How do I Become a Dancer?

Sheri Cyprus

If you want to become a dancer, the earlier you can start learning about and practicing dance, the better. Many professional dancers started taking dance lessons when they were children. By their late teens, those interested in pursuing dance as a profession are usually expected to have chosen a specialty such as ballroom or ballet in order to get into a good dance school. Earning a college degree is recommended if you want to become a dancer, because it can help you get other work if needed. Plus dancers with a degree may have the option of teaching dance when they retire.

Ballet instruction usually begins at an early age.
Ballet instruction usually begins at an early age.

Becoming a professional dancer is a big dream, yet it can happen if a talented person is dedicated to pursuing a career in dance. Those who wish to become dancers must be in good shape and work hard to maintain an agile and flexible body. Daily dancing practice is essential. Aspiring dancers should study dance on their own and in lessons. Being technically accurate in dance steps and movements is important, but creative expression is crucial if you want to become a dancer.

A hip-hop dancer must be dedicated and practice dancing often.
A hip-hop dancer must be dedicated and practice dancing often.

Dancers must be able to express thoughts and feelings through dance. It takes practice to do this well without looking either too subtle or too animated. Each dance has a certain mood and convention of how it's to be performed. For example, Latin dances are often very passionate and romantic while dances such as the jive and the polka are more playful and light-hearted. If you want to become a dancer, it's usually a good idea to gain experience dancing to a variety of music before choosing a specialty to pursue.

Dancing can be used as a form of self-expression.
Dancing can be used as a form of self-expression.

Dancing in a small part in a local show for low or even no pay may be a way to start a professional dance career. Auditioning every chance you get is a must. Getting involved in local dinner theater productions or even volunteering at a local dance studio may be good ideas for beginning dancers. Experience is needed to develop your style as well as your reputation in dance. Small dancing parts lead to bigger ones if you do well and stay devoted to your dream of becoming a dancer.

Ballroom dancing is a great way to workout and have fun.
Ballroom dancing is a great way to workout and have fun.
Latin dances are generally very passionate and romantic.
Latin dances are generally very passionate and romantic.
Ballet dancers must have the correct body build to pursue a professional dancing career.
Ballet dancers must have the correct body build to pursue a professional dancing career.
People who begin dancing at a young age are expected to choose a specialty by their late teens.
People who begin dancing at a young age are expected to choose a specialty by their late teens.

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