Dance Historian

Follow the story of dance throughout the ages.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$26,000 – $96,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Dance Historians do?

As a Dance Historian, you use your research and writing skills to trace the history of dance throughout the ages. You may teach courses about choreography and movement to aspiring Dancers, or publish your works so dance fans can learn more about the art they love.

Dance Historians spend part of their workday studying dance. You look at archival films, read old reviews, study photographs, interview Choreographers, and look at staging notes. You also study newspaper reports of the political and economic climate in place when a particular dance was created. Additionally, Dance Historians attempt to explain how a particular dance style originated, or how that style was innovative for its time.

With all that dance research, you’ll begin to interpret news reports through a dance filter. It might be hard to keep still while you listen to the morning news.

You may publish your works in magazines and books. If a ballet company chooses to stage an older dance program, you may be asked to write notes about it. Those notes will appear in fliers given to the show’s attendees.

You may not have a large market for your publications, however, and to keep food on the table, you may have to use your background to critique new dance programs for newspapers and magazines. You’ll attempt to explain these new dances in relation to older ones, but you’ll have to use zany and entertaining language to keep readers coming back for more.

You may also teach a dance history course to aspiring Dancers. In this role, you give lectures to students, sprinkled with many photographs and films. Your students are visual people, so you keep the talking to a minimum.


Should I be a Dance Historian?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • How to become a Dance Historian

    Most Dance Historians have a Doctorate or a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:axat9y&chl=|certificate+%2818%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2815%25%29|master%27s+%2848%25%29|doctorate+%2819%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,48
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