Being a professional dancer-or a professional at anything, for that matter-is not easy. It takes hard work, knowledge, practice, and finding the right connections to truly become a pro. When you’re in an artistic field such as dancing, the odds become even greater. Not only do you have to put in significant effort, but you are subject to other people’s opinions of what “good” and “great” really are.

This can be daunting, which is why so few people actually make it to the professional level of an artistic discipline. But there are steps you can take now that can better prepare you for the road ahead. And while it won’t guarantee you’ll be a backup dancer in Beyoncé’s next video, you’ll certainly give yourself the best opportunity to earn a living.

There Is More Than One Way to Be a Professional Dancer

The first thing to know about being a professional dancer is that it takes on many forms. Being a backup dancer on tour with a major artist is just one way to be a professional dancer, but there are more options. You can join a national ballet company, you can become a dance instructor and start training other dancers, or you can even put on your own theatrical shows.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. The fact is that nowadays, you can lead a professional dance career simply by being on YouTube! The possibilities are endless, so don’t limit yourself to one dream (or one version of your path) to becoming a professional dancer.

Talent vs. Practice

When it comes to a discipline like dance, there is an aspect of natural talent that contributes to how far you can go. Some people have a natural ability that can’t be taught, but it is only part of the package. You have to be willing to put in the work. No matter how good you are, consistent training and learning is what will ultimately determine your position as a professional. The sooner you realize this, the better off you’ll be when times get a little rough.

Get Used to Hearing No

Part of becoming a professional dancer is going to auditions and part of going to auditions is hearing the word “no”. You have to understand that getting turned down is a necessary part of the process. Take that disappointment as an opportunity to learn. Go the extra mile and ask whoever you audition for why you weren’t selected. In most cases, they will be happy to offer you some advice on what they were specifically looking for and how you can better express that moving forward.

Learn More Than One Style of Dance

One of the benefits of attending Performing Dance Arts is that we teach multiple styles of dance. We encourage our dance students to explore or experiment with different varieties. Not only will this offer the practical advantage of being able to try out for an assortment of auditions, but it will help you discover the style at which you excel at, or possibly help you form your own style of dance by combining different techniques.

The goal is to be your best, and working with the dance instructors at Performing Dance Arts will help propel you to your full potential. Contact us today to learn more about our registration dates for our professional classes.