Growing up to be a ballerina is every little girl’s dream. The idea of putting on pink satin shoes and a crystal tutu whilst being lifted by their Prince Charming seems the only future they want, but in the modern entertainment industry, dancing in a ballet company is only one career option for a dancer. From cruise ships to theme parks to music videos, now more than ever is a promising time for future professional dancers. Below are just some of the prospective career paths for you to consider!
The cruise ship industry is one of the fastest growing in the world! With entertainers ranging from dancers to singers to acrobats and on board entertainment staff, cruise ships are a great option for dancers wanting to build a career in dance and travel the world. Contracts normally range from 6 to 12 months, and whilst the pay isn’t great, all your living expenses such as accommodation and food are included so your wage can go straight into your travel fund…which of course is already being paid for as well! Living on a ship means you can wake up in a new city or even country every day and the role of a performer means you’ll generally get your days off to go into port. The entertainment department can also be in charge of guest experiences such as dance classes, guest competitions and on board tours. Cruise ships are an overall great career for young dancers who are wanting to travel the world and have nothing tying them down back home. Keep an eye out for audition tours!
Like cruise ships, theme parks are another great way for dancers to work overseas on 6 to 12 month contracts. Whilst the Australian theme parks such as Movie World and Sea World are great places for dancers to start their professional career, an international contract is, of course, a lot more exciting. Places like Universal Studios and Disney often do casting tours looking for character lookalikes, dancers, singers and actors to hire in their live shows, character meet and greets and parades. International theme parks offer you the chance to meet performers from all over the world, as well as participate in various holiday spectaculars from Christmas to Halloween making for an ever-changing and exciting career!
Inspired from those of our own, teaching dance is a very valuable career path and with many schools now offering dance as an academic subject, a more secure and long term option. The process of becoming a secondary school dance teacher is generally a much longer process than that of a studio teacher. Depending on the University, the process normally consists of a three-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) degree, followed by a two-year Post-Graduate course in Education. Whilst you don’t need any qualifications to work as a studio teacher, many courses offer a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching, supplying participants with knowledge on specific styles of dance, nutrition and anatomy. If teaching dance isn’t quite what you want to do, other fitness classes such as barre, pilates and yoga are all great avenues to explore further!
Traditionally considered as the option for hopeful ballerinas, being employed by a company is often the start of a career for a classical or contemporary dancer. Employment is generally by an invitation only audition or through a fulltime school which many young hopefuls attend. Working for a company is a fulltime position consisting of training, performances and classes and many dancers note the difference in independence from schooling to a company. For many professional dancers, working for a company is their lifelong dream and grants many opportunities to move up through the company from ensemble to principal dancer and later into a choreographer or management role.
Dancer’s now more than ever are finding more and more opportunity to be employed professionally in the entertainment industry. Whether from a classical or street background, the ever growing business has a career suitable for any path you wish you take.