University of California, RiversideUCR



Opportunities for graduates with a Dance degree are more varied now especially with the growing concerns about health and exercise.

Representative Job Titles and Areas of Specialization

Arts Management Fund Raising
Choreographer Lighting Design
Costuming Performance Artists
Dance Critic Performance Coordinator
Dance Director Producer
Dance Historian Public Relations
Dance Notation Research Assistant
Dance Therapy Stage Manager
Dancer Teaching
Dance Instructor Television Production
Dance-exercise Advertising

Nature of the Work

Professional dancers often transition from student to dancer to choreographer to teacher. But no matter where you are in the continuum, you will remain a student of dance your entire career.

Many professional dancers perform in classical ballet, which includes the stylized, traditional repertory, or modern dance, which allows more free movement and self-expression. Or, you may find yourself doing a jazz adaptation for a musical show or appearing in a musical comedy on television.

Choreographers often create original dances, teach them to performers and sometimes direct and stage the productions of their work.

Dance therapists use creative movement to address a variety of client problems, ranging from emotional disturbances to physical and mental handicaps. Dance therapy is used in stress reduction programs and to treat physical illnesses as well.

Places of Employment

Arts high schools Opera companies
Conservatories Performing arts centers
Dance companies School districts
Dance studios Rehabilitation centers
Fitness centers Television productions
Hospitals Universities/colleges
Theater troupes Cruise lines


There is no one approach to training for a career in dance.

While you do not need a college degree to become a professional dancer, being a Dance major develops a sense of history and perspective that will enhance your ability to interpret and to create. In addition, a college education will give you a greater range of career options.

Dance training typically begins well before college. Private teachers and independent dance studios provide rigorous technical training for dancers often beginning between the ages of 10 and 12.

A strong background in dance and psychology and a graduate degree in dance therapy are required if you want to be a dance therapist.

For further information and/or career counseling contact the UCR Career Center, (951) 827-3631.

Supplemental Material

The following documents may provide further ideas for exploration.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Career Center
Career Center Plaza

Tel: (951) 827-3631
Fax: (951) 827-2447
Student Questions: careercounseling@ucr.edu
Employer Questions: careerrecruiting@ucr.edu