How to become a dancer with no experience
How to Be a Professional Dancer in 5 (Not So Easy) Steps
Posted By JBS Admin on Jun 15, 2020 |
Professional dancers come from many walks of life, with different sets of experience and backgrounds. Some have been studying ballet since shortly after taking their first steps. Others begin dancing as tweens or teens and soon find themselves consumed with dreams of dancing for a living. But regardless of how you get started, there are 5 steps you’ll need to follow if your goal is to become a professional dancer.Train with the Best
If your goal is to become a professional dancer, the quality of training you receive will make or break your chances of making it as a professional. Many dancers start their careers in local studios or companies, but when you become serious about turning professional, it’s time to look for the best training you can find.
That’s where Joffrey Ballet School’s pre-professional training comes in. Our pre-professional dance trainee program is a full-time course in dance that prepares you for a career as a professional dancer. We offer two tracks: Ballet and Jazz & Contemporary. Both programs provide thousands of hours of dance training, performance preparation and experience, along with classroom instruction in Career Planning; Critical Analysis; Music; Anatomy; Dance History; Health and Nutrition and more.
If your goals are more long term and you’re not quite ready to make the leap into pre-professional training, a summer dance intensive offers an opportunity to enhance your training and gain skills rapidly, without making a full time commitment to training until you’re ready. And it’s a great way to “try on” full time training and find the school that is right for you.Gain Versatility and Performance Experience
At Joffrey, one of our mottoes for our pre-professional trainees is to “be the dancer that has it all.” What we mean is that a professional dancer needs more than just strong technical skills in a single discipline to be successful as a professional dancer.
Why is versatility so important? It used to be the case that dancers focused mainly on a single discipline because that is what the majority of roles required. Today, dance productions tend to be more “multi-disciplinary,” often incorporating multiple styles and disciplines in a single production or role. For instance, a ballet dancer could be called upon to incorporate elements of classical, modern and Latin dance in a role. The dancer who will be hired for that role is going to be the one with the training to excel in all of those disciplines.
So, when developing yourself as a dancer, look for opportunities to gain versatility and experience that could benefit you later by being willing to try new things and step outside the box. A summer dance intensive is a great way to do this, and that’s why Joffrey offers intensives in so many different styles.
With us, you can study classical or contemporary ballet, latin dance, jazz, tap or hip-hop. You’ll gain performance experience in our in-studio performances and student showcases in professional venues. You’ll gain versatility in a short period of time that you’ll need in your future professional career, and who knows? You just might discover a new passion in the process.Have Realistic Expectations
One of the toughest decisions a dancer has to make is to determine which career preparation track to follow: studying dance at a college or university, or enrolling in some form of pre-professional training. There are pros and cons to both forms of training: college might allow you to pursue other options as well as dance, providing a backup plan of sorts for when your dance career ends.
Yet, while a backup plan is nice, dancers also have to accept that dance is also a time-limited career, one that favors younger dancers. Finishing high school and college, followed by a year or two of pre-professional study puts you well into your twenties by the time you finish. Most dancers will retire when the wear and tear on their bodies takes its toll, usually in their 30s or 40s if they are fortunate. For dancers that choose the college track, that means a career of 10 to 15 years, at best, plus being at a possible disadvantage compared to the dancers who got their start younger, when their bodies were stronger and more resilient.
By combining high school completion and pre-professional training, dancers can extend their careers on stage and get a much younger start, but there is a risk if their careers come to a premature end due to injury or other factors – or never really get started at all.
For these reasons, dancers need to be realistic and ask themselves the tough questions about their ultimate life and career goals. Are you willing to forego the college experience in order to extend your career and improve your dance prospects? Do you have a plan for what you will do when that career ends? Dancers who want to make it as a professional need to consider not just their dance career, but their ultimate life goals.Put Together a Professional Portfolio
Okay, so let’s say you’ve got the training. You’ve got the talent. You’ve got the versatility. And you’ve asked the hard questions about your chosen career path. You’re ready to take the next steps. That means putting together a professional dance portfolio.
At Joffrey, we offer career planning and work with our pre-professional trainees as they near the end of their time with us to put together their portfolio. The portfolio includes a resume or CV (short for curriculum vitae) and professional headshots. Dancers should also curate what used to be called a dance “reel”; a video of dance clips showing your best skills. These can be shared electronically via file sharing apps, on a disk or thumb drive as a video audition.
