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Performing Jobs in Dance


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Hi all,


My 14 year old daughter has asked me to help her think about jobs in the future. She is adamant that she wants to go to dance college and dance in theatres but beyond that is unsure.

She does ballet, tap, modern jazz, contemporary, commercial, singing and drama at her dance school and is grade 4/5 ISTD in the main genres. She also goes to ballet and jazz associates and performs with local amateur theatre groups. She has an absolute passion for it and is heading towards preferring musical theatre I think.

She used to love ballet the most but I think she realises she’s not the standard required and doesn’t have the perfect bendy feet required.

She can sing but isn’t the best or most powerful singer so my question is: are there many jobs for dancers in the West End that don’t require singing?

Also, what other musical theatre performance jobs are there that aren’t in the West End?

And what dance performance jobs are there other than this? I could think of ballet companies, contemporary companies - either regional or touring, cruise ships, Disney parks, touring shows like Strictly Live or with a pop band etc.

Have I missed anything?

We’re just trying to get an idea about what she’s actually aiming for with all this dance training and where to focus our time and money in regards to her training over the next few years. 


Any advice/knowledge is greatly appreciated!



Edited by Sparkly
Grammatical error
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For musical ensemble roles sometimes the ability to blend and hold a harmony line is more important than having the most powerful voice. 


Its very difficult to predict though. Currently the West End is full of small ensemble casts with chorus covering lead roles. But 42nd Street only recently closed which had a large chorus of tappers. And I guess Mary Poppins will have a fairly large dance chorus. 

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Thank you so much for your replies.

We’re going to Move It so we’ll definitely be looking at the colleges.


Her dance school hasn’t had many graduates yet as it’s ten years old and started off with mainly little ones who are all still teens. One older girl went to The Hammond and now works on cruise ships.


She has announced in typical dramatic fashion that if she can’t be on the stage, she doesn’t want a job (!!!!) So I’m thinking it may be a good idea to talk to some colleges and get a feel for what’s out there and perhaps get some more singing tuition to strengthen that aspect. I just wanted an idea as to where it all leads really as I’m sure it’s very difficult to get into the West End and wondered what she could audition for if it turned out she wasn’t the required standard for that.


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My DD is a professional dancer (as opposed to professional ballet dancer) and currently works on cruise ships where she does contemporary, ballet and tap as well as more commercial routines and musical theatre roles.  A lot of colleges offer the level 6 diploma in professional dance as opposed to a qualification in classical ballet - not being suitable for/wishing to go down the classical ballet route does not necessarily mean the alternative has to be musical theatre.

Apart from the west end and cruise ships there does tend to be quite a wide range for dancers . You've touched upon west end and theatre shows , cruise ships, Disney and ballet/contemporary companies but there are also a lot of positions for dancers with hotels, holiday parks, theme parks - both UK and abroad, regional and touring dance or theatre shows. Some agencies specialise in dancers and being signed up can also mean opportunities for TV work, live shows, commercials etc. DD has friends quite literally all over the world - dancing in resorts in the Caribbean, in Europe, theme park shows in Japan, holiday parks in the UK, various cruise ships, appearing on TV and in films.

The future for a dancer is always going to be uncertain as it always depends on the next audition, lots of contracts are temporary ranging from a few months to a couple of years. But first you need to get that training in. MoveIt is a good idea, although not all colleges participate (very expensive). Another one to keep an eye out for is the CDMT careers conference. There are workshops for your DD and you get to meet representatives from various colleges for talks and questions and both get to watch some performances from current students of schools taking part.https://cdmt.org.uk/advocacy/cdmt-careers-conference




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