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Career profile Dancer

Also known as Ballerina, Ballet Company Member, Ballet Dancer, Ballet Soloist, Belly Dancer, Company Dancer, Dancer, Latin Dancer, Performing Artist, Soloist Dancer

Dancer

Also known as Ballerina, Ballet Company Member, Ballet Dancer

Interests Profile
  • Artistic
  • Realistic
  • Social
Pay Range
$11 - $48 (hourly)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
  • Coordination
Knowledge Areas
  • Fine Arts
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Prepare pointe shoes, by sewing or other means, for use in rehearsals and performance.
  • Study and practice dance moves required in roles.
  • Harmonize body movements to rhythm of musical accompaniment.
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What does a Dancer do?

Dancers perform dances.

In addition, Dancers may perform on stage, for broadcasting, or for video recording.

What kind of tasks does a Dancer perform regularly?

Dancers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Study and practice dance moves required in roles.
  • Harmonize body movements to rhythm of musical accompaniment.
  • Coordinate dancing with that of partners or dance ensembles.
  • Train, exercise, and attend dance classes to maintain high levels of technical proficiency, physical ability, and physical fitness.
  • Collaborate with choreographers to refine or modify dance steps.
  • Perform classical, modern, or acrobatic dances in productions, expressing stories, rhythm, and sound with their bodies.
  • Develop self-understanding of physical capabilities and limitations, and choose dance styles accordingly.
  • Audition for dance roles or for membership in dance companies.
  • Attend costume fittings, photography sessions, and makeup calls associated with dance performances.
  • Monitor the field of dance to remain aware of current trends and innovations.

The above responsibilities are specific to Dancers. More generally, Dancers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

What is a Dancer salary?

The median hourly wage for a Dancer is $18, and the average hourly wage is $25. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Dancer hourly wage range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low wages.

Many Dancers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Dancers earn less than $11 per hour, 25% earn less than $13, 75% earn less than $29, and 90% earn less than $48.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Dancers is expected to change by 30.0%, and there should be roughly 1,900 open positions for Dancers every year.

Median hourly wage
$18
Typical hourly wage
$11 - $48
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
30.0%

What personality traits are common among Dancers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Dancer are usually higher in their Artistic and Realistic interests.

Dancers typically have very strong Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Also, Dancers typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Dancer tend to value Achievement, Relationships, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Dancers strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Dancers strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Dancers moderately value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Dancers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as achievement/effort, persistence, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Dancers, ranked by importance:

Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

What education and training do Dancers need?

Dancers often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Dancers usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Dancers

  • 4.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 36.9% completed high school or secondary school
  • 21.6% completed some college coursework
  • 7.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 24.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 4.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Dancers

Dancers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as fine arts, customer and personal service, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Dancers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Fine Arts
Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Transportation
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Important Abilities needed by Dancers

Dancers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Dancers need abilities such as gross body coordination, extent flexibility, and dynamic strength in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Dancers, ranked by their relative importance.

Gross Body Coordination
The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
Extent Flexibility
The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Dynamic Strength
The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
Stamina
The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
Trunk Strength
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.

Critical Skills needed by Dancers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Dancers frequently use skills like active listening, critical thinking, and coordination to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Dancers, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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