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Career and Education Opportunities for Dancers in Salem, Oregon

If you want to be a dancer, the Salem, Oregon area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 150 working dancers in Oregon; this should grow 16% to 180 working dancers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dancers are expected to grow by about 6.8%. In general, dancers perform dances.

The average wage in the general category of Musical Entertainment jobs is $19 per hour or $35,400 per year in Oregon, 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 Oregon and not quite as good as general Musical Entertainment category earnings nationally. Dancers work in a variety of jobs, including: dance artist, modern dancer, and ballet company member.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Salem area, including one within twenty-five miles of Salem where you can get a degree to start your career as a dancer. The most common level of education for dancers is less than a high school diploma. It will take only a short time to learn 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 Salem 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.


Western Oregon University - Monmouth, OR

Western Oregon University, 345 N Monmouth Ave, Monmouth, OR 97361-1394. Western Oregon University is a medium sized university located in Monmouth, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,179 students and an admission rate of 44%. Western Oregon University has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated six students in 2008.


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.


Salem, Oregon
Salem, Oregon photo by Aboutmovies

Salem is located in Marion County, Oregon. It has a population of over 153,435, which has grown by 12.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Salem, 97, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Salem are valued at $215,800 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-nine new homes were constructed in Salem, down from five hundred forty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Salem are health care, public administration, and educational services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 24.1% of Salem residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Salem is 10.2%, which is less than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Salem residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Salem is home to the Oregon Women's Correctional Center and the Oregon State Penitentiary as well as Waldo Park and Olinger Pool Park. Visitors to Salem can choose from Red Lion Hotel-Salem Reservations, Shilo Inn Salem and Econo Lodge Salem for temporary stays in the area.