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Dance Resume Sample & Writing Guide [20+ Tips]

Dance Resume Sample & Writing Guide [20+ Tips]

Writing your dance resume feels like going en pointe on a first ballet class? Don’t hang up your dancing shoes. We’re here to help.

Emilia Mucha
Emilia Mucha
Career Expert

Professional dancers pursue a variety of careers in theatres, dance recitals, TV productions, and dance studios. They display choreographies on stage and tell the stories with their dancing moves. A job-winning dance resume needs to reflect the knowledge of dance techniques as well as creativity, collaboration skills, and stamina.

 

And you’re just a scroll-down away from writing the best dance resume in the pile.

 

This guide will show you:

 

  • A dance resume example better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • How to write a dance resume that will land you more auditions.
  • Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a dance resume.
  • How to describe your experience on a resume for a dancer to get any job you want.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

dance resume templates

Sample Dance Resume—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Are you more than just a dancer? Check out our other resume guides for creative industry pros:

 

 

1

What’s the Best Format for a Dance Resume?

 

You’ve been learning new pieces and practicing your butt off for weeks.

 

But to get onto the stage during the audition season you have to impress the artistic directors in a flash. 

 

Truth is they get hundreds of dance resumes and look at each of them only for a few seconds. 

 

How to grab their attention?

 

Select the right format for your dance resume.

 

Classics always win, so go for a reverse chronological resume.

 

It will put your current projects and recent performances up front. It’s intuitive, easy to navigate, and perfect for a quick review.

 

Next step?

 

Choose the best dance resume template. Even if you feel dancing is all about creativity and self-expression, keep your resume simple. Too much motion will disqualify you.

 

Use a modern resume font and set proper margins. Create clear headings. Finally, left align the text—your resume is not boogie-woogie so things can’t sway from side to side.

 

And the last thing—

 

Save your dancer resume as a PDF. PDF files open everywhere and keep your resume layout in shape for printing.

 

Pro Tip: Wondering how long should your dance resume be? Go for one page. Casting directors won’t read any more than this.

 

The reverse-chronological format is your best choice in most situations, but you may also consider other resume types. This guide will show you the difference: 3 Resume Formats: How to Choose the Best One [Examples] 

 

Still not sure about the design rules for a job-winning dancer resume? See our dedicated guide: Resume Layout: 20+ Templates, Examples & Design Guide

 

2

Dance Resume Summary or Resume Objective?

 

The dance studio owner is looking at your resume.

 

It’s not a rehearsal. The show goes on now.

 

Confident about your resume layout?

 

Great!

 

But how to steal her heart like The Nutcracker?

 

Write a graceful professional resume profile. It can be either a resume summary or resume objective.

 

If you’re a dancer with 2+ years of professional experience, pick a summary. It will highlight your best performances and key on-stage achievements.

 

If you’re trying to win your first audition, go for a resume objective. It’ll showcase your dancing skills and motivation to get the job.

 

Look at these two dance resume profile samples:

 

Sample Dance Resume—Summary Examples

 

right
Classically-educated ballet and modern dancer with 8+ years of experience. Trained under Mary Smith. Worked as a lead dancer at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance Chicago and performed as the Queen Mother in Swan Lake (2015–2016) for the Auditorium Theatre. Ready to leverage dancing and choreographing skills at the XYZ stage.
wrong
Talented dancer with eight years of experience in classic and modern ballet. Gained expertise in Dance Academy Chicago. Lead dancer in numerous stage productions, including theatre plays and commercial performances. Passionate and skilled in choreographing.

 

The right example?

 

A round of applause! The candidate lists her best dancing achievements and mentions specific venues. She also includes the name of the choreographer known in the industry. On point.

 

Wrong example is not terrible but it’s not perfect either. It generically names your dance styles and shows nothing special about you. That could be anyone.

 

But what if you’re just getting your feet wet at dancing? 

 

To get from nowhere to Broadway, you need to show you’re motivated to become the best dancer. Do it with a compelling objective for a dance resume with no experience.

 

Check out the examples below:

 

Dance Resume Objective—Examples

 

wrong
Passionate dancer with energy and flair but no on-stage experience. Ready to tell the stories with my dancing moves. Seeking to join your team on stage for the City of Dance performance.

 

Passionate? Your worth more than this cliche. Besides—even my grandma can dance passionately.

 

If you lack professional dancing experience, go get some. Maybe you volunteered as a dancer or worked on backstage? Everything counts.

 

Look at the dance resume objective example below:

 

right
Ambitious dancer trained by Mary Smith at Chicago Dance Academy. During the academy training served as understudy to two lead dancers in the production of Solo Echo. Performed a number of half-time dances at Dancing for Change charity events (2016–2019). Seeking to develop my knowledge of dance techniques and artistic integrity in the XYZ team.

 

This candidate is like Frances Houseman! She deserves a chance to grow. See? Even a beginner dance resume can have that little sparkle.

