As a dancer, your resume is your ticket to landing a dream job and showcasing your talent. It is the first thing that recruiters and hiring managers will see before they even meet you. Therefore, a well-crafted dance resume is crucial to getting that coveted audition or performance opportunity.
The purpose of this article is to guide you through the process of writing a professional and impressive dance resume. We will provide essential tips, tricks, and real-life examples from successful dancers in the industry to help you craft a winning dance resume that stands out.
This article is divided into several sections that will cover all the essential elements of a dance resume. The sections include:
Contact Information: This section covers the basics of your personal information, such as your name, contact information, and social media links.
Professional Summary: This section is where you highlight your skills, experience, and achievements as a dancer. We will provide guidance on crafting a compelling summary that will capture the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.
Education: In this section, we will show you how to showcase your academic achievements related to dance, such as degrees, certifications, and awards.
Performance Experience: This section is where you showcase your experience as a dancer, including your roles in shows, performances, and competitions.
Teaching Experience: If you have experience teaching dance, this section is where you can highlight your skills and achievements as a dance instructor.
Skills: In this section, we will show you how to highlight your technical and soft skills related to dance, such as choreography, improvisation, teamwork, and communication.
References: Finally, we will provide guidance on choosing the right references and how to list them on your resume.
By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive guide to crafting a winning dance resume. Our examples and tips will help you stand out and increase your chances of landing your dream dance job.
Basic Information to Include in a Dance Resume
When crafting a winning dance resume, it’s important to include the following basic information:
Include your full name, current location, contact information (phone number, email address), and any relevant links to your social media profiles, website, or portfolio.
Dance Training and Education
List your past and present dance training and education, including any dance schools, conservatories, workshops, or master classes you have attended. Be sure to include the styles of dance you have studied and the levels you have achieved.
Provide a comprehensive list of your performance experience, including any notable dance companies, productions, or shows you have performed in. Don’t forget to list any dance-related work you have done outside of performance, such as choreography, teaching, or production.
Awards and Achievements
List any dance-related awards or achievements, such as scholarships, grants, or competition wins. Be sure to include the name of the award, the organization that awarded it, and the date it was received.
By including these basic elements in your dance resume, you’ll showcase your skills and experience to potential employers and increase your chances of success in the dance industry.
Formatting Your Dance Resume
When it comes to crafting a winning dance resume, formatting is just as important as your dance experience and accolades. A well-organized and visually appealing resume can make all the difference in getting noticed by potential employers. Here are a few key elements to consider when formatting your dance resume:
Choosing the right font and layout
When selecting a font for your dance resume, it’s important to choose one that is easy to read and professional-looking. Avoid using unconventional fonts or script-style fonts, as they can be difficult for employers to read. Stick to standard fonts like Arial, Helvetica, or Times New Roman in size 10-12.
As for the layout of your dance resume, consider using a clean, minimalist design that highlights your experience and skills. Avoid using elaborate borders, clipart, or other distracting elements that can take away from the content of your resume.
Length and structure of your resume
The length of your dance resume will depend on your level of experience and the number of performances or projects you’ve been involved in. Generally, a one or two-page resume is sufficient for most dancers.
Make sure to structure your dance resume chronologically, starting with your most recent experience at the top. This helps potential employers see your most recent achievements and experience first. Break down your experience into sections such as training, performances, and teaching experience.
Including a headshot
One important element to include in your dance resume is a professional headshot. Choose a photo that shows off your personality and dance skills, and make sure to dress appropriately in professional dance attire.
Your headshot should be prominently placed at the top of your resume, along with your name and contact information.
The format of your dance resume can make a big impact on your success as a dancer. Choose a professional font and layout, structure your experience chronologically, and include a high-quality headshot to help you stand out from the competition.
Writing an Objective Statement or Summary
What is an objective statement/summary?
An objective statement or summary is a brief introduction of oneself and the purpose of a resume. It is usually included at the top of a resume and serves as the first impression to potential employers. An objective statement/summary should highlight the candidate’s skills, expertise, accomplishments, and what they hope to achieve in their desired position.
How to write an effective objective statement/summary
To write an effective objective statement/summary, consider the following tips:
Keep it concise: A summary should be no longer than 3-4 sentences, and an objective statement should be 1-2 sentences.
Tailor it to the position: Customize the statement/summary to fit the job opening you’re applying for. Highlight specific skills, experiences, or achievements that would make you a good fit for the position.
