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Dancers and Choreographers Job Outlook

Employment of dancers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Dance companies are not expected to add many jobs over the decade. Generally, when one company disappears, a new one replaces it without any growth in the total number of companies.

On the one hand, a long-term trend in which the public appears to be losing interest in traditional dance also is slowing down the growth of dance companies. On the other hand, a growing interest in dance in pop culture may provide opportunities in fields outside of dance companies, such as on TV or in movies, casinos, or theme parks.

Employment of choreographers is projected to grow 24 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. The growing interest in dance in pop culture is expected to lead more people to enroll in dance schools, and growing enrollment should create more jobs for choreographers. In addition, the number of dance schools is growing faster than the number of employees of dance schools. Because they are needed at all schools, choreographers may experience faster employment growth than other employees at dance schools.

Job Prospects

Dancers and choreographers face intense competition and the number of applicants is expected to vastly exceed the number of job openings.

Dancers who attend schools or conservatories associated with a dance company may have a better chance of finding work at that company. In addition, many choreographers recruit dancers from nationally accredited college programs.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition