How long does it take to be a professional dancer

How Long Does It Take to Become A Professional Ballerina?

One of the big questions many keen young ballerinas will ask in class is how long does it take to become a professional ballerina?  And the answer is a tricky one because there are lots of things to consider and everyone is different.

Let’s start by saying that a general average is about 9 years.  So, if you start at age 10, you could be looking at turning pro at around 19 years old.  Some people do it quicker, some people take longer.  But even then, it isn’t the finish of the story.

When are you classed as a ‘professional ballerina?’

Before we dive into more numbers, let’s take a moment to consider what it really means to be a professional ballerina.  The simplest explanation is that you are someone who is paid to dance rather than paying to learn to dance.  Some people would argue that just because you are paid, you may not be a professional.  That’s why there are also different terms used to further quantify this.

When a dancer is first accepted into a company, they are termed as an apprentice.  This usually means they are no longer an amateur but may not be paid for dancing yet.  However, they don’t have to pay for training, shoes, equipment or anything needed to perform.  Some people see this as the first time you can be called a professional, even if you aren’t being paid a wage for dancing.

The 10,000-hour rule

While there is nothing in the guide to ballet that says you must have a certain amount of hours of practice to become a professional, some experts have to take a look at the professionals and come up with the 10,000-hour rule.

This takes the idea that you need 9 years of practice to make a professional and works out at just over 21 hours a week.  Of course, no-one expects a 9 or 10-year-old to be doing 20+ hours of dance practise a week.

Therefore, the idea is to increase the amount of training per week as the dancer gets older.  An example could be:

  • Age 9 - 4 hours a week
  • Aged 13 - 20 hours a week
  • Aged 18 - 30 hours a week

Following a scale like this where each year, the number of hours a week is increased, the dancer will reach that 10,000 hours by the age of 20-21 if they started at the age of 9.   Others start earlier but don’t increase their hours as quickly.  While others start later and cram in more training.

The training never stops

The other thing to remember is that once you reach that stage of being a professional, the training and work doesn’t stop.  Most professionals will dance for around 10 hours a day and will be in classes, training or performing 5-6 days a week.

So, while aiming for a certain number of years or hours of training can give you something to work towards, it is worth remembering that it isn’t job done - being a professional is just the next step in your ballet career.

How many years does it take to become a dancer?

  • 2021-12-09
  • 111


  • How many years does it take to become a dancer?
  • Do you have to go to college to be a dancer?
  • Can I become a dancer at 14?
  • What education do you need to be a dancer?
  • Who is the highest paid dancer?
  • Is dancing a career?
  • Can you be a ballerina and go to college?
  • Is 13 a good age to start dancing?
  • How much do dancers get paid?
  • Do you need a degree to be a professional dancer?
  • How long does it take to become a dance choreographer?
  • What do you need to know about dance training?
  • What can I do with Masters in dance education?

How many years does it take to become a dancer?

On average it takes 9 years of disciplined training to become a professional dancer. This is based on a dancer becoming serious at age 9 and turning pro at 18. Becoming a professional can take less or more time, can occur earlier or later and even 'professionals' continually train to become more professional.

Do you have to go to college to be a dancer?

Becoming a professional dancer doesn't necessarily require formal education or an academic degree, though several colleges and universities offer undergraduate and graduate programs in dance. Acceptance into these programs sometimes requires years of dance experience or training prior to admission.

Can I become a dancer at 14?

First of all, YES! Before you read any further you should know that you can start dance at any age!! In this specific case, we are talking about dance between the ages of 1-17. But in general, no matter your age, you can start at any time!

What education do you need to be a dancer?

Do I Want to Be a Professional Dancer?

Degree LevelNone required, but many have a bachelor's or master's degree
Degree FieldDance
ExperienceTraining often starts as early as the age of five in order for dancers to gain enough experience to find professional work

Who is the highest paid dancer?

Mikhail Baryshnikov 1 hour ago · Who is the highest paid dancer in the world? 1. Mikhail Baryshnikov – $45 Million. Mikhail Nikolaevich Baryshnikov was born in Riga, Latvia – then Soviet Russia – and is regarded as one of the best ballet dancers of the 20th century.

Is dancing a career?