Focus on a specific goal: Be clear about your career goals, but avoid being too general or vague. Use specific language and objectives that align with the job posting.
Use strong language: Start your statement/summary with a strong action verb and use powerful, descriptive language to showcase your expertise and accomplishments.
Highlight relevant experiences: Highlight experiences that align with the job requirements or that demonstrate relevant skills or abilities.
Examples of objective statements/summaries
Experienced and versatile dancer with a background in contemporary, modern, and ballet seeking a position that will allow me to continue growing and make a positive impact in a collaborative dance company.
Seeking a challenging role in a professional dance company where I can utilize my expertise in hip-hop dance, specialized choreography, and artistic direction to advance the organization’s mission.
Dedicated and driven dance instructor with over 5 years of experience teaching various dance styles, including jazz, tap, and lyrical. Seeking a position where I can use my passion for teaching and commitment to excellence to develop dancers of all skill levels.
Accomplished dance performer with a proven track record of success in regional and national competitions. Seeking a role that will provide opportunities for continued professional growth, additional performance experience, and the chance to collaborate with other talented dancers.
Passionate and detail-oriented choreographer with expertise in contemporary and ballet dance styles. Seeking a position that will allow me to use my artistic talents to create innovative pieces and inspire others to push the creative boundaries through dance.
An effective objective statement or summary should provide a brief overview of the candidate’s skills, expertise, experiences, and career goals. Customize the statement to fit the position, use powerful language, and showcase relevant experiences that demonstrate your qualifications for the job.
Highlighting Your Dance Skills
If you want to craft a winning dance resume, highlighting your dance skills is crucial. Your skills section should showcase your proficiency in various types of dance styles and techniques without being too lengthy. Here are some tips on what to include in your dance skills section and how to showcase your dance abilities.
Different types of dance skills to include
First, start by creating a list of all the dance styles and techniques you have experience in. This can include:
Make sure to also include any specialized skills or abilities you have, such as acrobatics, aerial dance, or specific partnering techniques. This will help differentiate you from other dancers and make your skills section more unique.
How to showcase your dance abilities
When showcasing your dance abilities, be specific and quantifiable. For example, instead of saying you have experience in ballet, mention the number of years you have trained in ballet and any notable achievements such as completing a specific level of training or earning a scholarship. Use action verbs such as “performed,” “choreographed,” or “taught” to describe your experience.
It’s also essential to highlight your performance experience in your skills section. If you’ve performed in professional productions, competitions, or festivals, make sure to include them along with any awards or recognition you received.
Examples of skill sections
Here are some examples of how to structure your skills section on your dance resume:
- Ballet: 10 years of training, completed RAD Intermediate level, performed in “Swan Lake” with XYZ Ballet Company
- Contemporary: 5 years of training, performed in “New Works” festival with ABC Dance Company
- Jazz: 7 years of training, competed in DanceSport Challenge and received 2nd place in solo division
- Tap: 3 years of training, trained in rhythm tap and performed in “42nd Street” with DEF Theater
- Ballroom: 2 years of training, trained in cha-cha, salsa, and waltz
- Latin: 1 year of training, trained in samba and rumba, competed in Latin competition and received honorable mention
- Aerial dance: proficient in silks and lyra, performed in “Cirque du Soleil” style show with GHI Productions
- Improvisation: developed improvisation skills through workshops with JKL Improv Company
Highlighting your dance skills on your resume is crucial to showcase your abilities and stand out from other dancers. Be specific, quantifiable, and include both your technical and performance experience. Remember to tailor your skills section to the specific dance job or company you’re applying to.
Listing Performance Experience
A winning dance resume showcases your experience and achievements in the most effective way possible. When listing performance experience, it’s important to highlight specific details and accomplishments that showcase your unique talents and contributions. Here are some tips to help you create an impressive performance experience section:
How to List Your Performance Experience
When listing your performance experience, start with your most recent performance and work your way back. Be sure to include the following information:
- Title of Performance: Include the name of the performance or show you participated in.
- Role or Dance Style: Indicate what role you played or what dance style you performed.
- Production Company or Venue: List the name of the company or venue where the performance took place.
- Dates: Include the dates of the performance.
Organizing your information in this way makes it easy for potential employers to quickly scan your resume and get an idea of your experience.
Including Specific Details and Accomplishments
To make your performance experience section stand out, include specific details and accomplishments that demonstrate your skills and abilities. For example:
- Number of Performances: How many times did you perform in the show? This demonstrates your dedication and commitment to the performance.
