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Career and Education Opportunities for Dancers in Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for dancers. Currently, 870 people work as dancers in Missouri. This is expected to grow 7% to about 930 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for dancers, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.8% over the next eight years. In general, dancers perform dances.

The average wage in the general category of Musical Entertainment jobs is $24 per hour or $57,123 per year in Missouri, and an average of $19 per hour or $40,353 per year nationwide. Earnings for dancers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Musical Entertainment in Missouri and not quite as good as general Musical Entertainment category earnings nationally. People working as dancers can fill a number of jobs, such as: discotheque dancer, soloist dancer, and dance artist.

The Columbia area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a dancer. The most common level of education for dancers is less than a high school diploma. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a dancer if you already have a high school diploma.


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.


Stephens College - Columbia, MO

Stephens College, 1200 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65215. Stephens College is a small college located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,147 students and an admission rate of 71%. Stephens College has a bachelor's degree program in Dance.


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.


Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.