People are involved in Dance as a career, as a leisure activity or a way to learn about the world, history, culture and other subjects. Dance forms include modern, ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, ballroom, creative dance, improvisation, hip hop and cultural dance.

Can you be a ballerina and go to college?

However, it is possible to complete college first. Some dancers choose a BFA program affiliated with a professional company; others shift their major to modern dance or musical theater, where age isn't as much of a priority.

Is 13 a good age to start dancing?

Surprisingly, it's still a pretty simple answer: It is absolutely not too late to begin at 13 and become a professional performer (i.e. dance as a primary occupation not a pastime). Many dancers have done this.

How much do dancers get paid?

How much do dancers make or earn? The average wage of a dancer in the US is $20. 70 an hour as reported in May 2018 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But 50% of dancers will actually earn $16.31 or less per hour.

Do you need a degree to be a professional dancer?

  • Becoming a professional dancer doesn't necessarily require formal education or an academic degree, though several colleges and universities offer undergraduate and graduate programs in dance.

How long does it take to become a dance choreographer?

  • Dance companies often travel for a portion of the year, and choreographers must go with the company as they move around. Workdays can be long, since rehearsals take place during the day and performances are held at night. Some positions may be physically demanding.

What do you need to know about dance training?

  • Through dance training, choreographers are able to create and teach these sequences of movement to dancers. Dancers in general begin training early, often in childhood. Through years of dance training, aspiring choreographers learn a variety of techniques and dance styles to incorporate into a future career.

What can I do with Masters in dance education?

  • A master's degree in dance education prepares for the challenges of dance instruction. During your master's degree program, you'll learn how to assess your students' skills and learn to understand the developmental stages of a dancer.

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where to study, salary, pros and cons

Author: Professional Guide

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Dancer is a person of art who performs rhythmic movements to music, taking part in theatrical performances, shows. The profession belongs to the type “a person is an artistic image”, it requires excellent self-discipline and, of course, talent. Children who distinguish literature, physical education, music and singing from all school subjects can become dancers. By the way, the ProfGid career guidance center has recently developed an accurate career guidance test that will tell you which professions suit you, give an opinion about your personality type and intelligence. nineOl000

  • Best colleges and academies for dancers
  • Best universities
  • Place of work
  • Salary
  • Salary of a dancer as of December 2022
  • Professional knowledge
  • Famous dancers
  • Examples of companies with vacancies as a dancer
  • Brief description

    This profession has a rich history and is closely associated with the arts. However, the success of dancers by more than 50% depends on dedication, endurance, self-discipline. A specialist can work independently, performing solo choreographic numbers, it is also worth highlighting pair and collective dances. There are a lot of types and techniques of this art direction:

    • ballet;
    • pop and folk dance;
    • historical dance and others.

    See also:

    Also distinguish styles such as street jazz, hip-hop, R'n'B, contemporary dance, street dance, etc. Dancers choose the style and type of performing arts based on their physical abilities, temperament, personal preferences. On stage, they create artistic images, convey emotions, making the hearts of the audience tremble. nine0003

    Features of the profession

    Anyone can become a professional dancer, but it is worth starting training in childhood. Choreographers recommend giving children to dance studios at the age of 3-7 years, which will allow them to develop good posture, plasticity, stretching, a sense of rhythm and other skills necessary for professional performance. Dancers most often work in 1-2 overlapping styles, they pay special attention to training and rehearsals, maintaining excellent physical shape. A career is short, because its peak is at the age of 15-25 years, and after 30 years, most specialists change their field of activity. They can realize their talent and knowledge in other areas, working as directors, choreographers, school teachers. nine0003

    Dancers independently or under the guidance of a choreographer create performances: choice of music, sequence and rhythm of movements, costumes and image, facial expressions, plasticity. Before performing the dance, they rehearse for a long time, honing their skills. Many members of this profession often travel around their home country and travel abroad, where they give concerts. The activity is associated with certain difficulties, which leaves an imprint on the lifestyle and character of the dancer. nine0003

    Pros and cons of the profession

    1. Excellent physical development, because dancing strengthens the body and willpower.
    2. Opportunity to work on the best stages.
    3. Talented dancers achieve success quickly.
    4. The profession is interesting, active and ambitious people will like it.
    5. Opportunity to earn income from various sources, because dancers work alone or in pairs, can take part in private productions, star in music videos. nine0016
    6. Useful business connections in the world of art.
    7. The opportunity to change the field of activity, because dancers often open schools, give private lessons, work as choreographers - the choice of directions is huge.
    1. High injury rate.
    2. Serious injuries can put an end to a professional career.
    3. Short career period.
    4. Very high competition.

