Various / £8.18 per hour / More Info
Reading / £40-60 a week / More Info
Reading / No salary / More Info
Various Primary Schools / £15-£35 per hour part-time / More Info
BA (Hons) in Dance
and Theatre Performance
Grease, Kiss Me Kate,
Weâ€™ll Meet Again
Professional dancers perform in a variety of different setting including opera, musicals, ballet, television productions and nightclubs. As well as performing many teach in schools and colleges.
A day in a life of a dancer
A dancers life is constantly changing, depending on if you have a job, and what the job is. For the majority of dancers there is a lot of time when you are out of work. When you are out of work you are auditioning for jobs and also need to work in another industry to keep the money coming in. This job needs to have flexible hours for you to attend dance classes, and auditions.
When you have a dance job it is very hard work but very rewarding as you are doing a job you love. These jobs can range from being in a show in the West End or on tour, dancing in music videos, on a cruise, in a company, on T.V, in clubs and many more.
You have to get up early to rehearse and often don't get home until late at night, as the majority of shows are performed in the evening. You need to take care of you body by eating properly so that you look great but have enough energy and you need to stretch daily to avoid injury.
|1.||You have a different experience every time you go to work|
|2.||It is very rewarding – making the audience happy, doing what you love|
|3.||You meet so many interesting people who are always there to help you get your next job|
|3 not so great things about being a dancer|
|1.||The money is not that great as you can be out of work for a long time whilst auditioning|
|2.||Even if you are the best dancer at the audition you still may not get the job as it often goes on your appearance. For example you may be too small or have the wrong hair colour|
|3.||It is a very competitive industry and you have to have a strong personality or you will never succeed|
A dancers career is short in contrast to other careers therefore I suggest you gain A-levels in subjects which will help you out later in life. Of course still do an A level in dance, performing arts or theatre studies but try and achieve an A level in a subject with is considered more ‘academic’ e.g. English Literature or Maths.
To get into a top dance school/college you generally need 3 A levels with C or above and training in dance outside of your school hours. I would always recommend doing a degree rather than a diploma at a dance college therefore you also have a degree which helps with a back up career for when you retire or when you are out of work auditioning.
|3 opportunities and experiences you recommend people interested in becoming a professional dancer gain?|
|1.||Take acting and singing lessons as well as this allows you to go for more jobs in the dance industry e.g. Musical theatre.|
|2.||Think about gaining a qualification to become a teacher so when you are out of work you can at least be getting paid to teach the subject you love.|
|3.||Become a member of spotlight and equity, as they will help you get jobs (see websites below). You definitely need a good agent and spotlight will help you find one. You also need professional photos taken. For musical theatre it is mainly just a head shot but if you want to go into commercial dance you should consider getting a Z-Card created. (Dance photographers will know what this is.)|
The average salary of a professional dancer varies and often depends on the contract you sign. A contract is offered once the dancer has successfully auditioned for a position. This can be a minimum of £50 per show or with a major ballet company / west end show it can range on average from £250 to £500 per week.
However Equity (the performers union) is in legal battle at the moment trying to increase a dancer’s salary so that the minimum rate will always be £400 a week.
For TV and video work you are normally paid for the amount of days you work and then are paid for a 'buy out' which means the company can keep showing the commercial or video as many times as they like and don't need to keep paying you every time they show it. This fee can change from company to company and depends where it is shown e.g. Internet, BBC, ITV, on screens in supermarkets and so on.
But remember to always save money for tax as being a professional dancer also means you will be self employed and need to pay your own tax at the end of each year. I generally put 20% of each contract by in a different account to pay my tax, and if you have a little bit left after paying it all off then it’s time to go shopping!
You can study a BA (Hons) in Dance at;
|Bath Spa University|
|Birmingham City University|
|Buckinghamshire New University|
|De Montford University|
|Edge Hill University|
|Liverpool Hope University|
|Liverpool John Moores University|
|The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts|
|The Manchester Metropolitan University|
|University of Bedfordshire|
|University of Central Lancashire|
|University of Cumbria|
|University of Leeds|
|University of Plymouth|
|University of Salford|
|University of Sunderland|
|University of Sunderland|
|University of Ulster|
|University of Wales Institute, Cardiff|
|University of Winchester|
|University of Wolverhampton|
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