How to Become a Professional Ballroom Dancer: The Hard Truth

How to Become a Professional Ballroom Dancer: The Hard Truth

How to become a professional ballroom dancer? If this ordeal was too easy, then we should not have written about it, right?

As much as we want to make this as simple as possible, that is not really the case.

In fact, people who really dance still fail to become a professional dancer even though they did all the work.

It truly takes a lot of your time, effort, and yes, even money.

The sad thing is, even after all of that, it is still not assured that you get to be a professional ballroom dancer.

Nevertheless, if you are really serious about taking this route, then you can read up on some of the tips that we can give you.

Along with those tips are hard truths about professional ballroom dancing.

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How to Become a Professional Ballroom Dancer

In general, there are two ways on how you can be a professional dancer.

The first one is to rise from the bottom meaning join a lot of ballroom dance events such as showcases and competitions to earn your stripes in the industry.

The other way is for you to join a dance studio and share your craft.

Let us briefly discuss each method.

1. Joining Competitions

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This is the usual route that dancers take in order to brand themselves as professionals.

Surely, who will ever contest your dancing level if you can shove your numerous trophies on their faces?

However, this method is arduous to do.

Of course, you should be trained and have a good dancing partner first before you can compete in a competition.

At the same time, you cannot just enter a competition that is prestigious.

You first have to gain wins in smaller contests so that you have the right experience to join a professional competition.

Not only that, just entering a competition will not qualify you as a professional.

You actually have to win.

2. Teach Ballroom Dancing

This method is highly criticized by people because almost anyone who at least has the training and the proper funds to open a dance studio can easily be called a professional.

But if you want to take this route, then you should do it right.

Make sure that you have proper certifications, years of dancing experience, and even at least a handful of competitions that you won.

Keep in mind that dancing as a professional is just like any other job, you have to prove and improve your skills consistently.

You really cannot claim that you are a professional ballroom dancer if you just learned one routine at home, right?

At the same time, to keep things looking professional, you should have at least a designated place where you can teach dance, as well as the right equipment.

[RELATED: Is Ballroom Dancing a Sport or Just a Form of Art?]

What Are the Steps to Take

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There are really no catch-all strategies on how to become a professional ballroom dancer, but you have to start somewhere, right?

Here are the steps that you can follow to guide you through your professional dancing journey.

1. Find a Mentor

By mentor, we do not mean someone who loves to dance.

We are talking along the lines of an already professional dancer.

Where can you find them? In a dance studio, of course!

This means that you should really enroll yourself in a ballroom dancing course.

More often than not, your dancing teacher can also be your mentor.

Why is this important?

It is because your mentor can also be your connection to competitions.

Not only that:

They would have already won a lot of competitions, so they can give you expert tips on what you can do to at least qualify in a competition.

2. Take Training Seriously

If you really want to make dancing as your profession, you have to devote every single waking moment to master your craft.

This can be truly challenging especially when you have a day job, so you have to manage your time wisely.

It is good to keep a dancing journal so that you can keep track of your progress.

If by this time, you already have a mentor, he or she can tell you where you can improve and what type of dance you are good at.

In addition, you also have to do your own research work on studying those dances and even the people who are good at it to gain some inspiration.

[READ: Where Can You Learn Ballroom Dancing?]

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Going the ballroom dancing route is not cheap.

You have to get the right shoes and even the costumes, not to mention your dancing studio fees.

On top of that, there are also miscellaneous expenses like props, medicine (for when your whole body aches), etc.

You also should be following a strict dancer diet, so this will also add to your expenses.

Usually, you need protein drinks and other food that will not make your body retain too much water as you really cannot dance appropriately if you are bloated.

4. Find a Partner

Obviously, you cannot do ballroom dancing alone.

You have to find a partner, but not just any partner: a partner that you will be perfectly in sync with.

This might sound cheesy, but you and your partner should really view yourselves as one when you are dancing.

A lot of professional dancers fail to win competitions because they do not have the right partner.

Therefore, be really strict in choosing one.

Make sure that you love the same dances, have the same goals, and that both of you are very comfortable working with each other.

A good setting for romance?

Not quite; it is best to keep things professional.

5. Win Competitions

There is really no easy way to say this, but unless you have won at least one competition or at least qualified in a prestigious one, all of your hard work will not be recognized.

Hence, just do not give up and keep on joining competitions and maintain a winning streak.

If you do so, not only do your peers will take you seriously, but you will view yourself as worthy to be called a professional ballroom dancer.


In order to become a professional ballroom dancer, you have to sacrifice a lot of things.

Even after those sacrifices, it is not still assured that you end up being a professional dancer.

Therefore, just keep at it, and all your hard labor will soon bear fruit (or trophies!).

If you ready to start your dance journey and fun contact your nearest dance studio for more information.

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9 thoughts on “How to Become a Professional Ballroom Dancer: The Hard Truth”

  1. Sujandar Mahesan

    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. Jonathan

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

  2. Babsie Wagner

    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. Abraham

      Hey Babsie!… You right about that!…

  3. Joe

    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

    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. Jonathan

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

  5. GVporras

    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. Jonathan

      That’s right GV. mindset is everything…

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