You must have a professional dance resume that will make dance studio owners or hiring managers pick it up from a heap of great resumes.
It’s time to create a well-written dance resume.
Learn how to create the perfect dance resume using our perfect cv template that will get you an audition.
You will also find professional dance resume samples and links to websites with other samples of well-written resumes.
The Best Format for Dance Resume
Hiring managers will make a quick scan of dance resumes that are given to them for screening. To increase your chances of getting seen and hired by the hiring manager, you must think of ways to outshine other candidates. Creating great resumes can help you a lot in getting your dream job.
Here are three formats to choose from.
Reverse Chronological Order Format
Use this traditional resume template for your professional dance resume.
More potential employers are familiar with this structure.
It highlights your current and most recent dance projects and dance performances, allowing for a quick review.
It is compatible with Applicant Tracking Software resume tests.
It is also easier to find a sample dance resume using this format.
List down your dance jobs starting from your current or most recent job, followed by the one before that, and so on, until you reach your first job.
Each entry should show your job title, the name of the dance studios, or dance companies you worked for, and the start and end dates of your engagement.
- Write a bulleted list of responsibilities and achievements for each job title.
- Focus on five key responsibilities relevant to the job role you are applying for. Exclude tasks that do not add value to your job role, e.g., “Reserved the dance studio for rehearsals with back-up dancers”.
- Refer to the job description and look for keywords that matter to the job role.
- Use strong action words. For example, instead of saying, “Assisted back-up dancers with the dance routines,” you write: “Choreographed back-up dancers’ dance routines.”
- Use numeric indicators for quantifiable achievements, e.g., GPA 3.60
- If you have several awards or achievements, add a new section called “Key Achievements.”
Because of its popularity, other applicants will most likely use this resume format. Tweak the format to make your dance resume different from the others.
It highlights large gaps in your work history, which potential employers may not appreciate. It is also not helpful to applicants who are shifting into a dance career.
This format is also known as the skills-based resume format because it focuses on your dancing skills instead of your experience.
The most important parts of this resume format are the resume objective and skills summary sections.
This format is ideal for students and applicants without dance experience.
However, it creates an impression that you are hiding something from the potential employer. It is also most likely to fail the ATS.
The other format is the hybrid format – a combination of functional and chronological formats. This format underscores your skills and validates them with examples from your dance experience.
There is no single right resume format; your choice depends on whether you want to highlight your dance experience, your dance skills, or both.
How to Structure Your Dance Resume
Traditional resumes contain five to six sections, regardless of the format used. They only differ in the way they are sequenced, depending on which section needs to be highlighted.
The outline shown below is for the chronological format.
Resume Summary or Resume Objective
Additional Information, which may include key achievements, group affiliations, club memberships, etc.
Apart from the sections and the sequence, you also need to consider the style of your dance resume.
Use around a one-inch margin on all sides. This margin should fit in a lot of information on one page, but without making it look too crowded.
It also avoids having too much white space which makes your resume look bare.
Use around a 11 to 12 points font size for most text. Avoid using the curly and fancy fonts because they are hard to read. Use the following font faces:
- Book Antiqua
- Times New Roman
- Trebuchet MS
Your resume’s headings should clearly indicate what that section is all about.
Use a font size bigger than the rest of the text to make your headings more visible.
You may also highlight your names and headings through the use of italics, boldface, or capital letters. If you want to use these highlights, be consistent in size and style.
Alignment and Spacing
Always use left alignment to give your resume a cleaner look.
You may center your name and contact information, but the rest of the resume should be left aligned.
Use single or 1.15 line spacing to make your dance resume easier to read.
Leave a space before and after each section heading.
Always save your resume as a PDF file format. PDF files are a popular format which can be opened from almost any device and it also retains your resume layout during printing.
However, some companies require that you submit your dance resume in MS Word format. Be sure to check out the job ad.
Unless your potential employer specifically asked for it, refrain from putting a photo in your dance resume.
Career Objective for a Dancer Resume
Your dance resume format got the attention of the dance school head. Now comes the tricky part.
