Modern Dancer

Turn your artistic movements into expressive performances.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
Highly Variable

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Modern Dancers do?

As a Modern Dancer, you use your body as paint and the stage as a canvas, and you tell a story through both choreography and improvisation. Maybe you can’t remember a complicated dance routine to save your life, but when the music starts, you fall so deeply into moving with it that you hardly remember where you are.

Riffing on traditional styles and untraditional movements, you dance uniquely as a Modern Dancer, unrestricted by music genre and controlled by gravity. Unlike ballet where Dancers make it appear like they’re lighter than air, you use the weight of your body to create a heaviness to your movements, even falling on the ground in an impromptu moment to show an emotional low in the story you’re trying to tell as a Modern Dancer.

While spontaneity is a big part of your style, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a whole lot of practice going on in the background. Keeping physically fit, flexible, and healthy is a must. Daily exercise, stretching, and a full and balanced diet allow you to keep limber while moving with power on the dance floor.

Most of your days aren’t even spent on stage; instead, they’re spent in a studio with a dance troupe or theatre company. Occasionally, you’re awarded a well-deserved solo number, but more often than not, you perform alongside other Dancers.

You’re tasked with building a bond of trust with your dance partners, especially when they’ll be lifting you (or you’ll be lifting them) in the air. Some stories can’t be told with only one character, just as some emotions can’t be felt while alone.

Like a piece of abstract art, the dances you perform aren’t conventional. And while some people just won’t “get it,” you affect other audience members in a very profound way. Most importantly, you’re able to express inner emotions that would be bottled up if it weren’t for the outlet of dance.

Should I be a Modern Dancer?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • How to become a Modern Dancer

    Most Modern Dancers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9aclaa&chl=no+college+%2882%25%29||associate%27s+%283%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2815%25%29|master%27s+%281%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,82,82
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