Dance majors prepare for careers in dance, dance education, and dance scholarship. Majors gain proficiency in dance technique, performance, and choreography; understand dance as human history and as social and cultural experience; and learn practices in teaching dance and in using dance to improve health and well-being. Dance majors are encouraged to learn other arts—among them, acting, design, and filmmaking—in order to develop hybrid arts practices and to combine dance with other majors to prepare for graduate school and careers such as arts administration, therapy, and journalism.

Sample Occupations

  • Performance
  • Performer
  • Artistic Director
  • Choreographer
  • Movement Coach
  • Administration
  • Dance Studio Owner
  • Arts Administrator
  • Publicist
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Education/Therapy
  • Public School Dance Teacher
  • Private Studio Dance Instructor
  • Dance Therapist
  • Other
  • Performance Critic
  • Community Arts Advocate
  • Scholar of Dance History, Dance Ethnography, or Area Studies

Types of Employers

  • Dance Studios
  • Public & Private Schools
  • Colleges & Universities
  • Community Centers
  • Theme Parks
  • Dance Companies
  • Performing Arts Centers
  • Health Clubs
  • Arts Councils
  • Production Companies

Preparing for your career in

Performance: Develop strong skills in dance technique and performance by taking a full range of dance classes and participating in performance opportunities. Attend master classes and workshops. Be articulate about dance and its histories and benefits to individuals and communities by reading about dance and watching dance performances

Choreography: Develop strong skills in constructing dances by taking choreography classes, choreographing for student groups, and carefully observing existing choreography. Develop strong interpersonal skills and study motivation theories and techniques so that you can be an effective leader Become familiar with other aspects of performing arts production such as costumes, set design, and lighting. Be articulate about choreography as an aesthetic practice by reading about dance and watching dance performances

Teaching: Take a full range of dance classes and education classes in order to understand how people develop across the lifespan and ways in which they learn. If you are interested in working in a private studio, take business classes. Volunteer to teach dance with children’s programs or in senior centers to build experience

Arts Administration: Learn about fundraising, take courses in marketing and finance, and develop strong interpersonal skills. Intern with a performing arts organization

Critic or Scholar: Take courses in creative writing and journalism; study the history and meaning of the arts. Attend showings and performances, and read and write about what you experience

How do I know if its right for me?

ASSESS: Take a career assessment, such as PathwayU, to see how your interests, values, and personality fit with majors and careers.

RESEARCH: Research the careers on this WCIDWAMI and thousands of other careers using O*Net Online, The Occupational Outlook Handbook or FirstHand.

EXPLORE: Learn more about a career field of interest by job shadowing, attending a career panel, or participating in a Career Trek. Further your exploration while gaining valuable skills by completing an internship, co-op, volunteer, or research experience.