How to Be a Broadway Dancer

by Lisa Magloff - Updated September 26, 2017
A strong foundation in ballet dancing can help you land dancing work on Broadway.

Being a Broadway dancer is the dream of many professional dancers. While dancing on Broadway can be an exciting life, it is also a great deal of work. Broadway dancers need to be able to dance in a wide variety of styles, and may also need singing and acting skills. This is an extremely competitive field, and dancers often train day and night for years before they can begin to audition for Broadway shows. In addition to training, Broadway dancers must also be patient. It can take more than 100 auditions before you land your first role.

Study different types of dancing. Broadway dancers need to be proficient in at least ballet and jazz, and knowing tap is also an asset. Many Broadway dancers have studied dance since they were children, including in college and dance school.

Learn singing skills. You may not need to sing in order to be a Broadway dancer, but knowing how to sing can increase the number of roles you can audition for.

Learn acting skills. Being a confident actor can help you land roles that involve some acting as well as dancing.

Audition for as many roles as you can. Veteran Broadway dancer Carolyn Ockert-Haythe stated in an interview for "Inside Ballet" that when starting out it can take 100 auditions before you land a single role.

Improve your skills. Be on the lookout for dance jobs, dance groups and ballet companies that you can join and work with. Do not spend all of your time auditioning for Broadway without also working to improve and hone your dancing skills.

Be positive and friendly. Directors and choreographers may be more likely to hire someone they feel is positive and easy to work with. Broadway performer and choreographer Tina Paul suggests that if you treat the audition like a class instead of a competition, you will have more fun and be more relaxed.

Consider attending networking and auditioning seminars like those given by Actor's Connection (see Resource section). Actor's Connection provides contacts involving actors, dancers and singers with agents, casting directors and other industry professionals. Meeting and talking with these people will help you learn the ins and out of the business and help you to market and present yourself effecively.

Resources

  • So You Want to Dance on Broadway; Tina Paul; 2003

About the Author

Since graduating with a degree in biology, Lisa Magloff has worked in many countries. Accordingly, she specializes in writing about science and travel and has written for publications as diverse as the "Snowmass Sun" and "Caterer Middle East." With numerous published books and newspaper and magazine articles to her credit, Magloff has an eclectic knowledge of everything from cooking to nuclear reactor maintenance.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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