Dance

Careers

Careers directly or closely related to dance include:

  • Choreographer
  • Community theatre worker
  • Dance instructor
  • Dance / movement psychotherapist
  • Dancer
  • Teacher / lecturer

There are other careers in performing arts and the creative / digital sectors where dance  can be helpful, although there are often other requirements too:

  • Agent
  • Arts administrator
  • Broadcast engineer
  • Broadcast journalist
  • Camera operator
  • Children’s entertainer
  • Circus performer
  • Costume designer
  • Director (stage / film / TV)
  • Film editor
  • Film / TV producer
  • Lighting designer / technician
  • Make up artist
  • Producer (stage / TV / film)
  • Prop maker
  • Set designer
  • Sound engineer / technician
  • Special effects technician
  • Stage manager
  • Stagecrew worker
  • Stunt artist
  • TV / film production assistant
  • TV / film runner
  • TV / radio presenter
  • Wardrobe assistant

Skills

Studying dance can help you develop a number of wider skills such as:

  • Adaptability
  • Analytical
  • Communication
  • Confidence and self-belief
  • Creativity
  • Evaluating your work
  • Dealing with / giving feedback
  • Organising
  • Physical and mental stamina
  • Presentation
  • Problem solving
  • Research
  • Resilience
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-promotion
  • Time management
  • Team working

These skills are important for many jobs at different levels and with a range of entry  routes, including apprenticeships and further or higher education. Here’s a selection:

  • Advertising account executive
  • Barrister / solicitor
  • Beauty therapist
  • Box office manager
  • Careers adviser
  • Carpenter / joiner
  • Customer service assistant
  • Events manager
  • Exhibition designer
  • Financial adviser
  • Florist
  • Front of house assistant
  • Fundraiser
  • Hairdresser
  • Interior designer
  • Journalist
  • Marketing assistant / officer
  • Painter and decorator
  • Public relations (PR) officer
  • Receptionist
  • Sales representative
  • Youth / community worker

Routes

It’s important to back up dance with other subjects. English and maths are required for most  jobs and for technical careers, you will probably need some sciences. Check the requirements for each career. 

Most professional dancers start classes at a young age. You have to pay for some types of  training but there are loans, scholarships and bursaries that can sometimes help. Some of the creative industries are also developing apprenticeships. 

Many jobs in performing arts don’t follow a conventional career path. Freelance work and  short term contracts are commonplace so it’s important to have a network of contacts and be good at promoting yourself. You also need to keep your skills up to date. Youth or community dance groups, dance workshops, internships or mentoring opportunities can all be a good starting point. 

Did You Know?

Anton du Beke, a performer on Strictly Come Dancing since the show began, had several  day jobs at the start of his career, including washing dishes and selling furniture!