How to become a professional contemporary dancer: Connor's story

Connor, 20, is from Newcastle. He works as a professional contemporary dancer, which takes him on tour around the UK and Europe. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"I had to miss out on things socially when I was at school but it was so worth it."

  • Connor started dancing when he was three years old and trained in many different styles including ballroom and break dancing
  • At 15, he joined the National Youth Dance Company and realised he wanted to pursue dance professionally
  • He has studied alongside his dancing and recently graduated with a degree in Contemporary Dance.

What to expect if you want to be a professional dancer

  • Professional dancer pay: Your salary as a professional dancer can vary and there is no average wage
  • Professional dancer working hours: It's likely you'll work in the evenings and at weekends for performances but there are no fixed hours

What qualifications do you need to be a professional dancer?

  • Typical entry requirements: You’ll usually need to prove your skill in at least one form of dance and have dance school training, like a degree or diploma. You could get a Dance and Drama Award (DaDA) to help with dance school fees. You can also get performing experience by joining a local dance company.

Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET) has more information on training and becoming a dancer.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

Find out more on the Prospects website about the role of a dancer.

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Rachel: dancer and choreographer
Megan: drama facilitator
Don’t give up when times get tough