How to Dance After High School

The end of high school is an exciting time! From graduation to dance recitals, it is not only a time to reflect on your accomplishments, but also it is time to make life changing decisions about the future? One decision many dancers face is how to continue their dance career. In today’s world, there are many opportunities for continuing your dance education after high school. We gathered 10 different options for dancers looking to continue their passion  

Classes at University!

What is better than getting college credit for something you love?! Many universities offer dance courses. From dance appreciation classes to advance technique classes,  there are plenty of opportunities to grow your dance education foundation!

Dance Clubs

What if your university does not offer dance classes? Almost all universities and colleges have dance clubs. From hip-hop clubs to ballet troupes, student clubs are not only a great way to continue dancing but also to meet other dancers! Also, because most clubs are student ran there are frequently opportunities to set your own choreography!

Dance Teams

Looking to compete? Dance teams are an awesome way to improve your skills and also work with a group of other dedicated dancers. Additionally, dance teams are a great way to get involved with your school and show some spirit. Not only do dance teams travel to compete, they also perform at athletic events too! Insider tip: interested in a school dance team? While in high school, get in contact with the team and see if they are running any clinics or workshops you could attend. This will show that you are committed to the team and when auditions come the coach will already know you! :)

Majoring in Dance

Looking to continue to dance beyond college while still getting an academic education? Majoring in dance is a great way to do just that! Options for dance majors are vast. Many schools function in the conservatory-style with classes every day, other schools offer more relaxed course scheduling. Some schools even have majors in dance education! How cool is that?! Most schools also have performances each semester too!

Independent Study

Independent study programs are a perfect way to shape your own schedule! These programs give students freedom to pick  classes and techniques to study.  Additionally, these programs offer dancers time to hold a job or do online schooling. Interested in doing an independent study program? Look into The Ailey School and Steps on Broadway’s independent study programs!

Trainee Programs

If you are looking for more structure than an independent study program, a trainee program is perfect for you! Some trainee programs are open to students as young as 12; however, most programs are open to those between 18 and 25.  The rigorous schedules of these programs give students a chance to experience what company life may be like. Also, many companies recruit from their trainee programs!


A stepping stone for most dancers before entering a company is being an apprentice. Apprenticeships give dancers time to work with and perform with companies! Some apprenticeships even offer paid contracts. To be considered as an apprentice differs for various companies, many companies use their summer intensive programs to recruit dancers!

Second Companies

Beyond apprenticeships, many companies today have second companies. Second companies are a great opportunity for dancers to develop their showmanship while experiencing company life for the first time! Another great aspect of  second companies is that they travel frequently and do community outreach programs!


While many students do not immediately enter a professional company right out of high school, there are a select few that do. Being a member of a company means that you are committed to a full time career in dance-how exciting?! Being both a second company member and a first company member means that your days are spent in class, rehearsal, and performances. If the company life is of interest to you, it is important to reach out to specific companies as soon as possible and to get involved in their summer intensives and training programs. Insider key: we suggest considering companies outside of the country! Not only does this give you the opportunity to live in a new place, but also it allows you the chance to grow as an individual!

Freelance Work

Freelance work or being a traveling artist is not only a great way to gain more experience and earn money, but also it is a great way to network. Another plus to this career path is that you are the boss! You can pick and choose what productions you want to audition for and be involved in. However, rehearsal schedules can get busy sometimes when you are balancing multiple shows. If you are both a dancer and a singer, the opportunities are endless in the freelance world!

Jan 22, 2018

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