1. Are You Sure You Want to Be a Professional Dancer? – Just because you love to dance doesn’t mean that you will love being a professional dancer. Going “pro” means dedication, endurance, traveling, and long, hard work. When you’re a professional dancer, you must practically devote your entire life to dance. Make sure this dedication is something you really want to do. There are plenty of ways to enjoy dancing as a hobby or even teach dance as a career if dancing professionally isn’t quite for you.

  2. Are You Good Enough? – Take a good honest look at your dance talent. Don’t make the leap to professional dancer if your skills aren’t up to the level necessary to be successful.

  3. Keep Taking Class and Learn All Styles of Dance – Even if you are an incredible dancer, never stop taking classes, especially in the styles of dance you are weaker. Practicing your technique in dance classes will keep you on top of your game. You never know when you might be asked to do a ballet combination at a hip-hop audition, so being proficient in all style of dance is beneficial no matter your specialty.

  4. Get in Good Great Shape – If you are going to make it big as a professional dancer, you must be in great shape. The demands of dancing professionally will require that you push your body to the limit. Being in great shape, both physically and mentally, will give you an edge over your competition. Eat well, drink water, and avoid situations where you might be injured.

  5. See a Doctor – Get an exam with a doctor who specializes in athletes and sports injuries to make sure your body is up to the rigors and challenges of being a professional dancer. You don’t want to embark on your new career just to be sidelined with an injury. A doctor specializing in athletes should point out your body’s weaknesses or the potential for problems. You may be able to take care of a problem before it becomes a problem.

  6. Audition Locally – Before making the leap to the big time, audition for everything you can in your local community, even if it’s not in your specialty. Acting auditions, singing auditions, and any other types of auditions will help you overcome stage fright and practice auditioning. Every audition will make you stronger for the next audition.

  7. Be Prepared for Criticism – Don’t be defeated by criticism. Listen to criticism and take it or leave it, but don’t let it stop you from pursuing the professional dance career of your dreams.

  8. Take Direction Well – Any time a casting director or choreographer gives you a piece of direction, take it and apply it to your dancing. Sometimes at auditions, directors like to give direction just to see which dancers are directable and which are not. The ability to take direction could possibly mean the difference in getting a job or not.

  9. Practice Improvisation and Choreography – The ability to improv dance will help you in auditions and in performances. Many times, dancers are asked to “ad-lib” or “improv.” Practice some cool moves that will help you stand out. In addition, work on choreography. As a dancer ages, a natural career move is to choreographer. The more you work on coming up with choreography, the better you’ll get. In addition, the ability to choreograph could get you an assistant’s position as part of a professional dancer job.

  10. Stay Balanced – When you’re dancing long hours, it’s important to take a little time to balance your schedule by making time for fun. You may be a professional dancer, but don’t let dance take over. Stay balanced and enjoy life!