    See also:

    Important personal qualities

    Dancers have excellent plasticity, but in this profession not only technical performance is important, but also emotionality. The dancers convey the idea of ​​the performance with the help of movements, facial expressions, so they must be distinguished by well-developed artistry. Increased efficiency, resistance to physical stress and low pain threshold are very important, because rehearsals and performances often end with sprains, dislocations and other minor injuries. nine0078 Only those people who do not suffer from laziness, negligence, and excessive self-confidence ascend to the pinnacle of success.

    Dance training

    Professional education can be obtained in different institutions:

    • schools and academies of choreography;
    • dance studios;
    • colleges;
    • universities.

    There are no special requirements for the education of a dancer, the level of his skill is determined during choreographic tests. nine0010 It is worth starting training at a young age in order to reach a professional level. Let's consider the most interesting directions:

    • "The art of dance (by type)", implemented in choreographic colleges and schools. You can start training after grades 7-9, which depends on the requirements of the college;
    • The Art of Ballet. The direction of training is open in many creative colleges, studio schools, academies. Children who have completed the 4th grade of the school are invited to study. nine0016

    You can also go to study at a university, choosing a specialty related to choreography, folk dance and other areas. Primary training can be obtained in public and private schools of choreographic art, during individual lessons.


    • 4 years

      90,000 ₽/year

      12 budget places

    • nine0002 4 years

      158,100 ₽/year

      23 budget places

    • 4 years

      65,000 ₽/year

      8 budget places

    • 4 years

      200,000 ₽/year

      16 budget places

    Best Primary Schools

    1. Dance Quarter School.
    2. School for children "Dancevaliya".
    3. State 27 Dance Studio.

    Best colleges and academies for dancers

    1. ARB im. A. Ya. Vaganova.
    2. MGAH.
    3. MCU at the Moscow State Academy of Theater Arts "Gzhel".
    4. School-studio (school) at GAANT them. I. Moiseeva.
    5. KMTI them. G. P. Vishnevskaya.

    Best universities

    1. IPCC. nine0016
    2. GITIS-RATI.
    3. MGAH.
    4. ARB them. A. Ya. Vaganova.
    5. Russian State University A. N. Kosygin.
    6. ISI.
    7. UGAI.
    8. SPbGUP.
    9. AGIIK.
    10. KemGIK.

    See also:

    Place of work

    Dancers are in demand in theaters, film industry and organization of holidays and events. They can work as teachers, find vacancies in nightclubs, private groups - there are many options for employment. nine0003


    There is no exact tariff rate in this segment, because everything depends on the style in which the dancer works, personal qualities, education, reputation and experience. Dancers can receive a fixed salary or fees for each performance, lesson.

    Dancer's salary for December 2022

    Salary information provided by portal.

    Russia 25000-160000 RUB

    Moscow 40000-100000 RUB

    Professional knowledge

    1. Classical choreography.
    2. Acting.
    3. Fundamentals of physical training.
    4. Art History.
    5. Foreign languages ​​(for professionals who work abroad).

    Famous dancers

    1. Karen Hardy.
    2. Ekaterina Krysanova.
    3. Yankovsky Vyacheslav Vyacheslavovich.

    See also:

    Examples of companies with vacancies as a dancer

    ᐅ How to become a dancer | How do they become dancers?

    Many people dream of working as a professional dancer, imagining fame, popularity and brilliance of spotlights. But how to become a dancer, what is needed for this? Let's find out!

    To begin with, it is worth understanding that this is, first of all, hard work, and only a few are given to break onto the stage.

    The profession of a dancer requires good physical shape and long training sessions. nine0003

    • How to become a dancer?
    • How do you become a dancer from scratch?
    • Schools where one becomes a dancer
    • How to become a dancer without education?
    • How to become a good and successful dancer?

