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Dancers use movement, acrobatics and body language to portray a character, story or concept to the setting of music. Dancers will create a story through the medium of dance, set to the beat and style of a piece of music. Dance is a combination or sport, music and art which many people do as a hobby, whilst others become professional and make a living out of it.
Professional dancers perform dance routines that have been choreographed either by themselves or a choreographer, set to a piece of music that can be from any genre. Dancers are needed across the performing arts industry, in theatre, music, film, television and other events. Sometimes they are needed for live performances on television or at a concert, or are used as backing dancers in film and music video productions.
Dancers will often be trained in multiple styles of dance from ballet and ballroom to salsa and street-dance. They are usually quite sporty, flexible and have good coordination and rhythm. Some dancers will be hired by a dance or theatre company to perform in a number of productions. Freelance dancers will have an agent, who may find them work either as a musician’s backing dancer for a one-off performance or to travel with them on a tour.
The work is really dependent on the style of dance that one decides to specialise in. Dancers for popular music will have very different careers from professional ballerinas. Sometimes dancers will have to take on small acting or singing roles, especially when working in theatre productions. There may be the opportunity to take part in competitions, ad hoc work on cruise ships, or the circus. However, dance careers are often quite short – rarely lasting beyond the age of 40 due to the high physical and health standards. Injuries can also have an impact on the length of career. Therefore it is important to be versatile and to start training and finding work from a young age.