Dance Skills You Need to Get a Job of Any Seniority Level
Anyone who’d like to become a professional dancer needs to be focused on developing key dance skills, such as coordination, flexibility, and balance (among others). And it’s also essential to know how to craft a winning resume to highlight your accomplishments and impress any recruiter. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about both.
What Is a Dancer?
Wondering, “what do dancers do?” They engage audiences and create unforgettable experiences through movement. They may specialize in a particular style or have diverse dance skills, such as ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, or tap.
Dancers often perform in front of live audiences and also in film, television, or music videos. To get more interviews and opportunities, dancers might need to market themselves and network within the dance community. It’s a lot of hard work, but it pays off.
Dance Technical Skills
The most important part of a dance skills list is technical dancing skills. They include:
- Body awareness and control;
- Proper body alignment and posture;
- Understanding of weight and balance;
- Coordination of movement;
- Flexibility and range of motion;
- Strength and endurance;
- Musicality and rhythm;
- Clear and precise placement of limbs and body.
That’s not a complete list by any means, but that’s the bare minimum of dance requirements a dancer needs to get employed.
Dance Non-Technical Skills
But it isn’t just about being able to move your body. In addition to technical and performance skills, all employers also expect a professional dancer to have the necessary soft skills, such as:
- Ability to communicate with choreographers, directors, and fellow dancers;
- Collaboration and teamwork;
- Adaptability and flexibility;
- Trust and respect for one’s dance partner;
- Positive attitude and work ethic;
Basically, a dancer who thrives in the job market is someone whom choreographers, partners, and directors find easy-going and otherwise nice to be around.
Top Dance Skills That’ll Make You Competitive in the Job Market
Obviously, not every hiring manager expects to find a candidate who matches all dancer requirements. But if you’re looking for the answer to the question “how to become a dancer,” you need to focus at least on the top technical and soft skills needed for dance. They are:
- Ability to perform choreographed movements;
- Creative expression to expand dance move vocabulary;
- Physical control and precision in executing movements;
- Self-discipline and dedication to one’s professional growth;
- Top-notch communication skills.
The number one item on the dance skills checklist is coordination. Becoming a dancer calls for coordination skills to execute movements with precision and fluidity. It’s about synchronizing your body movements with music and a dance partner (or the entire group of dancers).
Coordination also requires awareness of space, timing, and rhythm. Dancers must be mindful of spatial relationships with one another and the audience to convey emotion through their movements. So coordination isn’t just about physical abilities.
Flexibility is one of the most crucial dance requirements. It enables dancers to perform movements with a greater range of motion and fluidity. Flexible dancers can perform more challenging moves, such as splits and leaps.
Moreover, flexibility helps prevent injury, improve posture, and enhance overall performance. Part of dance education is teaching dancers to include stretching into their warm-up routines to prepare their bodies to perform and avoid harming their muscles.
Strength is yet another of dancer requirements critical for a successful career. Dancers must develop strength in their legs and arms to support their body weight and balance. It allows one to execute movements with control and power, not to mention the central role of strength in partnering.
Simply put, the range of movements one can perform on the dance floor depends on strength. Also, strength training helps prevent injury, which is rightly considered one of the key skills for becoming a dancer.
Isolation is also among the skills needed for dance. It allows dancers to move a specific part of their body while keeping other parts still. Isolation is all about controlling one’s muscles and feeling the rhythm of moving with accuracy and timing.
Dancers must be able to isolate body parts such as the (shoulders, hips, neck, you name it) to create fluid and intricate movements. Without isolation skills, dancers’ ability to create a captivating visual experience for the audience suffers.
Finally, a dancer can’t possibly execute movements with precision and control without balance, another crucial item on the list of dance skills. It maintains stability while performing elaborate turns and movements akin to turns, jumps, and lifts.
Balance is central to the overall performance, so it is often named one of the most important (if not the most important) dancer skills. Professional dancers who want to land a job anywhere keep working on their balance throughout life.
How to Improve Dance Skills
You might think that the best way of learning the skills needed for dance is to keep attending dance classes. But that’s not entirely true. The best answer to how to improve dance skills is to get a job that’ll allow you to practice for hours every day while being paid a decent salary.
And please don’t worry about not having enough work experience and achievements! Hire a professional resume writer on Skillhub—and they’ll write an ATS-friendly resume to help you get your dream job.
Follow Top Dance Influencers
A helpful way to accelerate your career growth is to follow a professional dance blog (or ten), as well as a dance music blog. Learning from successful experts and influencers in the industry will contribute to your dancing education and help you get better. Here are a few options to start your research with.
- Dance Informa Magazine. Perfect for everything, from inspiration to career information.
- Fred Astaire. Relevant mainly for ballroom dancers.
- Dance Art Journal. If you’d like to learn about lesser-known dance trends and markets.
- World of Dance (@worldofdance). World of Dance fans’ go-to place.
- Dance Magazine (@Dance_Magazine). Articles about top industry professionals and all things dance.
- novaballet (@novaballet). Daily inspiration for ballet dancers.
How to Showcase Your Skills
No matter what dance education you have, how much experience you have, and what’s on your dance skills list, you need to know how to convey your competence in a resume. It’s the first thing recruiters, and future employers see. So it affects their decision on whether or not to hire you considerably.
When listing your skills, use an opportunity to mention both technical and soft skills. They all matter. Also, use bullet points and stay concise to avoid overwhelming the person reading your resume with redundant data.
Dance Skills in a Resume Skills Section
For example, a skills section of a professional dancer who has diver work experience (creates choreography, stars in productions, and so on) can look like this:
- Proficient in various dance styles, including ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip-hop, and tap;
- Ability to choreograph and stage dance performance;
- Experience in dance production and costume design;
- Strong communication and collaboration skills;
- Flexibility and ability to learn new choreography quickly.
This one is on the shorter side. If you ask a resume writer or career advice expert, they’ll confirm that your skills section should ideally be between 5 and 10 bullet points.
Dance Skills to Highlight in a Resume Experience Section
Also, the experience section of your dance resume is an excellent place to highlight some of your dancing skills. You can mention both your technical and soft skills, for example:
GroundWorks Dance Theater, Cleveland, OH
October 2020-December 2022
- Worked together with a team of dancers and choreographers to create and perform original pieces for audiences of up to 500 people;
- Received positive feedback from the audience for showcased technical skill and artistic expression;
- Utilized effective communication and teamwork skills to ensure successful collaboration.
If you struggle with putting your experience into words, consider hiring Skillhub resume writing help—and we’ll help you land an interview.
To Sum Up
By now, you’re probably no longer wondering, “what is a dancer?” and are focused on working on your career instead. You must practice your dance skills (including coordination, flexibility, strength, isolation, balance, and soft skills), engage with industry experts, and look for job opportunities.
And you also need to write a perfect resume that’ll present your professional experiences in the best light and help you get more interviews with top employers. Trust Skillhub resume writers with this—you’ll get a well-written ATS-friendly resume that’ll impress potential employers, and instantly boost your career.