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non-dancing careers in dance?


munchkin16
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I'm researching my options for next year and am struggling to find anything that I am really passionate about other than dance, so I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of careers in the dance world (preferably ballet!) that don't require lots of dance experience?

I haven't been dancing all that long, 2 years for grade 4 modern then 2 1/2 years of ballet where I could have taken my grade 6 at the end of this term. I know teaching requires at least intermediate which I am about to start but I am unsure of my skill as both a dancer or teacher. I would love to find something related to dance as I am dedicated (perhaps too much so) and would prefer it to studying politics at university!

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Hi Munchkin16

How about physiotherapy specialising in dancers, or being in charge of costumes etc for ballets?  I will post if I can think of anything else!  You are right to try and find something you will really enjoy.  A lifetime of working is a long time and you need to make sure you will enjoy it.  But you can always be a politician who appreciates and enjoys dance - we need more of those!

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I was going to suggest physio too. The posts on this forum clearly demonstrate the need for good physios to be involved in dance, and I think most people would agree that a physio who understands dance and dancers, including the emotional/psychological aspects of dancing, is worth his or her weight in gold.

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I know a few ex dancers who re-trained as physios, psychologists, dance scientists, archivists, dance therapists, sports psychologists, costume design, Pilates, teaching, choreologists, dance teachers in schools (national curriculum). I am not sure where you are based but you could look at Laban, Surrey and Roehampton which have a few dance related programs.

 

The only thing I would say is to give due consideration of employment prospects post graduation. I know it could be said that it is too young to be thinking this way but given current work availability it is something to consider. Perhaps see if you can shadow someone in an area which is of interest to give you a better feel if certain careers?

 

Best of luck

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A friend of ours documents the moves in a ballet then goes all over the world teaching the moves to other companies ... i know she studied it at uni as she was injured as a dancer...very specialised field from what i understand! Can't remember what her job title is tho!

With political career in mind though think of the good you could do aiming to represent the arts! We need a serious 'on our side' politician!

 

 

You obviously have your head on right so all the very best to you. X

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I want to thank you all for your help, these have all made me think really hard about the direction I want to go in.

 

2 years ago I would have said physio sounds amazing because I would love to help dancers but biology wasn't my favourite subject exactly :P

 

costume sounds amazing but sewing pointe shoes is my limit I think, although I could start charging others for it hmmm... marketing sounds fascinating, I think there is always so much more companies could do to advertise and get ballet more accepted, does anyone know what is involved in marketing or how to get into it?

 

I hate writing so journalism is out, I'm eloquent enough in person but give me a pen and it looks like a 3 year old wrote it, although I wish I could get paid to watch ballets ;) I do write extremely fast though, any jobs with that skill?

 

Ultimately it seems that perhaps politics will be the best way to support the arts, I think I might have to look into that again, minister for the arts maybe? (if that exists!) Sorry for the ramblings, this has been truly helpful so thank you :) just wondering, what would you need to do to become a pointe shoe fitter? The shoes girls are wearing in my school scare me!

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Have a look at some of the courses on offer at further and higher education level at places that offer Btechs in Performing Arts and see what they offer alongside the more obvious dance and drama.  Birmingham Ormiston and Stratford upon Avon are 2 places I know of that offer things like Technical Theatre that teach skills for backstage, marketing, front of house etc. Looking at the type of courses available might give you a direction to go in - for university or otherwise and of course keep dancing to get that teaching qualification.

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You could watch ballet and write them down for a living. There is a notation system which name escapes me. And it is a job, really...

There is labanotation which can be used for pretty much any type of dance I think and there's benesh which is just for ballet. The rad run courses in learning benesh so that's something you could look into.
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How about Arts Administration - I think Leicester Uni did a course on Dance Administration and Dance.  I assume it was Modern as certainly the person I knew who took it (can't remember the name) had taken A Level dance but never had a ballet class in her life ...

 

Ended up running a scheme co-ordinating community dance, then hotel conference administration now taking a gap year in Australia.

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I'm visiting parliament on Monday for a tour so if anyone wants me to pass a letter on to someone important... ;) I've ordered a prospectus from RAD about the teacher training courses but am doubting my abilities to do this. Notation looks fascinating but a little too artistic!

 

Meadowblythe: arts administration sounds really interesting, any idea what's involved?

 

Hfbrew: Hmm I may well do so, but what sort of job prospects would it have?

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Here are the links

 

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/Study/Courses/Undergraduate-courses/arts-and-festivals-management-ba-degree/Arts-and-Festivals-Management-(Joint-Honours)-BA.aspx

 

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/Study/Courses/Undergraduate-courses/arts-and-festivals-management-ba-degree/Arts-and-Festivals-Management-(Joint-Honours)-BA.aspx

 

for de monfort - this is the combination my friend undertook.  Scarily the dance degree doesn't mention the need for any dance qualifications.  My friend took A level dance but had limited "formal" training.

