Whenever you find yourself happy, you find yourself dancing. If you hear your favourite song, you just cannot help yourself from tapping your feet. On your sad days, dance is your escape, for when you dance, you just forget about the world around. If the above sentences are relatable to you, then you can consider a career in dance.
Talking about dance, it is a wide arena in itself and a career in it does not necessarily mean that you have to be a dancer yourself. You can even choose to be a dance choreographer. Taking it a step further, you may want to make a pick between classical, salsa, pop, jazz or modern dance. In any of the aforementioned cases, the scope of building a successful career is bounty.
Thus, if you are thinking of taking your passion for dance to the next level and breaking the shackles of the Indian society (which believes that medicine and engineering are the only two career options that are worthy of being pursued), then this article will help you. Here we shall talk about how you can make a career in the world of dance and the monetary and other gains associated with the same.
• Background Required
There are a number of institutes in Mumbai that offer courses in modern and contemporary dance. Kalakshetra, located near Chennai, is one of the oldest and well-reputed centres of classical dance education in the country.
These days, most of the dance classes train their students to master the other skills that are required to thrive in this field (this includes basic grooming sessions on how to behave in promotional events, tips for auditioning for job roles in a dance company and so on). If you want to be a choreographer, you can consider attending workshops and diplomas that help you put together your ideas into a creative expression in the form of a dance piece.
• Skills Required
As is obvious, dance is a highly creative field and one needs to imbibe the qualities of creativity and innovation in order to make it big in this field. Along with all that artistic abilities, the next thing that will be required is the physical stamina to be able to execute the same. This is one field where you need to keep practising even if you are successful.
Another professional skill that is absolutely necessary here is that of athleticism because, quite frankly, your career here rests on your body's ability to sway to the music without tripping or losing your sense of rhythm. Unless you are performing solo, you have to develop a good sense of teamwork.
Also, if you intend to grow from being a dancer to leading a team or being a choreographer, you need to have good leadership qualities.
• Job Prospect
If you are planning to step into this field, you must also be prepared to deal with the immense competition that it brings along. Some people may argue that dance is a creative field and there is not much importance of a formal degree.
However, the fact remains that, irrespective of your talent, if you have formal qualifications you will have higher chances of landing up with a job. The reason for the same may be attributed to the fact that the number of applicants for a particular post exceeds the number of job openings by leaps and bounds.
• Working Hours
An advantage of working in the field of dance and choreography is that you get to choose how long you will work based on the type of place you would want to work in. People who work for dance companies often find themselves working for long hours. This is especially true in the case of dance tours wherein they have to practise during the day and perform at night for days at end.
In the case of dance teachers and choreographers working in dance schools, the working hours are pretty well regulated with 5-6 hours of dance everyday. The icing on the cake here is that the working conditions for dancers is better than that of most other performing artists and these people are usually seen to have the basic amenities almost all the time.
• Career Growth
Initially any person who wants to be a choreographer needs to start off as a dancer. It is only when you step into their shoes will you be able to understand the finer nuances of the art and plan and direct it better. However, for any young dancer entering this profession, becoming a dance choreographer is not the only career path in front. They can choose to grow up to be lead dancers.
• Career Challenges
Usually in order to become a dancer one needs to start training in the first 6 or 7 years of their life. By the time they hit their teenage years, the magnitude of training amplifies and most dancers start performing in full swing by the time they are 17 or 18. However, due to the strenuous nature of the job, most people stop performing by the time they are in their late 30s.
At such a time these people can choose to be dance trainers, choreographers or other similar professions wherein their on-stage experience will aid them. Apart from the age factor, another major challenge of this field is the fact that this involves a lot of travel.
Due to the same reason, the living conditions may not always be the best and you might have to make a lot of adjustments. However, if you love dance, you will be able to take all of it with a pinch of salt and excel your way through the same.