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What It Takes to be a Professional Dancer

What distinguishes performing arts from plastic arts, crafts or fine arts, is that they depend on the body, mind and soul of the performer. No one part of the person can be excluded in the formula of learning the art of performing ~ whether it is Literature, Opera, Drama, Music, Singing, Dance, Mime, Juggling, Circus Arts or Magic. In addition, dance, like other performing arts, includes a mix of theater arts, without knowledge of, leaves the dancer lacking in essential abilities to perform. Therefore, dance instruction goes way beyond teaching movement or choreography. It must include teaching related theater art including music, drama, pantomime, craft, athletics and the circus arts (fire, cane, sword, etc.)


A dancer must know music and have a sense of musicality. She must have good timing, lyricism and an understanding of musical composition.


As her body is the instrument of her art, she must be objective and conscientious about her appearance and her figure. She must strive to be fit by exercising and following a good diet.


She must be an extroverted, have a fully developed personality and she must be able to project her personality in a larger-than-life and commanding way when dancing.


She must be skilled in pantomime. She must be a skilled circus performer when she executes sword, fire candlabra or other circus-style dances.


She must have a sense of craft in her costumes.


In addition, some dancers sing when dancing, so, they must know how to sing.

In short, there is so much to learn in order to become an accomplished dancer that a teacher must not only be a master dancer herslef, but she must also be competent at breaking down and relaying this information to the student. I believe that dance is perhaps the most complicated and challenging performing art of all.

When teaching dance the teacher is also teaching theater arts including:

  • Dance technique

  • History and Culture of the art

  • Make-up

  • Costuming

  • Staging

  • Performance skills

Additional knowledge for the professional:

All students should have a thorough knowledge and ability in daance, but additionally she should have realistic goals and plans for personal development and a career, if that is what she wants. If she is going to become a professional, then she must know business and legal issues pertaining to her art. It is the instructor's job to instruct in all of these subjects. That is a big order for anyone wanting to hang up a sign as an instructor. However, assuming one is qualified; dance instruction is a very exciting and satisfying career

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