How to Become a Professional Ballroom Dancer: The Hard Truth

how to become a professional ballroom dancer the truth

Are you an aspiring dancer dreaming of a successful career in ballroom dancing? Do you want to know what it takes to become a professional in this highly competitive world? In this blog post, we will uncover the hard truth about the path to becoming a professional ballroom dancer. Whether you’re just starting out or already have some experience, this article will provide you with valuable insights and advice to guide you on your journey.

Quick Answer

To become a professional ballroom dancer, start training intensively from a young age and enter competitions to gain experience. Dedicate yourself fully to perfecting your techniques, musicality, and partnership skills through years of disciplined practice.

Once you have a strong foundation, consider the following steps to advance your career:

  1. Compete in DanceSport Events: Participating in competitions is crucial. It helps you gain experience, receive feedback, and get noticed in the dance community.
  2. Seek Advanced Training: Continue your education in dance. Attend workshops and master classes to refine your techniques and learn new styles.
  3. Network: Build connections within the dance industry. Networking can lead to partnerships, mentorships, and opportunities in both competitive and professional dance environments.
  4. Develop a Personal Style: As you gain skills, start to develop your unique dancing style. This will set you apart from other dancers and make you more memorable to judges and audiences.
  5. Pursue Professional Opportunities: Look for opportunities to dance professionally, such as in dance shows, on cruise ships, or in teaching roles. Each experience will build your resume and enhance your skills.

Starting Steps for Aspiring Ballroom Dancers

the starting Steps for Aspiring Ballroom Dancers

To begin training as a professional ballroom dancer, follow these practical steps.

First, enroll in private lessons at a well-regarded dance studio. This will sharpen your technique and improve your dancing skills.

Next, join group classes to work on styling and musicality, which are crucial for ballroom dancing.

Finally, participate in dance showcases and competitions to gain valuable experience and exposure.

These steps will set a solid foundation for your career in professional ballroom dancing.

Enroll in Private Lessons at Reputable Studios

To start your career as a professional ballroom dancer, begin by enrolling in private lessons at a well-known dance studio. Select instructors who’ve both extensive competitive experience and solid credentials.

These experts will offer you focused, personalized training essential for mastering ballroom dancing techniques.

Private lessons are crucial. They provide intensive training to build a strong technical base. In these sessions, you can receive tailored guidance on improving your posture, steps, and overall movements.

This targeted coaching is the quickest way to enhance your skills and get ready for the competitive realm of professional ballroom dancing.

Practice Styling and Musicality in Group Classes

Once you’ve learned the basic steps in private lessons, joining group classes can significantly enhance your styling and musicality.

These classes provide an opportunity to dance with different partners, a key factor in fine-tuning your techniques and improving your adaptability on the dance floor.

Dancing with others helps you learn to synchronize movements and interpret the emotional nuances of music through your dance.

Consistently attending group classes is crucial for developing a unique style that aligns with musical rhythms and is visually engaging. Additionally, feedback from various partners in these classes is invaluable for polishing your dance skills.

Aim to participate regularly in group sessions to steadily advance your abilities.

Gain Experience Through Showcases and Competitions

Participating in showcases and entry-level competitions is crucial for advancing as a professional ballroom dancer.

These platforms provide an opportunity to perform before an audience, helping you manage performance pressure and gain insight into the competitive dance environment.

Start with events aimed at beginners, such as newcomer or bronze level competitions.

These are tailored to your skill level, allowing you to concentrate on refining your technique and learning contest dynamics in a less intimidating setting.

Use these early experiences to apply your training, gather feedback, and steadily increase your confidence on the dance floor.

Each performance is a valuable learning experience. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare to navigate the world of professional ballroom dancing.

Partner with a Dedicated Dance Partner

As you progress in showcases and competitions, securing a dedicated dance partner is crucial for advancing your professional goals in ballroom dancing.

Choose either a professional or an enthusiastic amateur who shares your level of commitment. This partnership forms the base of your growth and success.

Once you have a partner, it’s important to train and compete with a serious mindset. Treat each practice as a critical step in refining your skills.

Ensuring that both of you share similar goals and commitment levels is key. The chemistry between you, both on and off the dance floor, significantly influences your performance and how judges view you.

To make the most of this partnership, choose a partner carefully and dedicate yourselves fully to the practice. This approach will help you maximize the benefits of your partnership.

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Attend Camps and Workshops for Rapid Improvement

To quickly improve your ballroom dancing skills, consider attending dance camps, workshops, and intensive training sessions.

These events allow you to learn from experienced coaches and professionals in a focused environment. By compressing months of learning into a few days or weeks, you gain a deep dive into crucial techniques, styles, and routines.

Dance camps and workshops offer relentless practice and immediate feedback, key for your development. Additionally, being around peers with similar goals provides motivation and encourages you to enhance your skills.

This setting is ideal for those serious about advancing in ballroom dancing.

