4 answers

How can you apply accounting to a professional dance career?

Updated New York, New York

I am a senior in high school ready to take off for college literally. I have been dancing since I was 3 years old and I prefer to continue my successful dance career but with accounting. I love mathematics and calculating taxes as well. I want to do both of my passions together in college and as my career too. #finance #accounting #accountant #dancing #dancers

4 answers

Eva’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Having worked for a major American dance company, I know that you could combine your accounting and dance interests. Dance companies have finance departments within their organization requiring accountants to handle their finances. Your tax knowledge would be very beneficial and make you even more valuable to them (and more employable, too!). Your knowledge of dance would enhance your understanding of the needs of the dance company with an "insiders" perspective. As many dancers - especially ballet dancers - often have short professional careers because of the demands that are placed on the body, having a college degree and professional skills, like accounting and tax preparation, is necessary.

Also, with your tax knowledge, you could prepare to specialize in tax preparation for performing artists and fill that niche market. Demand for your services would spread quickly by word of mouth and advertising in dance magazines and through dance organizations, blogs, and other social media - and you could build a business quickly. The best way to determine how much to charge for these services would be to talk with an accountant and tax preparer who works with independent consultants and then adjust your fees for what the "market will bear." Dancers or other performing artists do not make as much money as, say, a financial hedge fund consultant, so you'd have to adjust your fee to what your clients can afford while still charging what you need to meet your living expenses.

I suggest that you call some dance institutions - major ballet or modern dance companies in your city - and arrange for an "informational interview" with the head of the accounting or finance office. Be prepared with your questions, does your homework of learning all you can about the company from their website, and dress professionally and be on time for your meeting. Take notes. If you can arrange for your interview notes to be published in your school newspaper -- with a photograph of who you interviewed - the company finance director would be even more inclined to be interviewed. And you'd do a real service to your fellow students.

Good luck! You're off to a great career!

Angel’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California
Hello Jade, Having an accounting and business background can be helpful for any work/industry. Everybody needs accountants from individuals to businesses. From working in the accounting department of dance studios, talent agencies etc. On the other hand if you are the professional dancer yourself you can use accounting to eliminates the need of hiring one. So if you eventually open up your own dance studio you have a great background for the business venture you are embarking on. Best of luck.

Evelyn’s Answer

Updated Henderson, Nevada

Find a dance studio or dance troop/group at school. You will meet others (network) in the industry plus give you an outlet to spend when not studying. In the summers, look for dancing/performance jobs like summer kids dancing programs, summer theater productions, or entertainment venue internships. Don't be afraid to ask for internships, even if they're not 'hiring' what you are obtaining is work experience to put on your resume.
Remember that every dance company, theater production, entertainment venue needs accountants and you could tailor your job search to those avenues. By being connected though your dance group and showing a dance/performance passion on your resume may give you a 'leg up' on your competition.

Kalani’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

Hi Jade,

You can also consider double-majoring if you attend at university that offers both accounting and dance degrees. After college, you will have degrees in both skill sets that offers you a wider range of professions to pursue.

Kalani recommends the following next steps:

  • Identify universities that have accounting and dance degrees