Dancer Career

dancer-500For those with a passion for dancing or choreography, there is nothing better than getting the chance to do what you love for a living and using dance as a medium to express ideas or tell stories.

Due to the huge variations in dance styles and settings, each professional dancer or choreographer’s career path can be quite different.

Dancer Career Snapshot

The type of setting a dancer or choreographer works in dictates most aspects of the job and especially in terms of the work environment and hours. Nearly half of all dancers and choreographers work in a school environment, with the rest split between various types of shows and other performances. Some dancers may work a fairly normal 40-hour-a-week shift, while others may go for months in between performances.

Further details on a career as a dancer are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual salary for dancers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have less than a High school diploma while 35% have a High school diploma or equivalent.

Dancer Education

Talent and skill are generally the biggest requirement for a career as a dancer. This means that you’ll generally need to undergo years and years of formal training in order to be good enough to be a professional dancer. This is also usually true for choreographers as the majority of them also began their career as a dancer. Due to the need for so much formal training, nearly 50 percent of professional dancers did not finish high school compared to only about 14 percent of dancers with a bachelor’s degree.

Dancer Job Duties

As a professional dancer, your main duty will obviously be dancing. Of course, you will also spend hours and hours practicing and rehearsing. For choreographers and dance instructors, the duties are more limited towards creating dance performances and teaching pupils about various techniques and styles.

Dancer Salaries

As you might expect, the majority of professional dancers do the work because they have a passion for it and now because they expect to get rich. Although there are undoubtedly some very well-paid dancers out there, the median yearly salary for most dancers and choreographers stands at just over $27,400, which equates to about $13.75 an hour. Even the highest paid dancers still don’t typically make a huge salary as those in the top 10 percent still only have an average yearly salary of approximately $67,000.

Dancer Job Outlook

The overall job outlook for dancers is expected to remain steady over the next 10 years. The number of available careers is expected to grow by around 5 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is about the average rate of growth for most other careers.

Dancer Skills & Traits

Dancer Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Dancers:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Coordination
• Active Learning
• Instructing
• Gross Body Coordination
• Extent Flexibility
• Stamina
• Dynamic Strength
• Balance equipment
• Exercise balls
• Mens athletic footwear
• Notebook computers
• Performing General Physical Activities
• Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
• Thinking Creatively
• Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships

Related Careers


No Formal Education Credentials

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