I have two (2) nieces that are sisters that have been dancing at a very young age; starting out with ballet, jazz, tap, etc. Although they are not professional dancers they do get to travel for dance events and still remain part of a company. As the previous CV Prof has shared a great resource with you I'd like to share another resource that I found during my research.
Training to become a professional dancer takes between 8-10 years. Students begin at about age 7. Beginning ballet usually consists of 1-2 ballet technique classes a week. As the student gets older, around 14, they are heavily involved in about 10-15 classes a week made up of ballet technique, pointe (for women), jazz, modern, partnering, and more. Most dancers start their training before adolescence and audition for full-time work by the age of 18. Even after a dancer finds employment, training must continue throughout the dancer's entire career. Many students attend dance training programs in their teens. Private dance or performing arts schools and colleges can provide the experience needed to join a professional dance company. To gain acceptance into an advanced dance school, students must often must participate in a summer workshop, which can serve as an audition for a full-time dance training academy.
Dancers typically must stay in top physical condition through regular exercise and training. Dancing is extremely taxing on the body, and dancers might spend eight hours a day or more in class or practicing. According to the BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), dancers have one of the highest on-the-job injury reports, so it's important to keep the body healthy and strong in order to continue working.
Additionally, dancers face intense competition to earn their next gig, and only the most successful dancers find steady and well-paid work. Dancers who join unions, such as the American Guild of Musical Artists, are entitled to collective bargaining services that can ensure a minimum salary. Additionally, members can be informed of local auditions in their area of expertise. I wish you much success on your journey to become a professional dancer. 💃
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