Dancers are passionate, hardworking and disciplined, but often find it challenging to make money dancing.
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If you’re a dancer and you rely solely on traditional dancing jobs, not only is competition for these jobs exceptionally fierce, the gigs themselves are few and far between and the money earned isn’t even worth all the trouble.
Like many jobs for artists, it can be tough to keep the passion alive if you’re unable to pay your bills.
The good news is that you have unlimited possibilities now with the internet, social media and other platforms that not only let you showcase your talent, let you earn real cash as well.
So if you’re willing to get creative and turn your dancing into a money-making machine, then read on…
8 Ways to Make Money Dancing
Let’s begin with the traditional methods of earning money through dance and discuss online opportunities that you can explore:
1. Perform for Events
Almost every event requires special talent like yours for entertainment. This event could be birthday parties, anniversaries, corporate events, and so on.
You can check dancing gigs on websites like Dance.net, which updates a listing of jobs you can apply to.
Another similar resource is GigSalad, a booking site that allows you to promote your dancing services and also find relevant jobs you could apply to.
Answers4Dancers lists dance gigs as well, but this requires a monthly fee.
It’s been around since 1999, and has a massive amount of information for budding dancers, so it could be worth it if you’re feeling a bit lost.
2. Offer Your Choreography Skills as a Service
If you’ve been dancing for years, there’s a good chance you know how to choreograph as well.
If you haven’t thought about offering choreography to other people, this is the perfect time to do so. TheDanceResource is a good resource to know industry standards, new dance techniques, and even meet like-minded people who could help with your career.
When searching through job boards, you’ll find jobs exclusive only to “choreographers.” Offering choreography as a service expands your portfolio and opens up more opportunities.
3. Teach Dance Lessons
You can teach dance traditionally face-to-face in a local studio, at your home, or at your client’s home. Doing dance lessons, whether you specialize in ballet or hip-hop, will never run out of fashion, so keep on teaching as long as you can.
If you’ve been doing this for a while and feel that you’re ready to expand, think about hosting group dance lessons.
Many studios are glad to support choreographers and will give you a slot on their calendars if you’ve got something to offer that they don’t currently have. Some companies that offer extracurricular activities to their employees may also let you teach their employees how to dance.
If both ideas above are not feasible, don’t give up just yet. You can rent a space and offer group dance lessons there.
And if your time cannot accommodate traveling to different locations, you can still teach online and make money dancing by either:
- Building a membership website, where you send choreography lessons daily
- Creating a master-class, a dance course that students can follow at their own pace
You can even “meet” with clients via video and still be able to teach dance as though you’re face-to-face.
4. Write Articles about Dancing
While writing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially since you won’t be on your toes for this one, sharing your technical dancing knowledge can be lucrative as well.
Many dance publications like Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Pointe Magazine, and Dance Informa (among others) are always looking for writers to bring a fresh take on dance.
They may not post about writing opportunities, but you can always send an e-mail and pitch an idea for an article. Your idea must just be good enough to land a paid writing gig.
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If you’re feeling quite shy with working with the big guys at these major publications, you can always write informally on your own blog and share your knowledge there.
5. Post Dance and Choreography Videos
If you want to dance non-stop and share your talent with the world, you can make money dancing just by posting videos of them online.
Plus, the online videos could also serve as your portfolio.
Go with YouTube and open an AdSense account. Every time you post a dance video, an ad will be shown.
When someone watches your video and does not skip the video, you get to earn a couple of cents per view.
Multiply this by hundreds of views, or thousands (if you blow up), and you can reap the benefits of going viral like the Jojo Gomez-choreographed and Tim Milgram-produced The Pussycat Dolls’ “Buttons”, which has been viewed a whopping 45 million times since it was posted on July 2017.
The cool thing about YouTube is that AdSense is just one part of the income possibilities available there. (Here are other ways you can make money on YouTube).
6. Become an Affiliate Seller
As an affiliate seller, you promote other people/company’s products and earn commissions if the people who came from your website or YouTube channel clicked the link you shared and bought something from that store.
The commission rates would vary between stores. Amazon is the most popular, but bookstores, sporting goods stores, and other stores usually have affiliate programs.
(Click here to learn more about affiliate marketing).
7. Sell Your Own Products Online
If you’re getting some success with affiliate marketing and you want to bring your own products into the mix, you can always sell them online. You have tons of platforms readily available – Etsy (for handmade stuff, eBay (for second-hand items), Facebook Marketplace (for a varied mix of items), and so on.
Incorporating dance into the product would prove challenging, but you can always stick to easy merchandise like workout pants, tank tops, dancing books you’ve written, and so on.
8. Monetize Your Social Media Platforms
Aside from YouTube, you can also explore what other social media platforms has to offer. For example:
- Pinterest – Take photos of yourself doing some ballet dance moves, turn it into a poster, and post it on Pinterest. The site is known for shareable photo content, so adding interesting photos to the mix could get people’s attention quick.
- Instagram – This website is also all about photos, but it caters to short videos too! Promote your dance lessons, share a link to your website, and try other monetizing techniques known to work on Instagram.
- Twitter – You may think that the character limit can be restricting, but a little bit of creativity can go a long way. See how you can make money off Twitter and your dancing skills.
- Facebook – You can create a Facebook channel (which works mostly like YouTube) and see if you’ll find success there. If not, you can use a Facebook page to promote your business, share your dance videos, network for new clients, and interact with existing clients. There are numerous ways you can incorporate Facebook into your money-making plan – make sure it counts!
Do You Know other Ways to Make Money Dancing?
You don’t have to give up dancing if you can’t make ends meet.
By learning new skills and being open to what the internet, social media, and other technological advancements could do to your dancing career, you’ll embrace the many money-making opportunities available to you as a dancer.
Have you been making money dancing online and IRL as well? Did I miss any other way to earn from dancing? Feel free to share below…