I wanted to become a professional dancer

When we were young we all had great visions of what we would do with our lives when we grew up. Today we’re following up on the article entitled “Have you reached your goals set when you were young?” (which is part of our  #YouWantMyJob and   #WhenIGrowUp series) and we are looking at how to become a professional dancer.

Neshika Thakurdin wanted to become a dancer (she is currently an SEO Engineer for Junk Mail):

“My perception of a dancer was that they always had the perfect body and are so flexible. At that age I thought all they do is just dance 75951361_tanecto awesome music…

Those who dream of a career as a dancer rarely think about the reality of the self-discipline required and the vigorous lessons and rehearsals that require many hours including weekends and holidays.

Professional dancers are subject to prolonged, irregular and demanding working schedules that require physical and mental stamina. They participate in regular training sessions, rehearsals and performances. Dancing is a strenuous career and its demand for physical perfection requires constant attention to diet, fitness and health.

Here are some challenges of being a dancer:

  • Rigorous and early training required.
  • Short duration of a career.
  • Strong competition for jobs make this a career for the very dedicated.
  • Injuries could end your career as a dancer.

So how you do become a dancer?

We had the opportunity of talking to Astrid. She is an Internationally qualified dance teacher who also dances as a profession. She offered some great advice for potential candidates wanting to enter into the performing arts industry.

Each training institution will have its own minimum entry requirements. However recommended subjects are Dance Studies, Music and / or Life Sciences. Due to competitiveness and the amount of work available in South Africa, training at tertiary level has become imperative .

Prospective students are interviewed, auditioned and evaluated in terms of RAD (Royal Academy of Dancing), Cecchetti Society or other equivalent examination qualifications, as well as on their general dance talent and ability.

The above institutions both offer comprehensive curricula in this field and, with the exception of a few course adaptations, subjects include Practical Dance (Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Spanish, African, National and Tap Dance), Music, Anatomy, History of Dance, Teaching Methods, Choreography, History of Costume, Drama, Choreology and Arts Administration.

TUT, in addition, offers the three year National Diploma Musical Theatre with a similar career-orientated curriculum, training singing and acting dancers.  You can study to become a dancer at TUT, UCT, DASA

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We hope you found this insightful and will be willing to share your story with us using the #WhenIGrowUp hashtag on your social media profiles. What did you dream of becoming? Did you / will you follow through? Leave a comment and let us know. Feedback is appreciated and welcome. Also feel free to check out the latest jobs in the performing arts field on Job Mail.

Click here to view the latest jobs in the performance arts industry.

Watch this space for updates in our #YouWantMyJob and #WhenIGrowUp series of articles.

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Job Mail Product and Marketing Manager. Social media fundi and digital junkie.

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