How to become a professional dancer in the field of entertainment

Want to be a Dancer? Have a passion for dancing, to perform on the stage? Read this article to know about Indian classical Dances, skills required to become a professional dancer, benefits of dancing and job prospects. Know about the colleges and universities that offer Dance courses in India.

Introduction to Dance

"Dance does not require any meaning; it has been created for the simple reason that it is beautiful" Bharatha, author of Natya Sastra .

According to Hindu scriptures, it is believed that the universe was created by the ecstatic dance of the Almighty creator. Dance is the first performing art created by man consisting of selected sequences of human movements and expressions. Indians are fascinated by dances, it appeals to one and all, young and the old. People are passionate about dances and hence it's become popular entertaining part of all cultural events and entertainments. Dance, the art form has been passed on through ages to help enlighten and improve mankind with its aesthetic and moral values. Dance brings happiness to people and helps them to gain an insight into the meaning embedded in the dance themes or story depiction. Dance forms the supreme expression of love and religion, with graceful movements involving beauty and symbolic values. Dance may be accompanied by music or may be performed without music. Dance has been passed on through stories, mimes, plays, dramas with colorful costumes and accessories. Dances consists of rhythmic patterns with a characterized energy or tempo.

Western dance forms includes jigs, waltz, tango, disco, belly dance, hip-hop, ballet dance, jazz, swing dance, tap dance, rock n roll dance, free style etc. There are other forms of dances like martial arts, gymnastics, cheer leading, synchronized swimming, figure skating and many more forms of athletics.The folk and tribal dances of India are colorful, unique and vibrant.

Incredible Indian Classical Dance Forms

The Indian classical dances are rooted in Natyashastra and contains common dancing performances. It covers aspects of hand positions (mudras) body position and expressions (abhinaya). Dancers wear bells around their anklets to complement the percussion'sin all dancing styles. The dance forms varies from region to region and cultures across the country. A brief note about the classical dance forms are listed here -

  • Bharatanatyam : It is the oldest classical dance form of India. The dances are accompanied by Carnatic music. The dance form evolved in the temples of Tamil Nadu and expressed the spiritual thoughts and ideas of Hindu contexts. Bharatanatyam is one of the most popular dance styles of India and has gained prominence in dance forms in India and abroad

  • Kathakali : This dance form originated in Kerala. In this dance drama style, the dances are elaborately dressed with heavy makeup, costumes and wear face masks. The dance performances depict mythical legends of Hindu texts

  • Kathak: The dance evolved in northern India and has been attributed to travelling bards (story tellers), the themes are based on Hindu epics and legends. The style focus on rhythmic foot movements, the foot is adorned with small bells. The dance involves body movements, facial expressions, bends and turns, harmonize to music and stage movements

  • Kuchipudi: It originated in Andhra Pradesh, developed through travelling bards. The performance begins with an invocation followed by pure dance accompanied by carnatic music. Dancers include both men and women dancers

  • Odisssi: It evolved in temples of Odisha. It is a dance drama genre of performing art. Dance depicts spiritual messages of Hindu text. The style includes expressions and sign language with symbolic costumes

  • Mohinini Attam: This dance form originated in temples of Kerala and is performed by women. The name Mohini is named after the mythological celestial beauty in Hindu texts

  • Sattriya Dance : It is one of the classical Indian dance. The form includes dance drama performance. It originated in Assam. It's attributed to Saint rimanta Sankardev. The themes of the dances usually relate to Krishna and Radha, Rama and Sita etc

  • Key Skills Required to Become a Professional Dancer

  • An aspiring student should possess thorough knowledge of dance, its forms and other aspects related to dance

  • Should have good physical stamina and determination to pursue dance

  • Should strive for excellence in giving performances, be self motivated and disciplined

  • Should posses' strong communication and interpersonal skills to interact with various people or professionals from varied sectors

  • Should have creative bend of mind for innovation in dancing styles

  • should posses strong will power and confidence for performances

  • Should have patience and perseverance for long practice sessions

  • Should be able to work in team and face challenges in the work settings

  • Should be able to motivate and become a source of inspiration for others

  • Roles and Responsibilities of a Dancer

  • A dancer should prepare for audition, rehearsing and exercising or practice sessions

  • Should study choreography in detail and give performances for varied audiences in different places

  • Should be able to adjust to the surroundings and be prepared for travelling

  • Should handle costume and equipment's needed for the performance

  • Maintain a good health, take care of themselves and others safety

  • Should be available for promotion events and be able to run workshops for dance learners

  • Manage the company, stage performance, deal with contracts, make arrangements with varied professionals like makeup man, lighting, photographers etc

  • Should possess critical thinking ability and analytical skills

  • Benefits of Dancing

  • Dancing brings in happiness and presents joy to others

  • Learning dance helps in understanding the great traditions of our cultures and heritage

  • It helps in exposing the talent within the dancer and provides a pathway for excellent career or research

  • Brings out the creative aspects of dancing styles in the dancer

  • Helps an understanding of science concepts and body movements

  • Develops physical body, mind and health of the person

  • Inculcates a systematic routine for practice, builds team spirits and develops confidence

  • Helps in quick grasping power, builds self esteem, determination and discipline
  • Enables them to choose their career in dancing and in other relevant areas

  • Dance Courses Available in India for Learning

    There are various dances courses available for learning, it includes short term courses ,regular courses; introductory, intermediate and advanced level certificate courses. Depending on their dancing levels they can choose junior or senior level diploma courses, regular bachelor/ post graduate or doctorate courses in Dance. One can also pursue dance as hobby and for fitness.. The dance classes include, lectures, practice sessions, workshops, seminars, examinations in theory and practicals.

    Reputed Dance Institutes In India

  • Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan, Bangalore

  • Veve Dance Mumbai

  • Rama Manubhai Desai College of Music and Dance, Gujarat

  • Nalanda Nritya kala Mahavidyala, Mumbai

  • Delhi Dance Academy, Delhi

  • Nrityanjali institute of performing arts, Mumbai

  • Latin Dance India, Bangalore

  • Natya Institute of kathak and Choreography, Bangalore

  • National Institute of Kathak Dance, Delhi

  • Kurukshetra University

  • Lalit Kala Kendra, Pune

  • Sri Thyagaraja College of Music and Dance , Hyderabad

  • Tecnia Institute of Dance, Music and fine Arts, Delhi

  • Ballet Repertoire Academy of India, Mumbai

  • Job Opportunities for Dancers

    Dancers find excellent job opportunities in field of dance academics institutions, entertainment industry such as films, television, musical nights, stage shows, recreation centers, dance studios, publications, theaters, cultural shows/festivals etc. The job profiles includes dancer, choreographer, teacher, lecturer. Trainer, instructor, performer, artist, entertainer, researcher, dance director, dance motivator, dance coordinator, dance advisor, writer, critic, etc. Dancers can also have their own coaching centers to train students.


    Dance is a beautiful art form of India. Children can be exposed to dance training at an early age to pick up the skills in body movements and expressions. Introducing dance at the young age would help the child to develop good health, grasp knowledge and intelligence. It builds creativity and develops the child into a complete personality. Dance should promote the prosperity of the beautiful art for the coming generations with value based education.

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