A person seeking employment as a professional dancer may have a variety of employment opportunities available, such as performing in stage productions or providing instruction at dance and fitness studios. Dancers can also serve a dual role, both dancing and serving as choreographer in smaller community productions. Whatever the employment sought by a dancer, one key element of this career is physical fitness.
Dancers in stage productions or video work should expect to work long hours learning and rehearsing routines and choreographed sections. This requires both excellent dance technique and also great physical exertion and flexibility; proper diet is important as well. Dancers must also know relevant techniques and be able to execute them. They are expected to understand and respond quickly to the directors and choreographers, as well as be fluent in the style of dance required by their production. At dance and fitness studios, a dancer may teach styles such as ballroom and swing dancing to couples or provide fitness work in more vigorous styles that promote aerobic fitness.
Many dancers start their careers early in life, gaining instruction from childhood as dancers and performing in recitals; additionally, they may seek out universities or other postsecondary institutions with degree programs in the field. Most dancers are required to work long hours in rehearsal, as well as irregular hours in performance.
Perform in stage events including musicals, dance shows and concerts, movies, videos, commercials, or community or entertainment events.
May assist with choreography.
Express narrative and rhythm of dances through body movements.
Train and attend rehearsals.