Dancers utilize a variety of dance forms, including classical ballet and modern dance styles that allow free movement and self-expression. Many dancers combine stage work with teaching or choreography.
Dancers perform in a variety of settings such as musical productions; in folk, ethnic, tap, jazz; and other popular kinds of dancing. They also perform in opera, musical comedy, television, movies, music videos, and commercials in which they may sing and act as well. Dancers most often perform as part of a group, although a few top artists perform solo.
Whether you study dance at a college, university, or conservatory, be prepared for an intense experience. At many institutions, students can chose between a Bachelor of Arts in dance and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance; these degrees and their requirements may vary depending where you decide to study.
Colleges and universities will provide you with opportunities to perform and gain experience outside of the classroom. Many schools offer dance ensembles or troupes that give you the opportunity to perform in front of a variety of audiences and with dancers—including other students, faculty, and alumni—who have varied skill levels.
Obtaining a degree in dance provides you with a variety of options for future careers. Many graduates work as professional dancers, teachers, choreographers, dance therapists, arts administrators, dance notators, and more. Focusing on technique, choreography, dance history, and pedagogy, a degree in dance can prepare to pursue a career as a performer, a choreographer, or a teacher.
On the other hand, dancers and choreographers face intense competition for jobs. The number of applicants continues to grow, and only the most talented dancers will find regular employment. Dancers perform in productions such as professional dance companies, musical productions, television, movies, videos, commercials, and more.