    How to become a dancer?

    Anyone can become a dancer. This does not require special education, somewhere to study, and all that is needed is to experience the pleasure of dancing. But that's if it's a hobby. Amateur and professional dancing, pleasure and work as a dancer are very different concepts. nine0003

    I dream of becoming a professional dancer. How do they become dancers in general, what do you need to know and be able to do, how to start?

    Unfortunately, and maybe fortunately, not all become successful dancers. To do this, you need not only to love to dance, but also to have a confident and strong desire to improve, overcoming difficulties.

    In order to reach the top in the profession, it is not so much external data that is important, but attitude to business and diligence. With these qualities, you can become a good dancer, whose performances are pleasant to watch the audience. nine0003

    How do you become a dancer from scratch?

    In order to become a dancer from scratch, you need to be sure that this particular job will become the work of a lifetime. Such a creative profession requires complete dedication and the ability to express vivid emotions.

    In addition, you need to prepare physically and develop endurance. After all, rehearsals last many hours and take place almost every day.

    Before you start mastering the profession, you need to decide on the style. nine0003

    There are a huge number of them, and it is important to choose the most suitable one for yourself. When choosing, it is worth considering personal preferences and your level of physical fitness. For confidence, you can rehearse in front of a mirror.

    Schools for becoming dancers

    You can become a dancer after receiving a special education. To do this, you need to enter an art college or university. They are accepted here on the basis of nine and 11 classes, depending on the direction. nine0003

    To enroll in a group, you need to pass a creative competition, for which you should prepare well. You also need to be ready to provide the results of the exam in Russian and literature. The exact list of subjects required for admission can be clarified at the educational institution.

    Training to be a dancer in an educational institution is not yet a guarantee that you can become one.

    Getting a professional education on the basis of a college or university will not yet give you the opportunity to become a dancer, but it is an opportunity to acquire all the necessary knowledge and skills. nine0003

    Experienced teachers will help you develop your talent and fully reveal your creative potential. They will point out mistakes and help correct them. But a lot depends on the student. Therefore, the educational institution itself will not make you a dancer, it will only give you an opportunity.

    For example, while studying, students have the opportunity to participate in many competitions and festivals, which will help them test their strength and even get a job offer.

    How to become a dancer without education?

    Many people become dancers without special education. For this profession, attitude and talent are much more important. If a person truly loves to dance and develops his abilities, then he will be able to achieve considerable success. It is important to understand that a couple of hours of training three times a week is not enough to become a professional dancer. You have to work hard and hone your skills.

    For beginner dancers, it is not so much the technique of performance that is important, but the development of endurance and the ability to express their emotions through body language. The presence of charisma and a bright personality distinguishes a good dancer from the rest. You need to be ready for constant hard training and strictly follow the regimen. nine0003

    You can learn to dance professionally if you have good skills on your own. But it is better to seek help from professionals. To do this, there are many circles, courses and dance schools. There, in a fairly short time, you can master a certain dance style. Regular classes with a dance teacher will help develop physical endurance, learn basic dance moves, and develop talent in yourself.

    Members of clubs and dance schools often get the opportunity to participate in competitions and perform at concerts. This has a positive effect on emotional mood, increases confidence and gives you the opportunity to express yourself. Achievements in competitions will be a great addition to the portfolio of a novice dancer. nine0003

    How to become a good and successful dancer?

    In order to succeed and shine on stage, you will have to make a lot of effort. The most important qualities of a good dancer are charisma, perseverance and hard work.

    The main thing is to choose this profession consciously and remember that behind the beauty and brilliance of dancers' performances there are constant training and heavy workloads.

    And as mentioned above, one cannot become a dancer overnight, without proper preparation. You need to play sports and follow the necessary regimen. Only thanks to this, professional dancers cope with difficult numbers and exhausting rehearsals. nine0003

    It is important to choose the most appropriate dance style for you. You can master it perfectly by completing training as a dancer in a professional educational institution. And for people who want to learn how to dance without going to college or university, there are many options for circles, courses and dance schools.

    In any case, learning to dance professionally is much easier with a teacher. It will help you master all the dance moves and learn how to beautifully express emotions on stage with the help of dance.

    Learn more