Many little girls start dancing as early as the age of three. Dance class becomes a fun hobby for childhood. It can earn you brownie points, the glory of a rehearsal every year and new friends. A precious few turn out to be truly talented, and these dancers carry on lessons all through high school. Talented dancers sometimes put their skills to use on a dance team at school, performing during half time show alongside the band. There are many ways to improve your dancing and performance skills in school, but few don't realize that it's possible to have a career as a dancer, even if you are never going to be a prima ballerina.
Practice and dedicate yourself to dancing. You have to be sure that dancing is a passion of yours before you can put in the sort of dedication needed to make money--even make a living--as a dancer.
Get performing newspapers. If you are near Los Angeles or New York City, make sure to get a copy of "Back Stage" or "Back Stage West." These newspapers list professional dancing jobs in every edition. Not only are they geared towards actors, but every type of performer is considered since actors are often multi-talented. You can find it at any news stand or bookstore.
Apply to theme parks as a dancer. There are theme parks in nearly all areas of the United States. If you are near Orlando or Anaheim, you definitely want to consider the Disney theme parks as a great choice for your application. Theme parks need dancers year round for their live shows, parades and street performances. It probably won't be your highest paying dancing gig, but it can be regular employment, a reliable paycheck and a fantastic addition to your dance resume.
Search Craig's List under "gigs" in your city. The link is in the Resources section. You will find gigs for dancers listed here all the time that do pay. You can end up making a great living this way, depending on the city where you live. Use extreme caution when meeting up with strangers. Only meet in a public place for a dancing audition listed here, and always tell someone you exact location. Have a system set up where you call someone reliable the moment you arrive and leave the destination.
Contact hip hop and pop artists. A lot of bands and solo artists need back up dancers for tours. Contact the management or production company handling the tour. Scour local help wanted ads to help in this endeavor as many will list a need for backup dancers in the paper. Apply and be prepared to choreograph a fantastic dance to the artist's music for your audition.
Create a dance troupe. It can be a long and winding road to make money from this endeavor, but it is possible. Create a group of dancers. Make sure you all work well together and can practice often. Choreograph and come up with a great dance show. Try to book it at events. Many will pay to have a dance show. You will need to market, advertise and have a way to travel sometimes long distances in order for this to work. Once you have established your group, you can command money per gig, paying both yourself and your fellow dancers after the expenses of the troupe have been covered.
Remember to practice the art of dancing six days a week. A day off will give you the rest and refreshment to do even more the next day.
Never take a dancing job if you feel uneasy about it. Trust your instincts and always tell someone your whereabouts when meeting strangers.
Robin Raven was first published in 1998. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and online publications, including "The Malibu Times," "Act'ionLine" for Friends of Animals, USA Today Travel Tips and the official Melissa Gilbert website. Raven specializes in travel, health, beauty, culture, vegan nutrition, joyful living, arts and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing.