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Industries & Professions /
Dancers and Choreographers
Dancers usually dance together as a chorus. As they advance in their profession, dancers perform special numbers with other selected dancers and, when a reputation is attained, the dancer may do solo work. The following are five popular forms of dancing, and although some dancers become proficient in all five, most dancers attempt to specialize in one.
The acrobatic dancer performs a style characterized by difficult gymnastic feats.
The ballet dancer performs artistic dances suggesting a theme or story. Ballet is perhaps one of the most exacting and demanding forms of dance.
The interpretive or modern dancer performs dances that interpret moods or characterizations. Facial expression and the body are used to express the theme of the dance.
The tap dancer performs a style of dancing that is distinguished by rhythm tapped by the feet in time with the music.
Ballroom dancers perform social dances such as the waltz, fox trot, cha-cha, tango, and rhumba.
In all dancing, grace and execution are basic. Some dances require specific traditional movements and precise positions. Others provide for planned movement but permit sufficient variation in execution. The dancer thus is able to include a spin, a dip, a pause, or some other effect that provides a certain amount of individuality and flair to the performance.
Dancing is a profession that permits the performers to make the most of their physical features and personality. Part of the success of dancers depends on the ability to use their assets in ways that will permit their full expression.
Dancers may perform in classical ballet or modern dance, in dance adaptations for musical shows, in folk dances, or in tap and other types of popular dancing productions. Some dancers compete in contests for specific types of dancing such as ballroom dancing.
A few dancers have become choreographers, who create new ballets or dance routines. They must be knowledgeable about dancing, music, costume, lighting, and dramatics. Others are dance directors and train the dancers in productions. Many dancers combine teaching with their stage work or are full-time dance instructors in ballet schools or in colleges and universities. Some open their own dancing schools with specialties such as ballet for children or ballroom dancing.
A small number of dancers and choreographers work in music videos. While they may not become rich or famous in this line of work, it does provide good experience and increases their visibility.