Seek Mentorship from Established Professionals

Once you start excelling in regional ballroom dancing competitions, it’s wise to find a mentor who’s an experienced professional in the field.

A mentor brings a wealth of knowledge, having successfully dealt with the intricacies of competitive dancing.

They can offer you specific advice to enhance your performance, fine-tune your techniques, and adapt your training for more advanced competitions.

To find a suitable mentor, consider reaching out to professionals you admire at competitions or through social media.

Express your goals and ask if they’re willing to guide you. Regular sessions with your mentor can help you understand the nuances of competition strategy and performance improvement.

This guidance is crucial for advancing in your dancing career.

Earn Certifications for Professional Legitimacy

Obtaining professional certifications is crucial for establishing your legitimacy as a ballroom dancer. Join organizations like the National Dance Council of America to earn the credentials that mark you as a professional.

This step isn’t only about demonstrating your dancing skills but also about your dedication to upholding the dance community’s standards. These certifications confirm that you have the necessary skills and knowledge for the competitive world of ballroom dancing.

Additionally, they provide access to a network of professionals and opportunities, essential for career development. Therefore, securing these certifications is important for your professional growth and recognition.

Compete and Train for Championship Levels

Begin your path to becoming a champion ballroom dancer by engaging in regular training, seeking private coaching, and entering competitions.

Train daily to refine your technique and boost your performance under pressure. Private coaching offers personalized feedback and focuses on specific areas needing improvement, speeding up your progress.

As your skills grow, participate in increasingly challenging competitions. This not only tests your abilities against experienced dancers but also helps build your reputation. Approach each competition as a critical step towards your goal.

Explore Teaching, Judging, and Coaching Opportunities

To start training as a professional ballroom dancer, you should consider roles in teaching, judging, and coaching. These positions are often available at dance studios or during competitions.

Each role can enhance your dancing skills and provide important insights into the competitive dance arena.

Teaching helps you polish your technique and understand different ways people learn. This knowledge can improve your own dancing.

Judging gives you a perspective on what judges look for in top performances, helping you know what to aim for in your routines.

Coaching allows you to share your knowledge and build your leadership abilities.

Engaging in these roles will give you valuable experience and knowledge, helping you succeed in professional ballroom dancing. Keep these opportunities in mind as you advance in your dance career.

Required Training and Education for Ballroom Pros

Required Training and Education for Ballroom Pros

To become a professional ballroom dancer, start with comprehensive training in various dance styles and techniques. This foundation is crucial.

Regular participation in dance competitions is also vital, as it offers practical experience and increases your visibility in the industry.

Additionally, securing a professional certification will confirm your expertise and boost your professional standing.

This step-by-step approach ensures you develop the necessary skills and credentials for a successful career in ballroom dancing.

Foundational Training

To start a career in professional ballroom dancing, begin training early, ideally before age 10. Find a qualified instructor at a reputable dance studio for private lessons.

This early training establishes a solid foundation in technique, essential for mastering advanced moves.

Additionally, participate in group classes to practice with various partners and improve your style.

Enhance your skills further by attending dance camps, workshops, and intensive programs led by top professionals.

Each of these steps is crucial for developing into a professional ballroom dancer.

Competitive Experience

To gain competitive experience in ballroom dancing, start by entering dance competitions at the newcomer or bronze level.

As your skills improve, advance to the silver and gold levels, which require more polished techniques and better showmanship.

It’s crucial to partner with someone who’s equally committed to training and competing. This partnership is key in ballroom dancing, as coordination and chemistry are vital for a successful performance.

Regularly participating in competitions will sharpen your technical skills and teach you how to manage pressure.

You’ll also learn to adapt to different dancing styles and understand what judges look for. This experience is essential for your professional development in dance.

Professional Certification

To become a recognized professional ballroom dancer, obtaining professional certifications and joining reputable organizations like the National Dance Council of America is crucial.

These qualifications not only confirm your expertise and dedication but also provide access to essential competitions, networking opportunities, and educational materials that support your career growth.

Additionally, consider enrolling in a formal dance education program. Earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in dance from an accredited university will broaden your skillset.

This education goes beyond learning dance techniques; it includes studying dance theory, history, and performance nuances. Such training deepens your understanding and enhances your adaptability in the dance industry.

Becoming a Professional

To become a professional ballroom dancer, you need consistent and focused training. Aim for 3-4 hours of practice daily, which should include both private lessons and solo practice sessions.

This commitment is crucial and typically extends over several years.

As you advance, participating and excelling in top-level competitive circuits is key. Success in these arenas can lead to various professional opportunities.

You might find work as a dance instructor, competition judge, or dance coach. Other possibilities include performing in dance exhibitions or appearing on television shows.

Each professional role in ballroom dancing demands a solid grasp of both the practical and theoretical aspects of the dance, along with a strong performance and competition record.

Career Paths for Ballroom Dancers and How

Career Paths for Ballroom Dancers and How

As you pursue a career in ballroom dancing, you have several promising paths to consider. One option is to become a dance instructor, where you’ll teach others the art of ballroom dancing.

