Pay rates for dancers vary depending on ability, experience, how often they work and what type of work they do. Work may be irregular, and many dancers rely on second jobs to make a living.
Full-time classical dancers can earn between $35,000 and $75,000 a year.
Contemporary dancers are usually paid per project or performance. Some dance companies, such as Footnote and the New Zealand School of Dance, employ contemporary dancers full-time.
Sources : Footnote New Zealand Dance, 2018; New Zealand Dance Company, 2018; and Royal New Zealand Ballet, 2018.
This information is a guide only. )
What you will do
Dancers may do some or all of the following :
attend dance classes to rehearse movements and learn techniques
research and identify what areas of their body are prone to injury, and work to prevent this
combine movement with musical accompaniment
audition for dance companies and dance roles
study and practise roles
complete tasks set by choreographers
perform in front of an audience or camera.
Dancers need to have :
an understanding of different dance and drama techniques, and the ability to use them in performance
an understanding of music and rhythm
skill in interpreting ideas into dance
the ability to memorise dance sequences
knowledge of anatomy and how the body works.
usually work irregular hours and mostly work part time. If they are full time, dancers generally rehearse from 9am to 5pm, although when they are touring and performing they may work longer hours
work in rehearsal rooms, studios and theatres, and may also perform outside
may travel around the country to perform and may tour internationally.
There are no specific requirements to become a dancer. However, a relevant tertiary qualification, such as a New Zealand Diploma in Dance, is usually required.
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a dancer. However, music, dance and drama are useful.
Dancers need to be : creative
motivated and disciplined
able to pay attention to detail
punctual and reliable
Useful experience for dancers includes :
physical activities such as athletics
ability to play a musical instrument
acting or any other kind of public performance.
Dancers need to have :
excellent fitness and health
strong feet, ankles, legs and back
a flexible body.