 

Pro Tip: Before sending your resume for an audition, make sure it has all the required information. Dance companies usually specify their requirements in the audition description. Sometimes they want to know your height, weight, eye color, or even hair color. You can include these in your resume header.

 

Want to see more examples of the best resume summaries and objectives? See our guides: Resume Summary Examples (30+ Professional Summary Statements) and 50+ Resume Objective Examples: Career Objectives for All Jobs (+Tips)

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

 

3

How to Create a Professional Dancer Job Description

 

The work experience section is the grand jete of your resume:

 

Challenging but if you get it right, you’ll land—

 

That dream role.

 

How to write your dancer resume job description?

 

First, brainstorm all dancing gigs you’ve had so far: recitals, corps de ballet performances, TV productions, and even collage dance shows.

 

Then narrow the list down to what’s relevant for the dancing job you’re targeting.

 

Artistic directors and dance school managers want to know where you are now. How you got there reflects your stamina and motivation.

 

Take a look at these sample dancer performance experience sections:

 

Dancer—Experience Section on a Resume

 

wrong

The Joffrey Ballet

Chicago, IL

Ballerina (2015-2019)

 

Repertoire performed: Swan Lake byChristopher Wheeldon© (The Queen Mother); Harlequinade by Ashley Wheater (Columbine); Jane Eyre by Cathy Marston and Bliss! by Stephanie Martinez (Corps de Ballet.)

 

National & international tours:Swan Lake and Harlequinade: The San Francisco Opera House, Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, Civic Theater in San Diego; Swan Lake, The Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

 

How about this ballerina job description?

 

They won’t be impressed. The blocks of text are too big. Her accomplishments don’t pop out. Boring. 

 

Here’s how to get it right:

 

right

The Joffrey Ballet

The Auditorium Theatre Chicago, Chicago, IL

Ballerina

2015–2019

 

Repertoire performed:

 

  • Swan Lake byChristopher Wheeldon©, The Queen Mother.
  • Harlequinade by Ashley Wheater, Columbine.
  • Jane Eyre by Cathy Marston and Bliss! by Stephanie Martinez, Corps de Ballet.

 

National & international tours:

 

  • Swan Lake and Harlequinade: The San Francisco Opera House, Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, Civic Theater in San Diego.
  • Swan Lake, The Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

 

What’s so good about this example?

 

It cuts to the chase in a readable format.

 

Hiring managers have the attention span of a first-time 5-year old kind in an opera. You need to get your message across fast. So—

 

List your roles, show titles, venue names and tours in bullet points. The above dancer’s resume job description has it all. 

 

And what if you’re looking for your first dancing gigs?

 

Here’s how to write a dance artist resume with no experience:

 

Dance Resume with No Experience—Job Descriptions 

 

wrong

Dancer

Magic Troupe Ballet Company, Chicago, IL

May–August 2018

 

  • Learned new choreographies and steps and performed them on stage.
  • Took part in TV productions and live shows.
  • Ordered costumes and props for the gigs.

Nothing special. Everyone’s bored.

 

No audition.

 

right

Right

 

Dancer

Magic Troupe Company, Chicago, IL

May–August 2018

 

  • Trained classical and modern routines and learned new choreographies under John Smith’s supervision.
  • Performed learned choreography on stage (two live performances a week; TV show footage twice a month).
  • Collaborated with other dancers in the troupe to ensure excellent harmony of rhythm and timing.
  • Ordered costumes and props for the performances.

 

Key achievement:

  • Chosen a lead dancer for a TV commercial Dancing Shoes that involved elements of dance and acting.

 

Bullet points. Action words. Key achievement. Wow! This inexperienced dancer has so much to offer.

 

Still not sure how to make your resume experience section look good? Check out our dedicated guide: Work Experience on a Resume: Job Description Bullet Points Samples

 

4

Is Your Education Section Falling Behind the Class? It Might Be

 

Whether you have a long dance training history or you’ve only completed a summer intensive program—

 

The education section on your dance resume matters a lot.

 

Flawless technique, sense of balance, mobility—hiring managers want to see how and where you learned them.

 

Not sure how to list your dancing training on a resume?

 

Trace back your beginnings and pick relevant dance coursework.

 

Especially when you went a step further and earned a degree in ballet or dance.

 

The rev-chron rule applies to this resume section, too. You should start with your most recent relevant education level and go back in time.

 

Here are two sample dance resume education and training sections:

 

Dance Resume—Education Section Samples 

 

wrong

2010–2014, BA in Dance

Columbia College Chicago, IL

 

  • Received a BA in dance.
  • Learned how to design a choreography.

 

Ouch… So much potential, so little relevant info.

 

right

2010–2014, BA in Dance

Columbia College Chicago, IL

 

  • Participated in technique courses in modern, ballet, and hip-hop.
  • Pursued my passion for choreography interpretation and dance history.
  • Led a weekly discussion panel devoted to the evolving dance fields.
  • Learned how to communicate ideas with dance and collaborated with other dancers to maximize the team integrity. 
  • GPA: 3.50

 

Now there’s a dancer with skill and will. Someone who studied hard.

