Wages & Outlook
Dancers may be paid by the show, week, day, or hour. Dancers usually do not work full time. In addition, they may face long periods of unemployment. Because pay can be low and work intermittent, many dancers work a second job to support themselves.
Only hourly wages are reported in the wage table below. This is because there is wide variation in the number of hours dancers work. It is rare for dancers to have a guaranteed job for longer than three to six months.
Wages vary by the type of dance, the dancer's experience, and the area of the country. For a major production, such as a Broadway musical, the unions and the show's producers sign contracts that specify wage rates. Dancers are paid extra for overtime. Dancers who go on tour receive additional money to cover room and board.
Dancers who are covered by union contracts usually receive paid sick leave, paid vacations, and health insurance. Most other dancers must provide their own insurance.
View the Regional Wage Comparison Chart for:
In Minnesota, about 535 dancers work in this small occupation.
Many jobs for dancers are in the larger cities. New York City is the main center of dance in the United States. However, many other cities are major dance centers.
- Dance and theater companies
- Dance studios, schools, and halls
The dance field is highly competitive. There will always be more job seekers than job openings. Only the most talented dancers will find jobs. Regional ballet companies should offer good opportunities. However, the growth of dance companies may be slowed due to the public losing interest in traditional dance. Some of the fastest growth will be for dancers who perform in bars or in shows at amusement parks, or work in music videos. Other openings will occur for dance teachers, as dance for recreation and exercise becomes more popular.
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