- Size of Cast: How many dancers were in the production? This demonstrates your ability to work collaboratively with others.
- Reviews or Awards: Did the performance receive any positive reviews or awards? This demonstrates your exceptional talent and skill.
Including details like these can set you apart from other candidates and show potential employers what you bring to the table.
Examples of Performance Experience Sections
Here are some examples of performance experience sections that incorporate the tips above:
Title of Performance: The Nutcracker
Role or Dance Style: Clara, Ballet
Production Company or Venue: Houston Ballet
Dates: December 2018
- Performed in six shows, demonstrating dedication to the production.
- Worked with a cast of 50 dancers to bring the performance to life, showcasing collaboration skills.
- Received positive reviews from local critics for exceptional performance as Clara.
Title of Performance: The Lion King
Role or Dance Style: Featured dancer, Afro-jazz
Production Company or Venue: Broadway in Chicago
Dates: March 2019-June 2019
- Performed in 100+ shows, showcasing commitment and stamina.
- Collaborated with a cast of 50 dancers and a live orchestra to bring the show to life, demonstrating excellent teamwork skills.
- Received a Broadway World Chicago award for exceptional performance as a featured dancer.
By including specific details and accomplishments, you can make your performance experience section stand out and showcase your talent and abilities. Use these tips to create an impressive performance experience section that will grab the attention of potential employers.
Detailing Dance Education and Training
Whether you’re an experienced dancer or still relatively new to the scene, detailing your education and training in dance is crucial when crafting a winning dance resume. Here are some key things to keep in mind as you highlight your dance education and training:
Categories of Dance Education to Include
When detailing your dance education, it’s important to break things down into specific categories. Here are some categories to consider:
Formal Dance Education: This could include any formal dance training you’ve received, whether it was at a dance school, conservatory, or university.
Workshops and Masterclasses: Have you taken any specialized workshops or masterclasses with industry experts in your dance style? Be sure to include these in your resume.
Summer Dance Programs: If you’ve attended any summer dance programs or intensives, be sure to highlight these as well.
Private Lessons: If you’ve taken private lessons with a notable dance instructor, you may want to mention this in your resume.
How to Highlight Your Training
When presenting your dance education and training, there are a few key things you can do to make it stand out:
Start with your most recent or notable training experiences, and work your way back.
Be sure to include the name of the institution or instructor, as well as the date(s) and location(s) of your training.
Mention any notable performances or showcases you were a part of during your training.
If you received any awards or scholarships during your training, be sure to highlight these as well.
Relevant Certifications and Qualifications to Include
In addition to detailing your dance education and training, it’s also important to include any relevant certifications or qualifications. Here are a few things to consider:
Certifications: If you have any certifications in specific dance styles or techniques, be sure to mention these in your resume.
Degrees: If you have a degree in dance, be sure to include this as well.
Specialized Skills: Do you have any specialized skills that set you apart as a dancer? For example, are you proficient in acrobatics, partnering, or choreography? Make sure to highlight these as well.
When it comes to crafting your dance resume, your education and training are an essential part of your story. By breaking down your education into specific categories, highlighting your most notable training experiences, and including any relevant certifications and qualifications, you’ll be able to create a resume that showcases your skills and sets you apart from the competition.
Showcasing Awards and Achievements
Listing your dance awards and achievements is an important aspect of crafting a winning dance resume. It not only adds credibility and prestige to your resume but also demonstrates to potential employers or directors that you are dedicated and skilled in your craft.
Here are some different types of dance awards and achievements that you should consider including in your resume:
- Dance competition awards: List specific awards you have won such as first place, second place, or honorable mention. Include the name of the competition, the year, and the style of dance that you performed.
- Scholarships and grants: If you have received any scholarships or grants for dance, be sure to include them. Mention the name of the organization that awarded the funding and the amount received.
- Performance accolades: Highlight any notable performances you have been a part of, such as being selected for a lead role or performing at a prestigious venue.
- Certifications and licenses: If you hold any relevant certifications or licenses, such as a dance teaching certificate or a choreography certification, include them as achievements.
It is important to showcase your dance awards and achievements in your resume. By doing so, you provide concrete evidence of your dedication and skill level. This can help set you apart from other candidates and increase your chances of being selected for a job or audition.