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Arts Administration is interesting especially if you can get on the Dance end of it. I have a friend now living in Australia who attended a course in London.....will have to ask for details.....she ended up working for the Australian Arts Council and part of her job was looking at new dance groups who were hoping for funding....so very interesting

. However this is usually not a particularly well paid job and can end up being part time so perhaps you can combine two jobs!!!

 

I think archivist could also be interesting.

Ive just recently had a tour of the new Rambert building and their massive new archive section in the basement......it covers so many aspects of the Company including costumes. I suppose a feeling for history and order would be useful for this.

What are you doing well at in school?

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Couple of thoughts here that probably won't go down well.

 

We had a run of the mill job with a one year contract here recently and while sorting through the applications ( over 200 in all) I came across two applicants with arts administration degrees, neither of whom had ever done any actual work in the arts field at all.  I discover from the CV's I've read that a lot of people with excellent degrees seem to finish up stacking shelves or working as shop assistants, which means that an expensive education has been wasted as there simply aren't the high flying jobs available for these graduates.

 

Many of the jobs suggested here won't attact more than the minimum wage, surely it would be more beneficial to steer a child into those areas where there is a greater chance of earning a living wage, if not in the UK, than abroad.  Science, maths, engineering, macro economics and languages usually lead to work. 

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I think your comments are very sensible MAB, even if unpalatable.  Unfortunately it is the way of the world at the moment.

 

I think the courses at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) have internships/work placements so that people can get some practical experience.

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Most people I know (including myself) who work or have worked in arts admin started out in a very low paid job in the box office, front of house or database cleaning (fondly remembers hours doing "pending" at a Birmingham arts venue

 

I started part time whilst still a student. When a job in the education/marketing department came up I actually couldn't afford to apply as it would have meant a salary drop from my then job in group sales.

 

My boss had no arts background but a business/marketing qualification.

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I live very near a large university - 38,000 students - many of whom are enrolled in degree programs that will most probably never earn them a good wage or even a starting position: political science, humanities, journalism, American/European history, women's studies, child development, African-American studies, environmental issues, etc.  These fields are over crowded and don't relate very well to actual employment opportunities.  How many journalism graduates do we need?  How many employment openings are there realistically for a political science degree?

 

A university degree is something we aspire too - but it also needs to lead to solid employment.  MAB is right.

 

While it is true that there have been times that a degree in engineering, for instance, has been over subscribed, that is usually short term. In the long term an engineering degree (or other similar solid degree) leads to employment.  (I am the wife and mother of two BSEE's - and so speak from experience.)

 

Another field that is expanding is in the medical field: nursing, physical therapist, x-ray, blood, MRI technician, etc.

 

And because a university degree is so desireable, we often overlook other fields.  

 

Through good times and bad - the plumber always has work.  No, I'm not suggesting plumbing but it is necessary to find something for which there is a demand.  Sometimes it is possible to put that need for employment together with an advocation of what we really love to do - such as teaching dance - in the evening.

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Hmm this is a tricky one.  

 

My husband wanted to study automotive engineering.  His father persuaded him, with the best of intentions, to study physics instead because it offered far wider employment opportunities.  He regrets not following his passion, or at least taking the opportunity  to study the subject he loves, to this day.

 

None of our children are blessed with the sensible gene that means they want to go into well paid careers.  Instead two are study for degrees in stage management and ballet, and the third dreams of becoming an orchestral musician.    Whenever we have discussed the need to gain employment at the end of the course, his argument has been that at least they are preparing themselves to seize the opportunity should it arise.  If not, well, at least they have had the chance.  

 

As mentioned before the friend who studied dance and arts administration found her experiences at Leicester - being involved in organizing dance events, and part time work as a chambermaid - meant she was able to find work as a conference organizer for a large hotel chain.  She now travels the world and loves her job.  

 

An inspirational head teacher once told me the problem that 16 year olds have in planning for a career is that it probably hasn't been invented yet - think back 10 years and how our lives have changed.  What we should do, according to him, is develop a skill set and qualification set that enables us to embrace whatever opportunities life presents to us.

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I agree meadowblythe.

Speaking as someone who as a child  was very firmly steered in the direction of a "sensible" career, I would say that a job, no matter how well paid it is, does not guarantee happiness. I think it is essential for young people to understand the realities of whatever path they choose, including the likelihood of employment, typical salary etc, but I won't be steering any of mine down any particular path.

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I agree meadowblythe.

Speaking as someone who as a child  was very firmly steered in the direction of a "sensible" career, I would say that a job, no matter how well paid it is, does not guarantee happiness.

 

Being unemployed and on benefits doesn't generate much happiness either.

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