Your resume should include your name, contact information (phone and email), a complete listing of your dance training and education, your representation (if you have an agent) and your union status. You should also list your training and performance experience: all schools attended, years of training and levels attained with each school, and specify your performance experience and roles. Dance competition experience and placement should be included as well.
For your headshot, professional photography and makeup is also very helpful. And while your dance clips don’t have to be professionally produced, you’ll make the best impression if they are well lit, well produced and show your dancing off to best advantage.Take Care of Your Body
Remember when we said that the average dancer’s professional career would likely end in their 30s or 40s? That’s one of the hardest truths about choosing to become a professional dancer: your time on stage will likely come to an end sooner than you might wish. Often, this will happen because your body simply can’t handle the strain as you get older.
However, the good news is that while aging is inevitable, you’re not helpless against it. You can extend your career through careful attention to your nutrition and conditioning throughout your career. Younger dancers benefit from the fact that the human body typically gains muscle through one’s teens and twenties. However, at around age 30, this starts to change quickly as the body begins to lose muscle mass at a pace of about 3% to 5% per year.
So if you want to be as strong as possible in the later portion of your career, don’t delay in paying attention to diet and strength conditioning.Be the Dancer that Has it All With Joffrey
Training, experience and versatility, realistic expectations, a professional portfolio and a commitment to nutrition and conditioning are just five of the factors you need to make it as a professional dancer. If you’re ready to learn more about how to succeed in this career path, contact Joffrey today to learn more about our pre-professional training and summer dance intensives.
JBS Admin (69 Posts)
Founded in 1953 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, Joffrey Ballet School maintains the vision of its founders to transform passionate dance students into versatile, individualistic artists able to collaborate and evolve fluidly in a fast-changing society. With an accredited dance program that offers two core areas of study – ballet and jazz/contemporary – JBS is known for its diverse curriculum and has the largest summer intensive training program in the country.
3 Tips for How to Become a Professional Dancer
To The Pointe
Follow us to stay updated on the latest news from our school & faculty. We also aim to provide inspiration and encouragement to aspiring dancers and their families interested in learning more about the world of ballet!
Sep 29, 2021 | Ballet
Ballet dancers practice one of the oldest arts of movement in the world, one that uses centuries-old techniques to express emotions and entertain with grace on stage. Dancers are storytellers – using a mixture of free-flowing and choreographed routines to share their narratives.
While there’s no clear-cut path to becoming a professional dancer, there are ways to train your skills enough soar through an audition.
The First Steps to Take to Become a Professional DancerTip #1: Train with Reputable Performing Arts Schools
Just like any other skill, education can do wonders for extending your knowledge and honing your abilities as a ballet dancer. Getting training from established teachers allows you to learn from the best of the bunch.
Training with reputable dance companies like Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, for instance, can help you develop your muscle memory, flexibility, discipline, and technique so that you can propel your talent to greater heights.
If you want a less traditional route, you can also get a bachelor’s degree to unravel the technicalities behind choreography, production, your specific dance history, and extensive training to enhance your body alignment.Tip #2: Explore the Expansive World of Dance and Gain Experience
Training helps build your foundation and strength but being versatile in today’s professional dance world is essential. Having experience and taking classes in character, modern, and even hip-hop will help you become the dancer that a director can count on.Tip #3: Attend Auditions to Gain Networks and Build Reputation
Aside from gaining experience from other forms, it helps to attend as many auditions as you can to build your strength in a high-pressure environment. This is closely related to acquiring more real-world knowledge on how dance works in the professional world, so you can step out of your comfort zone and boost your reputation in the process.
The Bottom Line: The Steps to Turning Your Talent into a Profession
The road to becoming a professional dancer and flourishing on stage is unique to every individual, but the steps to reach your dreams of dancing can feel clearer when you know the basics.
Why Choose Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet?
Are you looking for a ballet academy in Central Pennsylvania? If so, then the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet may be for you!
Marcia Dale Weary founded this reputable ballet academy in 1955, so we’re known worldwide for providing one of the finest classical ballet training programs.
Train with us today and see what we can do to fuel your passion!
Follow Us For More Content
← Previous Article Next Article →
Let’s Start the Conversation
Send us a message today!