When listing your awards and achievements, be sure to include the following information:
- Award or achievement title
- Name and date of the competition, performance, or program
- Relevant category or genre
- Level of recognition (such as first place or honorable mention)
- Any specific requirements or criteria for the award or achievement
Additionally, consider organizing your awards and achievements in chronological order or by the relevance of the recognition to the position you are applying for. Be concise and specific, and use bullet points for easy readability.
Showcasing your dance awards and achievements is an important part of creating a winning dance resume. Including specific and relevant details about your awards, scholarships, achievements, and certifications can set you apart from other candidates and demonstrate your dedication and skill level.
Adding Relevant Dance Workshops, Conferences, and Masterclasses
One of the most vital aspects of any dance resume is the section that highlights the workshops, conferences, and masterclasses you have attended. By including this section, you show your dedication to the art form, your hunger for knowledge and development, and your willingness to put in the hard work required to succeed as a dancer.
How to List Workshops, Conferences, and Masterclasses
When listing your workshops, conferences, and masterclasses, you should include the name of the event, the date it took place, the organizer, and the location. You can also include a brief description of what you learned, particularly if it is relevant to the job you are applying for.
Importance of Attending These Events
Attending dance workshops, conferences, and masterclasses can provide you with numerous benefits. One of the most significant is the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals in the industry, including choreographers, dance directors, and instructors. These individuals can offer you valuable insights into the dance world, teach you new techniques and styles, and help you develop a deeper understanding of the art form.
Another benefit of attending these events is the opportunity to network with other dancers, dance enthusiasts, and professionals in the industry. By networking with others, you can gain access to new opportunities, learn about job openings, and make valuable connections that can help you advance in your career.
Examples of Sections for Dance Events
To give you an idea of what a dance events section on your resume may look like, here are a few examples:
Ballet Masterclass with Misty Copeland
- New York City Ballet, September 2019
- Learned new ballet techniques and how to achieve grace and strength in pirouettes.
Contemporary Dance Conference
- The Ailey School, July 2018
- Worked with various renowned choreographers to explore a range of contemporary dance styles and techniques.
- Broadway Dance Center, June 2017
- Learned how to add more fluidity and expression to my hip-hop movements, while building stamina and energy.
When it comes to listing dance events on your resume, the key is to be selective and focus only on those that are relevant to the job or project you are applying for. Including this section on your resume not only shows your dedication to your craft but also your commitment to continuously improving and staying up-to-date with industry trends and techniques.
Emphasizing Non-Dance Related Experience
When writing a dance resume, it’s important to showcase more than just your dance experience. Many dancers have unique backgrounds and skills that can help them stand out from the competition. This section will cover how to include non-dance related experience, explain transferable skills, and provide examples of sections for non-dance experience that can be added to your dance resume.
Including non-dance related experience in your dance resume can showcase your versatility and highlight skills that may make you an asset to a dance company. When listing your non-dance experience, make sure to include the following:
- Name and location of the company/organization
- Your job title/role
- Dates of employment
It’s also important to mention any specific skills or accomplishments you achieved during your time in this position. This can help highlight valuable transferable skills that could be beneficial to a dance company.
Explaining transferable skills
Transferable skills are skills that can be used in various roles and industries. As a dancer, you may have developed a set of transferable skills through your training and performance experience. Some examples of transferable skills that dancers may possess include:
- Discipline and work ethic
- Time management
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Public speaking
- Attention to detail
When listing non-dance related experience on your resume, make sure to highlight how your transferable skills could benefit a dance company. For example, if you have experience working in sales, you could mention how your communication and persuasion skills could help you market a dance company’s performances to potential audiences.
Examples of sections for non-dance experience
Here are some examples of sections you could add to your dance resume to showcase your non-dance related experience:
- Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, XYZ University, 2015-2019
- Relevant coursework: Public Speaking, Market Research, Advertising
- Sales Associate, ABC Retail, 2019-present
- Developed communication and persuasion skills to assist customers in making purchasing decisions
- Achieved top sales numbers in store multiple months in a row
- Crisis Hotline Volunteer, XYZ Organization, 2017-2018
- Developed active listening and problem-solving skills to assist individuals in distress
- Completed 40 hours of intensive training in crisis intervention techniques
By including non-dance related experience in your dance resume, you can demonstrate your versatility and showcase valuable transferable skills. Make sure to tailor your resume for each specific job or company you apply to, highlighting the skills that are most relevant to the position. With these tips and examples, you’ll be on your way to crafting a winning dance resume.
