Dancers use movement and body language to entertain, portray a character, tell a story or evoke sentiments to an audience. There are many different styles and traditions of dance including classical ballet, modern stage or contemporary dance, street dance and cultural or traditional styles of dance. Dances are typically accompanied by music that complements the intended mood and effect of the dance.

Duties and tasks

  • Audition for individual as well as group dancer roles for live performances, film and music video productions
  • Interpret underlying message of the dance and evoke intended emotions through body movements, costumes and facial expressions
  • Learn and choreograph dance routines quickly and be able to perform for large audiences
  • Practice dance techniques for hours at a time, sometimes practicing the same moves over and over to perfect the technique
  • Rehearse performance choreography repetitively, under guidance of an instructor or director

Skills required

  • Ability to Apply Constructive Criticism
  • Confidence and Ability to Interact with Crowds
  • Creativity & Artistic Abilities
  • Intuition
  • Physical Flexibility and Agility

Working conditions

Dancers work irregular hours and sometimes face instability finding work based on the project and production times. They may be required to work long hours, including nights and weekend while a production is running, then have periods of time with no work if the production stops. They may be part of a dance company or work independently and need to audition for new productions regularly. Dancers usually work to build their portfolios and often combine performances with teaching dance lessons privately or for a company, choreographing or providing administrative work in dance companies.

Professional associations / Industry information

Australian Dance Council: Ausdance Design and deliver accessible and sustainable services to support Australian dance professionals. 

Check out the network of Ausdance organisations delivering integrated programs across the country, anticipating industry issues and providing innovative and inclusive responses. 

Related jobs and job titles

  • Actor
  • Ballerina
  • Choreographer
  • Circus Performer
  • Dance Teacher
  • Dance Therapist