Professional dancers must audition for jobs, but a stellar resume can help you stand out from the list of other applicants. Dancers typically work for dance companies and must learn complex dance movements with their instructors and fellow dancers before performing in a production. They spend several hours each day rehearsing and must always be open to studying new and emerging dance choreographies and types of dance. Professional dancers must also attend promotional events, including photography sessions, to promote the production in which they will be appearing.
A professional dance resume is different from a traditional resume in that it is meant to provide information about your dance skills, accomplishments, and overall experience. Casting directors, dance studio owners, dance school committees, and choreographers typically require resumes before holding auditions to gauge a dancer's suitability for the program or job. As such, the structure and format of a dance resume are typically different than a standard professional resume, and completing it will require plenty of brainstorming to produce an extensive list of past performances and recognitions.
Common Mistakes for Dance Resumes
Failing to leave out any honours or union memberships is a common mistake found on dance resumes. Even if your only experience was a stint as dance captain of the cheerleading squad in high school, it's relevant information to employers looking to hire dancers. Since dance training typically begins at such a young age, don't be afraid to bring up past accomplishments and performances that are relevant to the position to which you are applying.
Some dancers fail to tailor their resumes to the specific dance position. This is a huge mistake, as you want to focus on relevant training and performances to make yourself more marketable. Rather than creating a generic resume and handing it out to numerous dance companies, tailor each one to the specific position. For instance, if you're applying for a ballet position, don't focus on your hip hop experiences.
Including personal information such as height and weight is considered a no-no in traditional resumes, but it's generally a must in dance resumes because some dance employers have limitations owing to the size of their costumes. While some sources will say to include other information, such as your eye color and hair color, few directors find this information useful, so it's best to leave it out. Including a small professional photograph of yourself on your dance resume is a better alternative.
Dance Resume Sample
2010 - Present
- Instruct dance students ages 7 through 17 in proper ballet techniques
- Prepare progressive lesson plans that enhance the experience of participants
- Accurately complete all administrative duties related to dance classes
2004 - 2010
- Performed as the Baroness in the company production of "Swan Lake"
- Performed classical routines across productions where singing and acting are required
- Collaborated with choreographers to modify and refine dance steps
2001 - 2004
- Served as understudy to the lead dancer in the company production of "Giselle"
- Trained in various rudimentary dance moves to master choreography basics
- Responsible for acquiring props and costumes for multiple performances
- Team player with a warm personality
- Fluency in English and French
- Expert knowledge of ballet and contemporary dance
- Excellent communication skills
1997 - 2001
Ryerson Theatre School
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Dance Positions to Consider
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Dancer Cover Letter
Dancers perform in front of an audience using movement and gesture. These artists can portray characters, situations, stories, or abstract concepts and are also required to improvise. Typical work activities for a Dancer include attending auditions, taking part in rehearsals, performing for video productions, developing choreography, maintaining equipment and costumes, adhering to safety guidelines, promoting dance especially to children, collaborating with cultural institutions, and doing administrative work.
Based on our collection of cover letter samples for Dancer, job requirements include:
- Knowledge of multiple forms of dance
- Physical fitness and stamina
- Promotional skills and networking
- Discipline and time management
- Effective communication
Below is displayed a cover letter example for Dancer showcasing comparable skills and qualifications.
For help with your resume, check out our extensive Dancer Resume Samples.
Dear Ms. Palma:
Technical expertise, a formidable work ethic, and an expansive portfolio are all essential components to success in the world of dance. As a skilled professional Dancer with eight years of experience with the Austin Ballet Troupe, I am positioned to make a significant impact as the newest member of the San Antonio Ballet Company.
With decades of training complemented by professional experience performing pieces in high-level productions, my skills and background have prepared me to excel in this capacity. Having been trained at the Texas Ballet Theater School since the age of four, I have acquired the technical aptitude and the rigorous training required to thrive as a professional dancer while also learning the intricacies of telling stories and showing emotion through choreographed body movements. Under the tutelage of Juliet Sistan for the past six years, I have performed in productions of The Nutcracker (lead role), Alice in Wonderland (lead role), and Swan Lake. With my confidence, my physical capacities, and my exhaustive classical training, I am prepared to significantly contribute to the San Antonio Ballet Company.
Highlights of my experience include…
- Devoting myself to training, exercising, and perfecting my proficiencies in ballet to maintain high levels of technical expertise, physical ability, and physical fitness.
- Completing training and participating in the Royal Academy of Dance examinations, the American Academy of Ballet Performance Awards, and the Youth America Grand Prix.
- Collaborating in group environments with fellow dancers, coordinating in ensembles and running weekly rehearsals with troupe members.
- Seamlessly adapting to multiple roles and on-the-spot choreography changes.
- Contributing to company fundraising efforts, lighting and costuming concerns, and ticket sales.
- Demonstrating excellent originality, creativity, and communication talents.
- Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas.
With my proven experience as a classically trained professional dancer, combined with my steadfast commitment to top-notch artistic quality and production, I am prepared to excel as the San Antonio Ballet Company’s newest dancer. I look forward to discussing this opportunity and my qualifications in more detail.
Thank you for your consideration.
Myrtie D. Zayas