Dance Employment Opportunities
Who Hires Dancers and Dance Instructors?
Dancers and dance instructors are able to find employment in a variety of ways, depending upon their level of experience and the style of dance they choose.
Getting clear on your career goals will help you narrow your search, and having a basic familiarity with the available job opportunities will, too. For instance, recent statistics showed that there were more than 32,000 dance studios in the United States, which is good news for dance instructors. Whether your passion is ballroom dance, ballet, hip-hop, or Irish step dance, there are jobs out there for you. Or, you may decide to add yourself to that number and start your own dance studio or dance studio franchise.
How about a job on a cruise ship? Cruise lines can be a great place to search for both dancers and instructors. Dance lessons and dance parties are often a big part of the recreational activities provided on cruise ships. Nightly dance performances are also often on the activities roster. Getting paid to what you love and travel in a dream for many.
Dance companies across the country regularly hire dancers, dance instructors and choreographers. Whether a dance company creates new works or restages existing works, they rely on paid professionals to oversee rehearsals, teach regular dance technique classes, and get the performance from the classroom to the stage. They need dancers for every production.
The same is true for theater and cabaret companies. Broadway wouldn’t be Broadway without song and dance, and many dancers and choreographers begin with careers here and then later become dance instructors after they have retired with a stellar reputation. But finding employment in theater isn’t limited to Broadway. There are playhouses and theater groups of all sizes, from local, community groups, to regional groups, summer performance groups, all they way up to the bright lights of the big city productions. Some dancers and choreographers also find work in opera, as many opera productions include dance.
Ballroom dance instructors are enjoying a renaissance of interest right now, and social dancing is hot. Numbers of people looking to learn to waltz, swing, fox trot and tango are growing at staggering rates. Latin dance, such as salsa, merengue, and bachata, is also quite popular, and dance instructors are finding employment in ballroom dance schools and by offering dance lessons in nightclubs in the early part of the evening before live or dj music begins.
Other local establishments that regularly employ dance instructors are community centers, health clubs and gyms. Students of all ages are interested in learning to dance, and many find dancing to be an enjoyable alternative to their other exercise routines. Recreation centers can be a great place for beginning instructors, especially, since they handle the marketing aspect for you by sending out regular mailings and catalogues to local residents. Gyms these days often include dance classes as a part of their class schedule.
Dance fitness classes are another option, where dance instructors create hybrid classes that include dance, strength training and stretching to give a well-rounded workout.
Many dance instructors find great satisfaction working as dance educators in public or private schools and universities. Dance instruction may be offered as part of the physical education curriculum, or may be given special emphasis and considered as its own subject. Most of these positions require a degree and teaching certification.
For those with a more entrepreneurial spirit, opening a dance studio or opting to start a dance studio franchise is a better fit. The freedom and flexibility of ownership makes either of these an attractive option. Some dance franchise opportunities, such as creative movement classes for toddlers, require little dance experience, and offer the credibility of an established brand name and valuable expertise to help you get started. Others choose to become dance therapists, and open a private practice that combines their love of dance with helping people.
Dancers and dance instructors of today are fortunate because job search tools such as job boards make the search easier and faster than ever. If you have a computer (or access to one) then you can look for work from the comfort of your own home. You might be surprised by how many jobs you can find!