How To Write a Dance Resume

Writing a dance resume is slightly different from creating one for other jobs. Instead of a professional experience section that details past positions, you may need a list of your performance roles. Sometimes, you should list your physical stats, including height, weight, and hair color. Find out how to apply the guidelines for resume writing to a dance resume with the tips below.

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level
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1. Create a profile by summarizing your dance qualifications

Your profile summary is where you give the hiring director a chance to understand who you are as a performer and how you approach your craft. You can list any major companies you’ve been a part of as well as any prominent roles or awards. Depending on the job requirements, you may want to add a section before your profile summary that lists your height, weight, hair, and eye color, as hiring directors may be casting a specific physical type.

Senior-Level Profile Example


Extraordinary Broadway dancer with over ten years of experience and an undeniable knack for vocal performance, according to vocal coach Liz Caplan. Appeared in four long-running Broadway musicals. Served as Drew McOnie’s Dance Captain in Broadway’s recent rendition of King Kong and performed the understudy role of Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a total of 22 times.

Entry-Level Profile Example


Energetic commercial dancer with a well-known repertoire, including TV’s Glee and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Spent one year working for Disney Cruise Line as a dancer and tumbling specialist and was asked to help train other dancers after only two months. Excellent clogger and a strong tap dancer.

2. Add your dance experience with compelling examples

On a traditional resume, the professional experience section is where you list your job title, employer, and job duties and responsibilities, but dance resumes often use a different format. A dance resume may be more like a performance-based CV. List the names of the productions you’ve been in, your role, and the director or choreographer. If you have an extensive performance history, consider only selecting your best roles or most well-known performances and grouping the entries by type for easy skimming.

Senior-Level Professional Experience Example


Broadway

Music Theater Works-Chicago

Entry-Level Professional Experience Example


San Francisco Ballet School

  • Named an apprentice in 2014
  • Joined company as a corps de ballet member in 2015
  • Promoted to soloist in 2019
  • Soloist and featured roles in:
    • Apollo – Polyhymnia
    • Bach Partita – Featured Role
    • La Bayadère – Gamzatti; First Shade
    • The Brahms-Haydn Variations – Leading Role
    • Cinderella (Ashton) – Fairy Spring
    • The Nutcracker (Ratmansky)
    • On the Dnieper – Olga’s Mother
    • Swan Lake (McKenzie) – Queen Mother

While a formal degree in dance may not be necessary to get a job in a company, a hiring director will want to see that you have formal training. Add a separate section for your training history, noting the school, program, instructor, and dates of attendance. If the program isn’t especially well-known, you may want to provide a short, bulleted list of what it includes, such as styles of dance or productions. If you have an academic degree, this can also be listed.

Training

Template

  • [School], [Program], [Instructor] – Date Range

Example

  • San Francisco Ballet School, Trainee Program, Patrick Armand – January 2014 to May 2014

Education

Template

  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] – [Graduation Month and Year]

Example

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance
  • Ohio State University, Columbus, OH – May 2017

Hiring directors often have a list of dance styles they want potential candidates to be proficient in, and creating a bulleted list of these on your resume can ensure that the reviewer immediately sees that you’re a good fit. Look through the casting call or role description and prioritize anything listed. Below are some styles you may want to consider including on your resume. If you’re applying for a nonperformance role, such as an instructor, you may want to add in other key skills like choreography, communication, and class management.

Key Skills and Proficiencies
African Argentine Tango
Ballet Ballroom (including Latin and Standard)
Bollywood Breakdance
Butoh Clogging
Contemporary Flamenco
Hip-hop Irish Step
Jazz Kathak
Krump Modern
Popping Salsa
Swing Tap

How To Pick the Best Dance Resume Template

The right dance resume template lists your proficiencies and roles in a format that’s easy for a hiring director to skim and shows what a valuable addition you can be to a company or production. Look for a template that has room for your stats, previous roles, and formal training. You may also want to include a headshot on or with your resume if the job posting doesn’t ask for a separate picture or performance packet.

Dance Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Example #1
  • Example #2
  • Example #3

JAYDA O’BRIEN
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET SOLOIST

San Francisco Ballet Company soloist and a winner at the 2014 Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards. Trained with Patrick Armand in the San Francisco Ballet Trainee program and under Ballet Master Vladimir Djouloukhadze at the Kirov Academy of Ballet for over 10 years. Performed in every San Francisco Ballet Company production since 2014.

STAGE/LIVE PERFORMANCE

San Francisco Ballet School

  • Named an apprentice in 2014
  • Joined company as a corps de ballet member in 2015
  • Promoted to soloist in 2019
  • Soloist and featured roles in:
    • Apollo – Polyhymnia
    • Bach Partita – Featured Role
    • La Bayadère – Gamzatti; First Shade
    • The Brahms-Haydn Variations – Leading Role
    • Cinderella (Ashton) – Fairy Spring
    • The Nutcracker (Ratmansky)
    • On the Dnieper – Olga’s Mother
    • Swan Lake (McKenzie) – Queen Mother

TRAINING

AWARDS/SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarship winner at Los Angeles Music Center’s Spotlight Awards, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions: Dance Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for dance resumes?-

If you need a traditional professional experience section on your resume, you’ll need to start each bullet point with a strong action verb that conveys your strengths and qualities. If you opt for a more performance-based resume, you may want to include some key action verbs in your profile summary section to help it better align with the job posting. Here are some examples of strong action verbs for a dance resume.

Action Verbs
Choreograph Create
Execute Express
Improvise Interpret
Perform Practice
How do you align your resume with a job description?-

Dancers and choreographers are likely to see more open positions in the next few years, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics expecting 27% job growth among these jobs, which is much faster than average. If you want your resume to stand out, you’ll need to make sure that it’s aligned with each role you’re applying for. Take a few minutes to review the job description, making a note of any keywords, dance styles, or other skills the hiring director has listed as important. Work these into your resume as you can for a targeted resume that has a better chance of getting a callback.

What is the best dance resume format?-

Dance resumes usually have a functional format that lets you group your skills, past roles, and training together. You may need to change the headers on a functional resume template to better match the dance industry, such as replacing key skills with dance styles or education with training programs. A combination resume works well if you’re applying for a nonperformance role because you can group your dance skills and still have room for a professional experience section.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume

Including a matching cover letter with your dance resume can help you show your passion for performance and love for the stage. When writing a cover letter, consider choosing one or two of your favorite jobs to share what you learned during the process that can help you succeed in the role you’re applying for.

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