A dance degree allows you to combine a love of performing with development of your choreography, cultural history and arts administration and management skills
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Arts administrator
- Community arts worker
- Dance movement psychotherapist
- Personal trainer
- Theatre director
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Event manager
- Further education teacher
- Higher education teacher
- Sports therapist
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Most dance degree students supplement their studies by creating, producing and performing their own work. This allows you to develop skills in other areas of the performance process, including operations and administration - you can also develop marketing, ticketing and event management experience by working on your own projects.
Some dance degrees include a professional training placement year. A placement allows you to experience working in a professional dance company or arts organisation and may lead to a paid opportunity.
Other options include internships, community projects, teaching dance classes, volunteering at festivals, writing reviews and opinion pieces for dance blogs and websites or creating your own workshops that allow you to explore your own personal interests. Some students evolve their own dance companies from their involvement in self-directed or voluntary projects. These opportunities allow you to grow your network in dance and performing arts, which creates further opportunities for you to work with other creative professionals.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Freelancing and short-term contracts are the norm and many dance graduates develop 'portfolio careers'. Moving between different fields, networking, attending auditions, collaborating with other artists and putting on your own shows are all parts of a dancer's lifestyle.
Dance is about how you present yourself. It's important to network at every opportunity and showcase your work and skills when you can. Keeping an open mind will help ensure that you'll be able to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.
Typical employers include:
- performing dance companies, such as the English National Ballet, Northern Ballet, Royal Ballet and Rambert
- clubs, cabarets and cruise ships, either in the UK or abroad
- musical theatre, in the West End or on tour
- backing dancers in music videos, performances and on TV programmes
- community dance organisations, partly funded by the Four Arts councils, such as Sadler's Wells
- teaching organisations, such as Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Stagecoach Performing Arts and the Royal Academy of Dance.
Skills for your CV
Studying dance provides you with specialist knowledge in different dance forms, dance history, choreography, community dance, arts administration and the commercial and business side of dance and the performing arts.
A dance degree develops transferable skills that are valued by all kinds of employers. These include:
- presentation and communication skills
- ability to work independently
- teamwork and collaboration
- creative collaboration
- original thinking
- time management and organisational skills
- creativity and flexibility
- awareness of others
- analytical, critical and research skills
- writing and marketing
- the ability to receive feedback and learn from it
- pursuit of excellence
Popular further study options for dance graduates include postgraduate study in specialist fields, such as choreographic practice, arts administration, digital arts and community dance.
Others pursue general postgraduate degrees in dance to deepen their particular performance subject interest.
Because of their knowledge and interest in movement and the physical body, some graduates undertake further study in dance science, strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, osteopathy or vocational fitness/healthcare qualifications such as personal training.
What do dance graduates do?
A large proportion of dance graduates are in work six months after graduation, and 32% of these are employed as dancers and choreographers.
|Working and studying||7.2|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Arts, design and media||38.9|
|Retail, catering and bar work||22.6|
|Childcare, health and education work||5.8|
Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.