Dancers


Overview

Introduction

Dancers perform dances alone or with others. Through dancing, they attempt to tell a story, interpret an idea, or simply express rhythm and sound by supplying preconceived physical movements to music. There are approximately 13,900 professional dancers working in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$33,925

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Employment Prospects

Fair

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Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma


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Experience

Training from childhood and practice with a variety of dance type


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Skills

Coaching/Physical Training


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Personality Traits

Artistic

Earnings

Dancers’ yearly earnings vary widely depending on factors such as where a dancer is employed, how much work he or she was able to get for the year, and what role the dancer performed in a production. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reports that the median hourly wage for dancers was $16.31 in May 2018. The lowest paid 10 percent of dancers earned $9.35 or less in the same period, while the h...

Work Environment

The irregularity of employment is the most difficult aspect of the profession. Dancers are never certain where they will be employed or under what conditions. One may wait weeks for a contract. An offer may involve travel, night hours, or weekend rehearsals. Work on a Broadway stage show may last 20 weeks, 40 weeks, or three years, or possibly the show will fold after the third performance. Wit...

Outlook

Little or no change is expected in the employment of dancers from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. For performers, there are limited opportunities since there are more trained dancers than job openings. Cable television and streaming providers such as Netflix have provided additional positions, but the number of stage and screen productions is declining. The best opportu...

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