Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

A and B Plans: Part time work


Recommended Posts

What other jobs/careers work well with ballet?


I have to admit everytime I read the Career General Discusion topics I have a bit of anxiety about my dd's dream career. The thread titled "Wages for Pro Dancers" really got me nervous. Today after Nut I talked with the mom of a receint pro and she confirmed the reality of the wages. Ed Mcpherson in that thread talked about being a pilates instructor to make ends meet.


The pro's mom I spoke with said his schedual was 9-12 class and 1-5 rehersal. Is this a typical schedule? If that's the case the job/career would need to be say at 5-9 or 6-10 and off for performances, right?


These are some things I thought of putting on a brainstorm list. I think it's an area that dd needs to do some exploring and us as her parents we need to figure out how to provide education for that job as well.


teaching ballet

" pilates

massage therapist

physical therapist


Link to comment
  • Replies 53
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Clara 76


  • Melody78


  • vicarious


  • kikiswede


knock, knock.


One thing I've heard of is dancers teaching at summer intensives or anywhere they can while they're off during the summer. As you well know, most companies have time off in the summer allowing this. I don't know how well they get paid or how much that will supplement their weeks dancing. Some dancers might have time to teach at other studios etc. over their Christmas layoff as well.


I have a friend who teaches dance at 3 different schools/studios to make ends meet. One is a private academic school and 2 are studios I believe.


I knew another dancer who was working in the field she intended to pursue after she retired from dancing. If your DD has an outside interest like physical therapy maybe she could work in that field, getting experience, while dancing. She might be able to get some training in that field to allow her to make more than minimum wage too; my friend made about triple minimum wage because she had worked in that field for several years and had a background in it. I'm working in my future professional field and make a little over double minimum wage, which helps out a lot!

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Dancers in a professional company do not usually have time or energy for outside jobs, except during layoffs when the company is not working. If the company is a major company they will not need another job. Even those in the smaller regional companies generally manage except when they are off for a couple of months in the summer. It's not impossible, and some do manage to continue a college course, one at a time, if it can be done without attending classes.


The schedule that you show above is a bit unusual in that class would not normally be 3 hours. It would be one and a half hours, and then 6 hours of rehearsal. During performance weeks there is class and sometimes an hour or two of rehearsal, but not more than that.


The work demands such total focus and commitment that anyone doing it on a professional basis really needs to put their full energy into it. Most young dancers will need some parental support during the trainee and apprentice years, but once they achieve a full contract they should be able to at least survive.


Other areas for thought would include costume design or building, set design or building, lighting design or building, choreography, or work in the arts management field. These would all require specific education, but some of that can be done as you go along in your training and early career, or with transitional help following a performing career.

Link to comment

My girls' schedules were usually from 9:30-10 until around 6:30 PM. Of course, there were also weeks of performances in the evenings and weekends making jobs outside ballet very difficult. There were a few apprentices in my oldest daughter's company who would work the early morning shift at a Starbucks or Bagel shop. That is really hard though because of being on your feet so much. Dancing is a tough life and tough financially.

Link to comment

The dancers I know in a smaller company all work second jobs of some sort, from working weekends waiting tables to retail jobs to making and selling jewelry in a small local boutique and at performances. They even supplement these second jobs with babysitting and housesitting for extra cash (we're glad to oblige whenever we can on that one...). Needless to say, by this time of year, they are exhausted, but amazingly, they would not have it any other way right now.


Wish I could say the financial outlook were brighter. :D

Link to comment

I know a couple yoga instructors who are ballet dancers. Often a yoga studio will invite a dancer to take the training for free if they'll work for that studio. They are pretty accommodating about the hours too, which is nice.

Link to comment

At the Milwaukee ballet, some of the trainees/apprentices are pianists for the division and open ballet classes. Like previously mentioned, some also teach ballet classes. I think these are great ideas because you do not have to leave the building to earn "extra cash."

Link to comment

It takes a long time to build a teaching career. I think it's a great idea to start as an apprentice, trainee, or new dancer, rather than waiting.

Link to comment
  • 4 months later...

bump! Nothing wrong with waiting tables, right? Doesn't anyone else do this anymore?!? :devil: Not so thrilling as "certified Pilates instructor" maybe, but you can't beat the flexibility (nights and weekends only, off during performances, full hours during the summer), and the money can really be pretty good. That's what I'm doing this summer... ballet in the morning/afternoon and waitressing at night. The bad part is that it keeps you on your feet forever, but the good part is that you're not getting bored sitting at a desk or something! And it can actually be pretty fun work... you get to see a different side of people. (Of course it can also be miserable but that's another story.... )

Link to comment

My dd is starting summer layoff from her company in June. She has just signed up with a modeling agency for the first time & will see what happens. It seems like a good idea...she has no experience, but the agent was positive. SLC is a small market, not very competitive, but apparently agencies like "tall, fit girls". This is in addition to a baking/catering job. I think its fun for them to explore new, non-dancing activities during their time off. Both of these jobs can be fit in to her year-round schedule, also.

Link to comment

Thanks for noting your daughters summer "job." I've been wanting to ask - but afraid it would seem laughable. My DS has already asked me why he shouldn't try and get jobs modeling - at least in print - to help offset the cost of dance. It seemed kind of logical to me so we said we'd look into it. Also, for young men, there are small studios that like to have ballet dancers come in and help with partnering. Especially those studios that might not otherwise see a male dancer ever enter the door!

Link to comment

Oh yeah, guys are always needed for partnering! Even if he's still in high school he might be able to guest with other schools' productions, like Nutcracker, if the school doesn't have a company or enough men to fill out the roles. My pre-professional school does full length ballets and we are lucky enough to have a former student, now professional, who comes back to dance prinicipal roles for us. But you know the world of ballet--there are usually never enough men! :offtopic:

Link to comment

I just got the most perfect part time job for artists. I'll be working in a restaurant as a waiter/entertainer. This is a new restaurants that wants it's waiters to be able to sing, act, dance or play an instrument to perform a sort of surprise show (we just look like all the other waiters). I'll get to decide myself how much and when I want to work.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...