A dance degree allows you to combine your love of performance with skills in choreography, teaching, producing and creating
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Arts administrator
- Community arts worker
- Dance movement psychotherapist
- Higher education lecturer
- Secondary school teacher
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
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:
- completing internships
- helping with community projects
- teaching dance classes
- volunteering at festivals
- writing reviews and opinion pieces for dance blogs and websites
- creating your own workshops.
These activities allow you to explore your own personal interests and grow your network in dance and performing arts - creating opportunities for you to work with other creative professionals. Some students evolve their own dance companies from their involvement in self-directed or voluntary projects.
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 and it's important to showcase your work and skills whenever you can and network at every opportunity.
Typical employers include:
- performing dance companies, such as the English National Ballet, Northern Ballet, The 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, such as Sadler's Wells, partly funded by public money from the Arts Councils of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Creative Scotland
- 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 also develops transferable skills that are valued by all kinds of employers. These include:
- presentation and communication skills - to promote and showcase your talent
- ability to work independently
- teamwork and creative collaboration - important when working on performance pieces with other dancers and choreographers
- original thinking
- time-management and organisational skills
- self-awareness and awareness of others
- creativity and flexibility
- analytical, critical and research skills
- writing and marketing
- the ability to take on board feedback and learn from it
- pursuit of excellence
Further study options for dance graduates include postgraduate study in specialist fields, such as choreographic practice, arts administration, digital arts and community dance.
It's also possible to study a general postgraduate degree in dance to deepen your knowledge and interest in your particular performance subject.
Another option is to go on to further study in dance science, strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, osteopathy or vocational fitness/healthcare qualifications such as personal training.
You can also undertake further training, such as a PGCE specialising in dance, in order to teach dance in secondary schools.
What do dance graduates do?
18% of dance graduates are in artistic, literary and media occupations.
|Working and studying||12.3|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and customer service||26.3|
|Arts, design and media||22.1|
|Childcare, health and education||11.3|
Find out what other dance graduates are doing 15months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.