 

Plus, there’s a way to additionally back up your training history:

 

Suzana Stankovic, an internationally-known ballerina and the owner of Wild Heart Performing Arts Studio in Astoria (Queens), NY, says:

Employers would be looking at where the dancer trained, what types of professional roles they had onstage, and with which dance companies or artists they performed. However, these days, a short video clip or reel of the dancer onstage or in rehearsal is almost always expected as it offers immediate insight into the dancer’s abilities and artistic qualities. Dance is visual and most working dancers have a promotional video and/or website with a photo or video gallery that accompanies their resume.
Suzana Stankovican internationally-known ballerina and the owner of Wild Heart Performing Arts Studio in Astoria (Queens), NY

So— 

 

Consider creating a short video and adding a link to your dance resume header.

 

Note: Just planning to study dance? Choose from dance schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities that are NASD-accredited. You can also check out a list of the best college dance programs for 2018–2019 here.

 

Want your resume education section shine like Misha Baryshnikov on stage? Check out our guide: How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples]

 

5

How to Put Skills on a Dance Resume

 

Dance is so much more than learning steps and wearing fancy clothes on stage.

 

To get through countless rehearsals and build a career as a professional dancer you need grit.

 

How to show it to casting directors on your resume?

 

Name your dancer skills in a separate section. But don’t just freestyle.

 

Select the skills that prove you can step up. Plus the ones that show your sensitive side.

 

Here are sample dance skills lists you can use as a source of inspiration for your resume skills list:

 

Dancer—Skills for a Resume

 

Soft skills:

 

 

Hard skills:

 

  • Knowledge of chosen dancing techniques (ballet, contemporary, jazz, street, hip hop, etc.)
  • Understanding music
  • Movement memory
  • Facial expression
  • Gestures
  • Pathways
  • Weight transfer
  • Stillness
  • Floor work
  • Dynamics
  • Movement patterns
  • Movements size
  • Dancing in duets and trios: mirroring, reactions, formations
  • Rhythmics
  • Understanding space

 

See?

 

The examples combine soft skills and hard skills of a successful professional dancer.

 

Pro Tip: Hard-working team player? Don’t say it that way. Avoid cliches and be specific when listing your skills on a resume.

 

If you want to make your dancer resume skills section pop, see our dedicated guide: +30 Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume (Proven Tips)

 

6

How to Add Other Sections for an Effective Dancer Resume

 

A resume without extra sections is like ballet dancing without accompaniment. Well—

 

It won’t work.

 

Don’t self-sabotage your chances of landing that dancing job and add more items to your dance resume.

 

These extra elements will help you show what makes you different from other applicants.

 

Here are additional dancer resume sections you can choose from:

 

Dance Resume—Extra Sections

 

 

But again, what if you don’t have any “extras” to add to your dance resume?

 

Just like in the case of professional dancing experience, get some.

 

You just need to go out there. Opportunities for a variety of additional activities are everywhere.

 

Need more ideas for sections to add to your dancer resume? Use our guide with expert tips and samples: Additional Resume Categories that Matter

 

7

How About a Cover Letter for a Dance Resume?

 

It takes two to tango.

 

So your resume needs a partner—a well-composed dance cover letter.

 

But wait a sec… 

 

Are cover letters still a thing? Is anyone gonna read yours?

 

Well, about 50% of hiring managers declare they require a cover letter.

 

Meet their requirements and create a job-winning dancer cover letter using these tips:

 

  • Address the audition director by name. You’ll find it online.
  • Say what you love about their choreos, productions, attitude, etc.
  • Then list your top 2–3 dancing career achievements that prove you’re the perfect fit for their crew.
  • Finish with a call to action. Make it simple, like “I’d love to present my dancing skills during an audition.”

 

A dance cover letter written this way can be a real game changer.

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

 

Key Takeaway

 

By now, you know what artistic directors and dance studio owners are looking for in a dancer’s resume. Here’s a short recap of what’s most important in a resume for dancing jobs:

 

  • Use the best dance resume template and make it clear and simple. Use the reverse-chronological order when describing your experience and education.
  • Include all relevant roles and performances, as well as recital gigs.
  • Showcase your dancing training history. Name your instructors if they’re well-known in the industry.
  • List skills that are relevant to the dancing job you’re targeting.
  • Show what makes you unique by adding extra sections to you dancer resume. These can be awards, side projects, certifications, etc.
  • Never underestimate the power of a dance cover letter for your resume. Make it short but compelling.

 

All right then—you’ve just put your best foot forward. Get ready for an audition!

 

Still not sure how to write a dance resume? What do you think of our dancer resume example and tips? Give us a shout in the comments!

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Emilia Mucha
Emilia Mucha
Emilia is a career expert sharing all kinds of job hunting advice. At Zety, she writes dedicated guides that help readers create job-winning resumes and cover letters.

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