What to expect from Dancing career

Professional dancers are highly creative and extremely dedicated to their art. Dancing is fiercely competitive, and is a significant part of the continually growing entertainment and theatre industry. Ontario college dance programs offer intense training, helping students perfect their dance skills and prepare to enter the world of professional dancing.

If you’ve been dancing for a few years or more and want to turn your passion into a career, here’s what you need to know.

Dance Courses

Dancing programs at Ontario colleges offer courses that will enhance your skills through in-depth instruction and ample amounts of studio time. Programs focus on specific types of dancing, and you’ll learn how to integrate new techniques into your specialty.

Courses will typically fall in one of three main areas of performance:

  • Dancing. Students will learn various forms of dance from trained professionals. Courses could include jazz, hip-hop, ballet and modern dancing.
  • Acting. Dancing isn’t just about nailing the right moves and techniques; facial expressions and how you convey your character are vital to the overall effect of the performance. Students will take courses that will teach them how to act while they dance.
  • Vocals. Vocals can be a key component of some performances, so students will take courses that teach them how to properly incorporate vocals into their routines.

General Dance Program Requirements

Ontario college dance programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including grade 12 English. Interviews and auditions will play a vital role in student selection, and type of dancing and level of experience may also impact eligibility. Additional requirements will vary by program.

Dance Jobs and Salaries

There are a variety of career opportunities for graduates of dance programs. You could find a career in:

  • Touring performances
  • Theatre productions
  • Entertainment (music videos, television and movies)
  • Choreography
  • Teaching

Some dance programs may also be stepping stones into specialized dance programs, such as choreography or dance administration.

It’s very difficult to state the average hourly wage or salary of a professional dancer. Dancers may be paid a weekly set rate for rehearsals, performances and tour shows, or a flat rate for each rehearsal and performance. Depending on the contract, some dance companies may also pay salaries. Starting wages could be as low as minimum wage, but may be higher, at roughly $15 to $20 an hour, based on level of experience and the specific company.

Ontario Colleges Offering Dance Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of dance programs at Ontario colleges. 

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