How to Become a Professional Ballroom Dancer: The Hard Truth




How to Become a Professional Ballroom Dancer: The Hard Truth

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How to become a professional ballroom dancer? If this ordeal was too easy, 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 professional dancers 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, you can read up on some of the tips we can give you.

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

How to Become a Professional Ballroom Dancer

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

The first one is to rise from the bottom, meaning joining many 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 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 prestigious competition.

First, you must gain wins in smaller contests to 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

People highly criticize this method 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, you should do it right.

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

Remember that dancing as a professional is just like any other job; you must consistently prove and improve your skills.

You cannot claim to be 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 to teach dance and the right equipment.

What Are the Steps to Take

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There are no catch-all strategies for becoming 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 many competitions, so they can give you expert tips on what you can do to at least qualify for a competition.

2. Take Training Seriously

If you want to make dancing your profession, you must devote every waking moment to mastering your craft.

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

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

If you already have a mentor by this time, 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.

3. Invest in Your Gear

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Going the ballroom dancing route is not cheap.

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

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

You also should follow a strict dancer diet, which will add to your expenses.

Usually, you need protein drinks and other food that will not make your body retain too much water, as you 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 you will be perfectly in sync with.

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

Many professional dancers fail to win competitions because they do not have the right partner.

Therefore, be really strict in choosing one.

Ensure that you love the same dances, have the same goals, and 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 no easy way to say this, but unless you have won at least one competition or are qualified in a prestigious one, all of your hard work will not be recognized.

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

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

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ)

How long does it take to become a good ballroom dancer?

Becoming a good ballroom dancer is a journey that varies for each individual. It depends on factors such as natural talent, prior dance experience, practice consistency, and the complexity of the dances pursued.

While some may achieve a good level of proficiency within a year or two of dedicated practice, others may take several years to master the art of ballroom dancing.

Regular classes, private lessons, practice sessions, and social dancing are essential to improve technique, musicality, and partner connection. Remember, continuous learning and refinement of skills are key to becoming a truly accomplished ballroom dancer.

How much can you make as a ballroom dancer?

The income of a ballroom dancer can vary significantly based on several factors. Professional ballroom dancers who perform in competitions and shows may have higher earning potential, especially if they succeed at top-tier competitions.

However, many ballroom dancers supplement their income by teaching dance classes, which can provide steady earnings. The location and demand for ballroom dance instructors can also impact potential earnings.

While some top dancers may earn a substantial income, it’s important to note that most ballroom dancers may have a more modest income and often need to combine their passion for dance with other sources of livelihood.

Are there professional ballroom dancers?

Yes, there are professional ballroom dancers who make a living through their dance careers. These dancers dedicate themselves to the art and sport of ballroom dancing, often competing in national and international competitions.

They may also perform in professional dance shows, exhibitions, and entertainment events. Professional ballroom dancers possess exceptional skill, technique, and artistry; some achieve fame and recognition within the dance community.

Additionally, many professional ballroom dancers become certified instructors, sharing their expertise by teaching others in dance studios, workshops, and private lessons. It is a challenging and rewarding career path for those passionate about ballroom dance.

How do ballroom dancers make money?

Ballroom dancers can make money through various avenues related to their expertise and talent. Professional ballroom dancers often earn income by participating in competitive dance events, where they can win prize money and accolades.

They may also perform in shows, exhibitions, and entertainment events, receiving payment for their performances. Additionally, many ballroom dancers become certified instructors, teaching dance classes in studios or offering private lessons, which can provide a steady source of income.

Some dancers also use workshops, choreography services, and online tutorials to monetize their skills. Combining multiple sources of income allows ballroom dancers to sustain their passion and livelihood in the dance industry.

About the author

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

  1. Sujandar Mahesan Avatar
    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 Avatar

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

  2. Babsie Wagner Avatar
    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 Avatar

      Hey Babsie!… You right about that!…

  3. Joe Avatar

    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 Avatar
    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 Avatar

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

  5. GVporras Avatar

    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 Avatar

      That’s right GV. mindset is everything…

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