The life of a dancer on the surface is glamorous with the rhinestone costumes, spotlights, and beautiful music. Dancers are born and are passionate about their craft. They dance because they must and they love what they do. It is not enough to have good rhythm or to love dance. To become a professional dancer, you must also learn discipline, work ethic, attention to detail, and passion. Only the passionate dancer can captivate an audience and an employer.
The life of a dancer in California requires a strong knowledge of a variety of dance, but also requires that there is a knowledge and understanding of hip hop dance. The most commercial type of dance that is landing jobs right now is hip hop.
While the industry of dance is changing, it is also important for dancers to understand the need for nutrition, health, and longevity. Dancers can work much later than what was acceptable 20 years ago, but this is a matter of how well they take care of their instrument. This instrument includes knees, hips, toes, ankles, and their overall body tone. Young dancers need to take time to understand how to keep their dance body like a well oiled machine so they can have a longer career in their dance field.
Dancers are also encouraged to diversify what they do. If they can sing, act, or perform circus acts as an aerialist or tumbler - they are able to diversity their careers and open doors that are different than what a traditional dancer might have available to them. The more relevant training a dancer can acquire to diversify what they do, the better the future will be for them. Mastery in a variety is key to a successful career.
Dancers earn between $24,000 - $130,000 per year depending on their type of work and where they work. It is anticipated that dance occupations will grow by 6% of the next decade, but employment as a choreographer is projected to grow 24%. The profession is highly competitive and accounts for about 38,000 jobs in the US. Of these employed dancers: ● Performing Arts Companies - 27% ● Self-employed - 25% ● Private Instruction - 48%
Most dancers begin their professional careers by the time they are 18. Many colleges and universities offer advanced degrees in dance through theater or fine arts departments. Choreographers start their careers as dancers. Dancers that progress their careers take on more responsibility and become dance captains, ballet master/ballet mistress, choreographers, producers, and directors. Dancers should be planning for life after a dance career either within the field or out. It is important to diversify talent and work ethic built as a dancer. Some of the top jobs that dancers go into as the second phase of their career includes: ● Dance teacher ● Choreographer ● Arts Administrator ● Yoga or Pilates instructor ● Marketing ● Dance photographer / videographer ● Costume or clothing designer ● Physical therapist or dance medicine specialist ● School teacher As technology takes education into the roaring 20s, dancers are encouraged to complete post secondary school through an accredited online program while in pursuit of dance jobs. This way, lifetime financial security is planned and the thirst for dance is quenched.
ENCORE'S DANCE PROGRAM
Encore’s dance conservatory has created and prepared a variety of male and female dancers for college scholarships, management contracts, ballet companies, and professional work worldwide. Advanced and engaged dance students learn a very valuable work eithic and more importantly how to present themselves and communicate as part of the Professional Artist Development Program. This program offers up to and beyond 20 hours of training per week and it is free with the dancer's academic program. This training can be combined with circus arts (tumbling, contortion, aerialist), acting, and singing to help create that well rounded artist.
A lot of dancers at Encore also excel academically. Encore's dancers pursue science and math education with several of them completing AP courses to gain the competitive edge for life after high school.
Encore has over a dozen dance teachers and instructors that help build dancers that are prepared for life after high school. Dance is the largest conservatory within the organization with almost 23% of all students enrolled in dance classes on campus. Every year, dancers prepare multiple pieces for the stage. They take part in multiple productions and may even be a part of Encore’s signature Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus. They can tour with the Artist Development Program and participate in an annual industry showcase. They also take part in competitions and travel in summer stock, including international travel.
Dancers wishing to join the conservatory program must audition and show mastery in a variety of dance skills. The more mastery a dancer displays, the higher the level they are placed within the conservatory.
Dance because you must, let the passion guide you.
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Denise Griffin, CEO is the author of this blog for Encore Education Corporation. Part of Encore Education Corporation is Encore High School, a free public performing arts regional high school in Southern California grades 7 - 12. Encore's program is currently taking applications for the fall 2020 enrollment. Encore offers full time, hybrid time, and independent study programs. Encore offers transporation from the Inland Empire and the high desert. www.encorehighschool.com. Where arts and academics grow together. WASC Accredited. Copyright 2020.