If you are an experienced dancer, they would want to see your career summary or in the absence of professional experience, a career objective.
The career objective or summary gives a snapshot of what you can offer an employer. It tells them if you deserve their time for an interview or spend it with other applicants.
Highlight your best dance performance and key achievements.
If you are aiming for your first audition, your career objective should emphasize your dancer skills and your motivation to get hired for the job.
How to Write an Effective Resume Objective
Look at the following sample dance resume objective and summary
Professional dancer with 9+ years of experience. Trained in contemporary ballet and modern dance. Played Odette in Swan Lake at the National Ballet Production. Worked as a lead dancer at the HYZ Theater. Choreographed community ballets. Seeking to be the Head Choreographer at the DEF stage.
Professional dancer for over eight years who has played significant and featured roles in various productions. Passionate and driven to be a successful choreographer.
If you are just starting out in the field of dance, here are examples of dance resume objectives.
Excellent dancer trained in modern jazz and hip hop in the XYZ Academy of Dance. Seeking to hone dance techniques and develop dance styles with ABC Dance Company. During Academy training, served as understudy to lead roles in the production of The Witch and Chicago. Top 5% in repertory and performance classes at USC.
Passionate modern jazz and hip-hop dancer with no professional experience. A good team player with excellent interpersonal skills and strong drive for success.
Can you see the difference?
When writing a resume objective or summary, observe the following format:
Start with an adjective that speaks well of you as a dancer.
Use the word “dancer.” You may add the dance styles you excel at or your dance training
If you have professional experience, indicate the number of years you have been a professional dancer
Include a brief statement of your professional goal.
Highlight your best performance experience. Refer to job postings so you can include those which are relevant to your prospective employer.
Tips to Make Your Job Description Stand Out
If you are a professional dancer, your prospective employer would be interested in what you have accomplished. This section of your resume is not just a list of dance performances; it is also an indicator of your dedication to your profession and your motivation to succeed.
Make a list of your dance performances – TV production, corps de ballet, recitals, etc. It does not matter if you were the lead dancer or one of the featured roles.
Using the job posting as your guide, trim down the list to what is relevant for the dance gig you are aiming for.
Do not write a narrative of your professional experience.
A list of the dance production you participated in and the role you played would suffice.
Work Experience Examples
Here is a dance resume sample, showing the professional experience section.
American Ballet Theatre
Corps de ballet and Featured Roles
Swan Lake – Odette
The Nutcracker- Clara
New York City Ballet
Corps de ballet and Featured Roles
Swan Lake – Queen Mother
Cinderella – Anastasia
Jane Eyre- Corps de Ballet
New York City Ballet
Performed the following repertoire: Swan Lake as the Queen Mother, Cinderella as Anastasia, and Jane Eyre as member of the Corps de Ballet
American Ballet Theatre
2018 to 2019
Performed the following repertoire: Swan Lake as Odette and The Nutcracker as Clara
The second example is wrong on several counts.
First, your professional experience must wow the head choreographer, so you would want to place your gig as Odette and Clara at the forefront.
Second, compare how the first example differs from the second one. The first one makes it easy for the employer to scan your achievements; the second makes it seem tedious to read.
Third, the date formats in the second example are not consistent. If you start with 2016-2018, the next entry should show 2018-2019.
Let’s look at the professional experience section of a beginner’s dance resume example.
ABC Dance Troupe
January – June 2019
Learned assigned choreographies from a reputable dance instructor and performed them on stage
Danced in TV productions
Assisted in the preparation of costumes and prop for the different productions and gigs
ABC Dance Troupe
January – June 2019
Learned new choreographies of classic and contemporary dance routines under John Doe’s supervision
Performed in Live TV performances twice weekly and taped TV footage twice monthly
Collaborated with other dancers to guarantee harmony in the execution of choreographies
Recommended costume ideas for various gigs
Chosen as main dancer for Macy’s ad campaign
The second dance resume example tells the employer that they may not have professional experience, but they have so much to offer. The inclusion of a Key Achievement and the mention of a famous dance instructor is brilliant.
