10 Non-Performance Dance Jobs

Hey folks.  I hope you're enjoying the new look of TheWorkingDancer.com.  I'm pouring my heart and soul into everything TWD related.  That includes design, community, and especially content!

I think we've gotten off to a  good start with topics like networking, auditioning, and taxes, and I'm digging even deeper to offer content that will help you realize your dance dreams.

Since I'm a dance freelancer, most of my content thus far has been geared towards making it in a freelance dance career.  While that career choice works for free-spirited beings like myself, I understand that it's not for everyone.

With that in mind, I've created a list of 10 non-performance related dance jobs.  When people think of dance careers, they commonly think of a ballet company member, studio owner/teacher, or performer/choreographer.  While those are all great career options, they're only a small piece of the dance pie.

To have a career that you love, and this goes for any field, the key is to find ways to incorporate several of your interests.  Love interior design and real estate?  Then maybe being a model home stager would be a good fit for you.  Like animals and supporting causes?  Maybe you look into working for a pet shelter in some capacity.  Catch my drift?

For me, TheWorkingDancer.com combines a number of my interests.  I'm clearly passionate about dance, I enjoy teaching, and I love to help people realize their dreams.  Voila!  There's The Working Dancer, in a nutshell.

So here are few dance related jobs that may combine several of your interests.  You can freelance these jobs, or you can perform these jobs within established companies.  The choice is yours my friend.  

Here they are, in no particular order. 


1. Dance Therapist

Dance therapists use movement to foster emotional or physical healing.  This job would be great for dancers who are also interested in psychology.  A degree and/or certification must be obtained.

2. Dance Critic

Dance critics write reviews of dance productions for publications.  They can review dance company performances or major touring productions.  This job would be great for dancers who analyze well and who also enjoy writing.

3. Dance Educator

I use the term dance educator to describe dance teachers who work in a school system.  That means folks teaching primary, secondary, or higher education.  Teaching in school systems requires both a Bachelor's degree and a teaching certification.  This job is great for dancers who enjoy working with kids or students of varying skill levels.

4. Costume/Apparel Designer

Dance fashion designers are a well kept secret, in my opinion.  These lucky folks design dance apparel from the studio to the stage.  What's cool is that you can design your own clothing, or you can work as a designer for big name companies like Danskin or Capezio. This job is great for dancers who have a passion for fashion.  Get it? ;-)

5. Arts Administrator

Arts administrators are the folks who work on the business end of arts companies, usually non-profits.  You could be involved with community outreach, education programming, audience development, PR...the list could go on and on.  While many local dance companies may not have the budget to hire this type of support staff, there are still many organizations, including government agencies, who can and often do.  These jobs are great for dancers who have a bit of business savvy.  

6.  Dance Photographer

This job is self explanatory.  Dance photographers photograph dancers or dance performances. You could shoot headshots, dance companies, theater productions, and more.  A movement background would really enhance the quality of your work.  Obviously, this job is great for dancers who are also interested in photography.

7. Dance Production (Lighting, Set, or Sound Designer)

Production jobs are great for folks who want to be involved with dance performances without actually having to be on stage.  Lighting designers design the lights (duh).  Set designers designers design the scenery, and sound designers set up the sound cues ( these are used more often in theater productions).  There are also lighting and sound operators who execute what the designers have created.

8. Producer

Producer is  a broad term that could refer to a number of things.  You could be a producer of dance festivals or conventions.  You could be a producer for an organization who brings performance companies from across the globe to local audiences.  You could produce entertainment for corporate events, or you could even produce the entertainment for cruise ships or theme parks.  A producer can perform a variety of roles from coordinating the talent, budgeting, marketing and promotion, etc.  This job is good for dancers who are organized and great at multi-tasking and delegating. 

9. Dance Retailer

Dance retailers own or operate dance stores.  These folks run the stores that carry dance apparel, costumes, makeup, basically anything us dancers can fit into our dance bag...oh, they carry dance bags too.  ;-) This job is good for dancers who have a knack for sales.

10. Product designer

Product designers create all the knick knacks I mentioned in the previous description.  From makeup, to makeup bags, to jewelry, to mouse pads, to cell phone or computer cases, there is an endless list of products that can be created with the dancer in mind.  This job is great for dancers who love to create or even hand-make gadgets.  Maybe you're good with a particular design software, or you're into screen printing, or embroidery.  Your arts and craftiness goes great here.

So there you have it.  Ten jobs dancers can do if they find that performance, studio life, or choreography is not for them.  

Not sure what's right for you? Start here...with our awesome career resources.  Click the buttong below to join the movement, and you'll get a FREE copy of The Freelance Dancer's Roadmap PLUS weekly dance career tips, insight, freebies, and more sent directly to your inbox.