If you want to be a dancer you’ll find that it’s a very appealing career. It has a couple of things about it you should know though. This isn’t meant to put you off but so that it doesn’t come as a surprise when these things come around.
1. Ballet is like marmite. You either hate it or love it. If you go to a dance college to train to be a dancer you’ll probably have to do ballet. And most likely every day you’re there. If you love it that’s great, a dream come true. But if you hate it, well you’ll just have to deal with it because it’s going to help your career!
2. You won’t have a 9-5 job. I don’t think most dancers want a 9 to 5 job but I thought I’d like to be the one to break it to you. You may have regular hours if you’re on a contracted job, 9 – 5 isn’t common though.
You’ll have some very short days of only a few short hours, and also full days and by full I mean from dusk till dawn! So some days you’ll be waking up to be on set at a time when most the world hasn’t woken up yet. Other days you can have as long a lie-in as you want.
3. You’ll have to prove yourself your whole career. You’ll have to attend dance auditions and castings for any jobs that you’re interested in. In the case of auditions you’ll probably have to dance and prove your ability and that you’re right for whatever the job is.
Unless you create an unbelievable reputation you can expect to audition your whole career.
4. Dancers usually have short careers. Although some go on till their 40s and beyond, most pack up by their 30s. The industry also tends to favour youth, most go on to other dance related careers such as choreographers and teachers afterwards. Some even set up their own dance agency and watch the new crop of dancers going through their careers.
5. A lot of stuff will come up last minute. Many times an audition or casting may need an extra person or 2 and hold a last-minute casting. Or an extra rehearsal will be called because the choreographer or producer feels it needs more work.
6. You’ll sometimes be working with a song or set where they’ll use the same songs all day long. Every day for several months or even years. You’ll grow sick of those songs and they may drive you mental after a while. Or you’ll laugh at it every time you hear it – that’s the 9237th time this month. Hoorah!
If none of this so far has put you off, congratulations you have the nerve and personality to enjoy a career as a dancer!