Create an Eye-Grabbing Education and Achievement Section
If you lack dance experience yet, highlight your education instead.
Casting directors would want to know where you trained and what skills you have learned.
Mention relevant activities you participated in while in training.
Cite your specific areas of interest.
Here is an example of a finely-written Education section.
BA in Dance
Participated in coursework for ballroom, hip-hop, modern jazz, and ballet dancing
Pursued interest in choreography, dance production, and dance history
Initiated semi-monthly discussion of dance teaching methods
Choreographed dance numbers for the university’s annual field day
Collaborated with other dancers to ensure team integrity
Best Dancer, University Competition 2018
BA in Dance
According to Suzana Stankovic, owner of Wild Heart Performing Arts Studio in New York and an internationally-known ballerina herself, a short video clip of your rehearsal or performance would be a big boost to what you have written down in your dance resume.
Provide a link to the website with your performance video.
What Skills to Include in a Dance Resume
Casting directors are likely to hire dancers who have the skills required.
The skills you indicate should be a mix of hard skills and soft skills.
Refer to job postings and tailor the Skills section’s entries to the role you are targeting.
Here is a dance resume example of skills you might want to put in your resume:
- Chosen Dance Style/Dance Techniques (Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern Jazz, etc.)
- Movement memory
- Movement patterns
- Active Listening
- Critical Thinking
- Interpersonal Skills
Don’t Forget to Include Contact Information in Your Resume
Keep your contact info updated because that is how the casting director or your prospective employer will get in touch with you if they decide to interview you.
Include your mobile number and email address.
A Cover Letter for Your Dance Resume
Many people think cover letters are outdated, but they are not. About 72% of hiring managers still expect to see a cover letter even if the advertisement says it is optional.
Whether you send your dance cover letter and dance resume example online or in print, your cover letter will be the first thing your prospective employers will see.
Cover letters can be a real game-changer. Create a perfect cover letter template to land you an audition.
Here are some tips for writing winning dance cover letters.
- Find out who the audition director is. Address your cover letter to them.
- State briefly why you want to work with them.
- Cite 2 or 3 key achievements that fit into their requirements.
- End with a simple yet powerful call to action, e.g., “I would appreciate an audition so I can present to you my dancing skills.”
Let your cover letter create an impression that would make the artistic directors and staff want to work with you.
A dance resume is unique from other career resumes because it does not need a detailed list of duties and responsibilities handled.
- Use a simple yet professional dance resume template.
- Apply the reverse-chronological format to highlight relevant roles performed.
- Include relevant information to the job applied for.
- Highlight relevant dance training, especially from well-known and respected dance instructors.
- List relevant dance skills.
- Add sections on awards and certifications, if needed.
- Use a concise, compelling dance cover letter.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Make a Dance Resume
Plan what to include and simplify your dance resume.
List down your experience in the dance industry, even those that do not involve performing.
- Pick out specific skills or qualifications from the job posting that you have in your list.
- Select work experience, training, and skills that are most relevant to the position.
- Use reverse chronological format.
- Highlight the headings to make it easier to search for key information.
- Choose fonts that are easy to read.
- Your name should be the most prominent information in your resume.
- Provide up-to-date mobile number and email address.
- You may need to add your age, height, and weight if you are auditioning for a dancer role.
- Limit details to five most relevant information to the role.
Study the job description of the role you are applying for.
Format your dance resume.
Put your personal information at the top.
Put details under each heading of your dance resume.
Can you put dancer as a skill in your resume?
Being a dancer is not a skill by itself, but the things you do as a dancer are. For example, if you specialize in a specific dance technique or style, that would be your skill.
How long should a dancer resume be?
A dancer resume should be contained in one page, but if you have plenty of professional experience and training, you can use two pages.
How to reduce the length of the dancer resume
Limit your resume to useful information for the job role. Exclude the following:
Irrelevant work experience and hobbies
Personal social media accounts, except those that showcase your performances
Desired salary and character references, unless specifically asked for it