Using Keywords in Your Dance Resume
As a dancer, your resume is your ticket to landing auditions, gigs, and other performance opportunities. It’s important to make sure that your resume stands out from the rest of the competition. One of the most effective ways to do this is by using the right keywords.
Importance of Using the Right Keywords
By incorporating relevant keywords into your resume, you can improve your chances of being discovered by recruiters and hiring managers. Many recruiters will use automated tools to filter through resumes and identify candidates based on specific keywords. By using the right keywords in your resume, you can ensure that your application will make it through these initial filters.
In addition to improving your chances of being discovered, using the right keywords can also help you stand out from the competition. If you’re applying for a specific type of dance role or niche, using keywords relevant to that area can help you demonstrate your expertise in that particular area.
How to Research and Identify Keywords
So, how do you go about identifying the right keywords to use in your dance resume? It’s important to start with a clear understanding of the job you’re applying for and the skills and qualities that the employer is looking for in a candidate. Look closely at the job description and identify key phrases that appear repeatedly throughout. These are likely to be the keywords that recruiters will be using to filter through resumes.
You can also conduct research on industry-specific vocabulary and phrases that are relevant to your particular niche within the dance world. Use online resources such as industry blogs, forums, and social media groups to gather insights on commonly used terminology.
Examples of Effective Keyword Usage
Here are a few tips on how to effectively incorporate keywords into your dance resume:
- Start with a clear objective statement at the beginning of your resume that uses keywords relevant to your target role.
- Integrate your keywords throughout your resume in a natural way, focusing on showcasing your skills and achievements rather than simply throwing in keywords for the sake of it.
- Use specific, quantifiable examples of your achievements that demonstrate your expertise in a particular area. For example, if you specialize in choreography, include metrics such as the number of successful performances or awards received.
- Don’t overdo it with keywords. Using too many keywords can make your resume seem spammy and can turn off recruiters.
By effectively incorporating keywords into your dance resume, you can increase your chances of being noticed by recruiters and landing your dream dance role. Remember to stay focused on showcasing your skills and experience in a natural and compelling way, and let the keywords serve as a helpful tool in getting your application to the top of the pile.
Tips to Make Your Dance Resume Stand Out
Crafting a winning dance resume can be a challenge, but with the right tools and guidance, it is possible to create a standout document that showcases your skills and experience. Here are some additional tips to help you make your dance resume stand out from the crowd.
Additional tips for crafting a winning dance resume
Keep it concise: Your dance resume should be no more than one page in length. This means that you need to be strategic in your language and formatting to convey your most important information in a clear and concise manner.
Highlight your accomplishments: Rather than simply listing your skills and experiences, focus on highlighting your accomplishments. This could include awards you’ve won, performances you’ve been a part of, or notable choreography you’ve created.
Use keywords: Be sure to use keywords that relate to the specific type of dance job you are applying for. This will help your resume to stand out to potential employers and increase your chances of getting hired.
Include relevant training: Whether you’ve completed a formal dance training program or have taken classes from a renowned instructor, including this information on your resume can show potential employers that you are serious about your craft.
Customize for each job application: Tailoring your resume to the specific job you are applying for can help to make it stand out. Look at the job description and requirements carefully and ensure that your resume speaks to those needs.
Common resume mistakes to avoid
Typos and errors: Even a single typo can make your resume look unprofessional. Be sure to proofread your document carefully before submitting it.
Irrelevant information: While it’s important to showcase your strengths and accomplishments, don’t include irrelevant information. Keep your focus on your dance experience and training.
Overcomplicating the format: A simple, easy-to-read format is key when it comes to resumes. Avoid using complicated fonts, colors, or graphics that may be distracting.
Tips for tailoring your resume to different types of dance jobs
Ballet: When applying for a ballet dance job, be sure to highlight your extensive training and experience in classical ballet techniques. Including any awards or performances you’ve been a part of can also be a plus.
Contemporary: For contemporary dance jobs, emphasize your skills in improvisation, choreography, and collaboration. Including any experience with site-specific or unconventional performance spaces can also be beneficial.
Commercial dance: When applying for commercial dance jobs, focus on your ability to pick up choreography quickly and your versatility as a dancer. Highlight your experience in musical theatre, commercial, or hip-hop dance styles.
By following these tips, you can craft a winning dance resume that showcases your skills and experience in the best possible light. Remember to stay focused on the job you are applying for, keep your language concise and relevant, and proofread carefully to avoid any errors.
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