity to perform. But if your child is just as interested in the space they are performing in as they are the actual performance itself, set design or building might be a job they will be interested in.
To become a set designer along with a lot of production experience it is desirable to have further education in some area of design or building. The study doesn’t necessarily need to be in architecture or engineering it could be as Tanja studied a Masters in stage design.
If your child has a love for architecture or building things, becoming a set designer or builder could be just for them as they utilise their understanding of human movement and how it interacts with a space to create a story.
33. PROP MASTER
Does your kid jump at the chance to help out and make the props for their dance solo or dance troupe? I did! But I never really got the fact that it was a real job because it was just so much fun!
Seriously there is a job called a Prop Master whose task it is to source, make and put all the items that are placed on a set! This might just be your kid’s dream job just as it is Adam’s in the video above who had a behind the scenes look at prop making for Walt Disney World. I mean come on, you can get a job being a prop master not only for a dance company or theatre production but also at Disney Land – The Happiest Place on Earth!
To become a prop master your child might be lucky enough to gain an apprenticeship starting at the very bottom and working and learning on the job, they might get experience from volunteering as prop master on all the shows they dance in and eventually build their own reputation through their work or it might be they get their knowledge through a college degree or diploma course that teaches stage crafting skills. A great article all about being a prop master can be read here from the website Get In Media/Entertainment Careers.
34. LIGHTING TECHNICIAN OR DESIGNER
A lighting technician or designer is responsible for lighting the set of a performance. They work with the director or choreographer to create lighting that enhances a scene, to create emotion or atmosphere, for example creating a cheery happy day or spooky ghostly night. A lighting technician has electrical knowledge and sets up the lighting on a rig above the stage and at various points around an auditorium to project light onto the stage. Today they also need knowledge of specialised computer programs that help to control changing lighting patterns and combinations which would be too complicated to control and change simultaneously and manually.
‘Light is to dance, like, water is to fish’ are the words Mark Stanley in the video above uses to stress the importance of good stage lighting to enhance the audience’s perception of what they are viewing on stage. Therefore who better to be in charge of lighting a production than a person with dance experience and training?
To become a lighting technician or designer there is no set industry standard, but University Degrees that train lighting design are available.
35. DANCE PHOTOGRAPHER
A dance photographer is a person who specializes in taking professional photos of all things dance. They might be employed to take photos for your childs dance school every year, they might have a booth at competitions so your dancer can get a professional shot whilst in full makeup and costume. You might employ a dance photographer to take photos of your child for their senior year to capture the memory of them not only as a student but also as a dancer. Professional dance photographers are also employed to capture shots for the promotion of ballet and other dance companies productions, for the performance program and for the purpose of art.
Dance photography is becoming more and more accessible and many dance photographers like Jordan Matter have developed huge followings through YouTube accounts and have published best selling dance photo books.
To become a dance photographer, doing a course in photography would be a good beginning and then practise and more practise to perfect the craft is needed. As a dancer, your child will have a unique understanding of their subject matter which will hopefully bring that something extra to their work.
36. DANCE VIDEOGRAPHER
A dance videographer is a person who films and edits dance footage to create a vision or package as directed by a choreographer. As a dance videographer, your child might be employed to film annual dance school recitals, school productions, or film routines fulfilling orders at a dance competition.
A dance videographer might specialize in filming music film clips or help a dancer or choreographer develop a showreel of their work to present to future employers. Today more and more people are employing professional videographers who specialize in shooting dance to film their choreography, music film clips and dancing to create professional looking YouTube material for their own channels.
A dance videographer or filmaker might also work with a professional dance company capturing new works to be shown on television or to be made into DVD’s to be sold.
There are many film making courses and degrees available to teach your child the skills of film making, and if this is there passion it is so easy to pick up a smartphone today and record friends or themselves and use free online editing material to make a start on learning the basics.
37. CREATE YOU OWN ONLINE DANCE BUSINESS
There are many people out there today creating new dance businesses from teaching dance classes online to developing a Niche website such as this one which relies on the creator’s knowledge, love, and passion for dance.
As technology advances and our access to quick online resources develops it will be interesting to see what new careers and businesses are created.
The guys from Income School, Jim & Ricky have an awesome course on how to create a website in a niche area for those really serious about creating a business online. You can access information about it by clicking on this affiliate link to their website incomeschool.com
38. SHOW GIRL OR BURLESQUE DANCER
A show girl or a burlesque dancer will perform in a show for the pure enjoyment and entertainment of an audience. Costumes, choreography, make up, special effects and more are all developed with the intention of wowing an audience.
Some popular places where showgirls or burlesque dancers are employed are at casinos such as those in Las Vegas, on cruise ships or showboats, at theatre restaurants such as the Moulin Rouge in Paris or within troupes such as the Rockettes.
To get a job as a show girl or burlesque dancer a dancer needs to have good solid ballet training. Training in jazz, acrobatics, musical theatre or Broadway and tap will also increase a dancers chances of being employed in this industry. For females being able to dance a variety of styles whilst in heels is also a pre-requisite and some employers may have height and weight requirements as they require their dancers to look similar which helps to enhance the illusion of unison during a performance.
39. BALLET COMPANY MEMBER
We weren’t going to add this one in because we thought it was so obvious, but we loved this YouTube video so much by Kathryn Morgan who was a soloist with the New York City Ballet that we couldn’t resist. We are not going to add much more, because Kathryn gives you some honest advice in this video other then to say to become a ballerina your child needs to go to alot of ballet lessons, then needs to go to more ballet lessons and then when you think they have been to enough…. they need to go and do some more!