Another path is to compete as a professional dancer, which involves participating in various dance competitions. Alternatively, you can choose to perform for audiences, captivating them with your dance skills.

To excel in any of these roles, you need to develop specific skills. As a dance instructor, strong communication and patience are vital, along with deep knowledge of dance techniques.

If you choose the competition route, focus on honing your performance skills and mastering complex dance routines. For those interested in performing, it’s crucial to work on your stage presence and ability to engage with the audience.

To start, consider joining a reputable dance academy or studio where you can receive formal training. Networking with other dancers and instructors can also open up opportunities.

Additionally, participating in workshops and dance events can enhance your skills and visibility in the dance community.

Ultimately, your success in ballroom dancing will depend on your dedication to continuous learning and improvement, as well as your ability to adapt to the demands of your chosen path.

Dance Instructor/Teacher

If you’re aiming to become a professional ballroom dance instructor, here are practical steps to follow. Start by gaining the necessary training and certifications from recognized bodies such as the National Dance Council of America.

This qualification is crucial as it validates your expertise.

Next, actively participate in both amateur and pro-am dance competitions. These events are valuable as they hone your dancing skills and enhance your reputation as a skilled dancer and teacher.

Additionally, focus on developing strong teaching skills. This includes learning how to effectively communicate with students, choreograph dance routines, and handle dancers at different levels of proficiency.

Being a successful dance teacher requires patience and a strong commitment to educating others about dance.

Competitive Pro/Champion

If you aim to be a top professional or champion in ballroom dancing, starting your training early with experienced coaches is crucial. Dedicate many years to competing in major events, progressing steadily through the ranks.

It’s essential to partner with a dedicated professional dancer for high-level training and competition. As a leading dancer, you can earn money from sponsorships, performing in shows, judging competitions, and coaching other dancers.

These activities not only boost your reputation but also help maintain your financial stability while you continue to refine your skills and compete worldwide.


If you’re considering a career as a performer or entertainer in ballroom dancing, there are several practical steps you can take to succeed.

First, start training with experienced instructors early on and participate in competitions regularly.

This will help improve your skills and increase your visibility in the dance community.

Look for opportunities to perform in various settings such as shows, cruises, and music videos. Audition for roles that highlight your ballroom dancing skills.

It’s also important to earn professional certifications and join reputable dance organizations to enhance your credibility.

Effective networking is crucial. Connect with others in the industry and market yourself strategically.

Remember, achieving success as a performer requires dedication, hard work, and perseverance. Keep focused and stay committed to your goals.


To become a professional ballroom dancer, dedication and proactive steps are essential. Begin by enrolling in private lessons to receive personalized instruction.

Complement these with group classes to improve your technique and rhythm. Regular participation in competitions is crucial for skill enhancement and gaining recognition in the dance community.

Finding a reliable dance partner is also vital, as synchronized performance is key in ballroom dancing. Explore various competitions to challenge yourselves and gain exposure.

Networking is important in advancing your career. Opportunities such as becoming a dance instructor or a competition judge can open new doors and provide valuable experience.

Stay committed to your training and continually seek ways to improve. With focused effort and strategic career moves, you’ll establish yourself in the ballroom dance industry.

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  1. Sujandar Mahesan says:

    I’m not really into dancing and stuff but my cousin is for sure. So as soon as I saw this article about Ballroom Dancing and how to become a professional I shared this article with my cousin and she really loved it. She told that it is really useful for her and it’s inspiring at the same time.

    So I should thank you for sharing this great article which is really helpful for everyone.

    1. Thank you for your comment Sujandar, I’m glad that we are able to help! 😀

  2. Babsie Wagner says:

    I can’t imagine the amount of time it must take to become a professional ballroom dancer.  Learning how to move your body, balance and do all the steps in a beautiful and graceful way has got to take years, and of course, entering all those competitions has got to be so time-consuming and expensive.  It has got to be a passion to do something like that – it’s like any “sport.”  Opening a studio is probably easier than becoming a professional dancer, but again, years of training and practice.  

    1. Hey Babsie!… You right about that!…

  3. Thanks for the great article. I find it really helpful. You have summed up the process very nicely and managed to give a clear picture on what needs to be done. Indeed it is difficult to take your passion and turn it into something that you do full time professionally. It definitely requires some sacrifices and grit!

  4. Kira Price says:

    I never realized how serious ballroom dancing is. The investing in the gear got me because I didn’t know the shoes and everything else played such a huge role. I mean I know tap dancing requires a lot of practice that but very interesting to know their are some hard core dancers out there!

    Neat article!

    1. That’s right Kira!… Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thank you for sharing this great information about on how to become a professional ballroom dancer.

    You are right when you say that the only way to become a professional ballroom dancer is by hard working everyday and to commit yourself to achieve it and knowing when you success all be worth it. Especially knowing that is going to take you a lot of investment. having a mentor is a great idea.

    1. That’s right GV. mindset is everything…

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