- Kid’s Ballet Near Harrisburg, PA
December 16, 2022
Your child can learn the art of ballet through dance and have fun doing it! Our in-person beginner ballet classes near Harrisburg, PA, for children ages 3 – 10 are built on an age-appropriate curriculum. […]
- Ballet Summer Intensive Near New York
December 2, 2022
Founded in 1955 by Marcia Dale Weary, the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet continues to incorporate Marcia's vision for our students and for the future of ballet itself. […]
- Ballet Summer Intensive Near Washington D.C.
December 2, 2022
Ballet is one of the most prestigious forms of classical dance, originating in the 15th and 16th centuries during the Italian Renaissance. Since its origin, ballet has remained one of the most renowned forms of dance worldwide. […]
- Ballet Summer Intensive Near Baltimore
December 2, 2022
Dreaming of a career in ballet? Attending the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s summer intensive is one way to work toward accomplishing your goals. […]
- What to Pack for a Summer Ballet Intensive
December 2, 2022
A ballet summer intensive can be of the most formative experiences for anyone interested in pursuing ballet in a serious and professional manner. Enrolled students will explore advanced strength exercises and techniques to achieve goals and surpass their own personal expectations. […]
Thanks for Reading!
Looking for more information on issues related to the study of ballet or news about CPYB programs?
Return To Blog
where to study, salary, pros and cons
Author: Professional Guide
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
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:
- pop and folk dance;
- historical dance and others.
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
- Excellent physical development, because dancing strengthens the body and willpower.
- Opportunity to work on the best stages.
- Talented dancers achieve success quickly.
- The profession is interesting, active and ambitious people will like it.
- 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
- Useful business connections in the world of art.
- 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.
- High injury rate.
- Serious injuries can put an end to a professional career.
- Short career period.
- Very high competition.
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.
Professional education can be obtained in different institutions:
- schools and academies of choreography;
- dance studios;
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.
12 budget places
- nine0002 4 years
23 budget places
8 budget places
16 budget places
Best Primary Schools
- Dance Quarter School.
- School for children "Dancevaliya".
- State 27 Dance Studio.
Best colleges and academies for dancers
- ARB im. A. Ya. Vaganova.
- MCU at the Moscow State Academy of Theater Arts "Gzhel".
- School-studio (school) at GAANT them. I. Moiseeva.
- KMTI them. G. P. Vishnevskaya.
- IPCC. nine0016
- ARB them. A. Ya. Vaganova.
- Russian State University A. N. Kosygin.
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 hh.ru portal.
Russia 25000-160000 RUB
Moscow 40000-100000 RUB
- Classical choreography.
- Fundamentals of physical training.
- Art History.
- Foreign languages (for professionals who work abroad).
- Karen Hardy.
- Ekaterina Krysanova.
- Yankovsky Vyacheslav Vyacheslavovich.
Examples of companies with vacancies as a dancer
Madina Baisekeeva: 10 Lifehakov on how to become a professional dancer
Madina Baisekeeva - professional choreographer, director of the dance studio MB DANCE. She has been dancing all her life and today travels and teaches dance in China.
Set a goal
Why do you want to become a professional dancer? There are two types of people: professionals who dance for themselves, like to work on themselves, gain new knowledge and become better. And there are those who want to become a dancer for a specific purpose. nine0003
Work on oneself
It may be different. Physical activity: push-ups, jumps, squats or work on mistakes. To see your mistakes, you need to film the dance. You will find out what you are missing and work on it.
For those who choreograph
Try to update your playlist frequently. I am inspired by music. My choreography depends on the music and my mood. If the music is lyrical, then I dance accordingly. The same with hip-hop. nine0003
When there is no inspiration
This happens periodically. Especially among the residents of my country, because there are few events related to dancing. I advise you to leave the country, take master classes, return charged and teach others.
Try something else
Trying different types of dance is important. If a dancer dances in one direction and takes a master class in another, then he will not achieve anything. Therefore, I advise you to develop yourself in different styles. nine0003
Decide on a basic style
In order to achieve a certain effect, you need to focus on a specific style. You need to decide what you like best. For example, what do you do best?
Always go forward
There are times when you choreograph and you start to get stuck at one point. In such cases, I advise you to skip it and move on without getting hung up. nine0003
It's the 21st century, so no matter how talented you are, your resume and portfolio is Instagram.