What Are the Different Types of Dance Qualifications?

Tara Barnett

There are several types of dance qualifications that are suitable for different types of dance careers. Professional dancers obtain employment primarily through auditions, so the most important qualification is always the ability to actually dance. Even so, many dancers can no longer physically keep up with the demands of a professional dance position by the time they reach middle age. As such, having verifiable dance qualifications like a degree or certification can be very valuable later in life. Other types of dance education, such as a degree in choreography or fitness certification, can be useful for careers where employment is not obtained through demonstration of skill.

Professional dancers typically have to demonstrate their skill at an audition.
Professional dancers typically have to demonstrate their skill at an audition.

The first and most important dance qualification for a dancer is the ability to dance. There are many different styles and traditions in which a dancer can be educated, but being an expert in at least one of these areas is essential to a dancer's career. This involves high levels of athleticism and many years of training, often beginning in childhood. Certainly, people who begin older in life can still have careers in dance, but competition is often much more fierce.

A proficient dancer who wishes to dance with a company can often audition without any additional education. Even so, having a degree in dance can be valuable, particularly when pursuing a second career as a teacher later in life. Dance qualifications of this type not only ensure a certain degree of skill, but also represent an understanding of the theory behind dance. Some dancers find the academic study of dance highly interesting and may pursue a career at a university, which usually requires a college degree.

Some people enjoy the fitness aspects of dance rather than performance. For teaching dance as a fitness class, established credentials as a fitness instructor for a dance program may be required. General fitness instructor qualifications from an accredited organization can be valuable when proposing a dance fitness class that is unique and not associated with a branded dance program. These qualifications can be combined with dance experience to create a compelling resume.

Other types of dance qualifications sometimes involve a combination of qualifications from other areas. The dance qualifications needed to teach movement to younger students often have more in common with those used to train teachers in other subjects, like science and English, than the training for professional dancers. Training needed to provide dance therapy may involve a degree in psychology. Finding employment in the broad field of dance depends on having the right type of training for the job, so it is important to research the specific career one is pursuing thoroughly.

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