Dancers express their thoughts, feelings and ideas through dance. A dancer may specialise in a form of dance, such as ballet, modern, jazz, ballroom, ethnic or folk dance. As a professional dancer, competition for jobs can be fierce. Employment is expected to grow at a rate of 7 per cent from 2008 through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of job applicants will exceed the number of job openings for professional dancers.
According to a leading salary website, dancers earned between £13,520 and £37,320, as of October 2010.
A leading salary website lists the annual salary of dancers according to the years of experience. In October 2010, dancers with one to four years experience earned £11,500 to £21,150. Dancers with five to nine years of experience earned £23,000 to £46,290.
Performing arts companies employed the largest number of dancers with an average hourly rate of £12.70, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2009. Other industries that employed large numbers were: drinking places with alcoholic beverages, £6.90; other amusement and recreation industries, £7.60; other schools and instruction groups, £10.40; and spectator sports, £9.60.
Colleges, universities and professional schools paid the highest hourly rates to dancers above all other industries, with £14.40, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2009. Other industries that offered high pay were: performing arts companies, £12.70; amusement parks and arcades, £11.60; travel arrangement and reservation services, £11.05; and independent artists, writers and performers, £10.80.
Washington paid the highest hourly rates to dancers above all other states, with £17.10, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2009. Other states that offered high pay were: New York, £15.05; Nevada, £14.50; Utah, £12.50; and New Jersey, £11.60.