How to become a professional dancer: Kieran's story

Meet Kieran and learn more about his life as a professional dancer. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

This job takes a lot of determination and passion.

  • Kieran wanted to be a dancer from a really young age

  • He was trained by his sister in her dance company

  • In school he did performing arts and then moved on to study dance at dance college

  • Kieran found that what he learnt at school and college were important elements in his job

  • He then performed on The X Factor as a dancer

  • Kieran thinks to be a dancer you need to have determination, passion and positivity.

What to expect if you want to be a professional dancer

  • Dancer salary: Variable.
  • Dancer working hours: 28 - 30 hours per week. May need to work on evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

What qualifications do you need to be a professional dancer?

  • Typical entry requirements. You can get into dancing through college with two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (Ato D) (or equivalent) for a level 2 technical certificate in performing arts or four to five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A to C) (or equivalent) for a level 3 extended diploma in performing arts - dance. You can also get in to dance through university with two to three A-levels (or equivalent) for a degree or diploma in professional dance or musical theatre.
    You can get practical experience through volunteering and can build contacts by attending amateur dance clubs, college and university dance societies and student dance festivals and competitions, or by joining profession dance classes at the Royal Academy of dance, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and bbodance (ballet).

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

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

Jade Bird: Singer-songwriter
Ryan: Lewis Capaldi's manager
Jaguar: DJ and presenter