DANCERS/CHOREOGRAPHERS express and interpret ideas, stories, rhythm, and sound with their bodies and physical motion. They use a variety of dance forms that allow free movement and self-expression, including classical ballet, modern dance, and culturally specific dance styles. Many dancers perform in classical ballet, which can include stylized, traditional repertory, as well as the modern forms that allow more free movement and self-expression. Choreographers create original dances. They may also develop new interpretations of existing dances.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $43,500 average per year ($21.00 per hour)
- A small occupation (23,600 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow slowly (0.6% per year)
Training for DANCERS/CHOREOGRAPHERS depends on type of dance. Early ballet training for women begins at 5 to 8 years old and may be given by private teachers and ballet schools. Serious training begins between 10 and 12. Men begin training between 10 and 15. Students who show potential in the early teens receive more intensive and advanced professional training at ballet schools under the auspices of major ballet companies. Leading dance school companies often have summer training programs and select candidates for admission to their regular full-time training programs. Most dancers have their professional auditions by age 17 or 18.