Dancers are performers who entertain audiences by dancing as soloists, with a partner or as members of a group. There are many styles of dance, including ballet, contemporary, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, folk, jazz, ballroom and tap. Dancers may perform using a variety of styles, or they may specialise in one particular dance style.

Duties & Tasks

Dancers may perform the following tasks:

  • attend auditions
  • rehearse dance steps and movements under the direction and instruction of a choreographer
  • develop their own interpretation of a role
  • train daily to maintain or improve technical standards, fitness and flexibility, and to help reduce the risk of injury when rehearsing or performing
  • perform styles of dance as the company, project or choreographer requires
  • sing or act as part of a performance
  • apply their own make-up for performances
  • choreograph dance works or routines.



A choreographer creates original dances and dance programmes, offering suggestions as to how the dancer should interpret and perform them.

Community Dance Worker

A community dance worker works with communities to facilitate the expression of that group's ideas in dance.

Dance Teacher

A dance teacher may teach in their area of specialisation in private dance studios or run their own dance school. Dancers with appropriate qualifications can teach in secondary schools or tertiary institutions.

Dance Therapist

A dance therapist specially trained to use dance as part of a therapy programme. These programmes may be used with a wide range of people, including the elderly, children and adults with special needs or specific movement disabilities.

Working Conditions

Most professional classical dancers have studied ballet from a young age. However, some modern dancers, particularly men, begin training as late as 16. Working as a dancer is physically demanding. Rehearsal and performance hours can be long and unpredictable.

Personal Requirements

  • discipline, dedication and perseverance
  • physically flexible and well-proportioned
  • good sense of rhythm
  • an appreciation of music
  • high-level technical and interpretive skills
  • good general health and an ability to reach high levels of fitness
  • good communication skills.

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