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Career and Education Opportunities for Dancers in Columbia, Maryland

There are many career and education opportunities for dancers in the Columbia, Maryland area. The national trend for dancers sees this job pool growing by about 6.8% over the next eight years. Dancers generally perform dances.

The average wage in the general category of Musical Entertainment jobs is $26 per hour or $41,833 per year in Maryland, and an average of $19 per hour or $40,353 per year nationwide. Dancers work in a variety of jobs, including: dance teacher, ballet soloist, and modern dancer.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a dancer. Given that the most common education level for dancers is less than a high school diploma, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a dancer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dancer

In general, dancers perform dances. They also may also sing or act.

Dancers train and attend dance classes to maintain high levels of technical proficiency and physical fitness. They also harmonize body movements to rhythm of musical accompaniment. Equally important, dancers have to direct dancing with that of partners or dance ensembles. They are often called upon to collaborate with choreographers so as to refine or modify dance steps. Finally, dancers monitor the field of dance to remain aware of current trends and innovations.

Every day, dancers are expected to be able to keep focus on activity when in motion . They need to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done.

It is important for dancers to perform classical or acrobatic dances in productions and sound with their bodies. They are often called upon to devise and choreograph dance for self or others. They also design self-understanding of physical capabilities and limitations, and choose dance styles accordingly. They are sometimes expected to teach dance students. Somewhat less frequently, dancers are also expected to attend costume fittings and makeup calls associated with dance performances.

They also have to be able to study and practice dance moves required in roles and monitor the field of dance to remain aware of current trends and innovations. And finally, they sometimes have to audition for dance roles or for membership in dance companies.

Like many other jobs, dancers must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.
  • Photographer. Photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products. May develop negatives and produce finished prints.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.
  • Singer. Sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dancer Training

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated four students in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated nine students in 2008.

Towson University - Towson, MD

Towson University, 8000 York Rd, Towson, MD 21252-0001. Towson University is a large university located in Towson, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,111 students and an admission rate of 61%. Towson University has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Dance which graduated twenty-two and two students respectively in 2008.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has 2 areas of study related to Dancer. They are:

  • Dance, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Dance, Other Specialties, postbaccalaureate certificate.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated one student in 2008.

Goucher College - Baltimore, MD

Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Rd, Baltimore, MD 21204-2794. Goucher College is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,321 students and an admission rate of 66%. Goucher College has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated twelve students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.