Which degree in Australia is best for becoming a professional dancer?

Which degree in Australia is best for becoming a professional dancer?

So many people dream of a career in the creative arts. And for good reason – creative and artistic expression is central to all cultures. Just think, what would the world be without music, literature, film and TV?

Dance is one of the most wonderful forms of creative and artistic expression – and the good news is that you can have a fantastic career as a professional dancer.

But how do you create a fulfilling and rewarding career as a professional dancer? How do you create the best career in dance Australia has to offer?

That’s where the Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE) comes in.

A dancer is someone who dances professionally. But that can mean a lot of different things – a choreographer, a dancer in theatre shows, musicals, TV and commercials, a dance instructor or teacher, a dance therapist or even a dancer in the tourism industry. The opportunities are endless.

To have a successful career as a professional dancer you’ll need a wide range of skills and abilities, including excellent physical fitness and athletic abilities, mental strength and stamina, discipline and consistency, the ability to collaborate and work well with others, determination to learning new techniques and routines quickly, as well as an inherent ability to express yourself with your body. Remember, having great technique means nothing if you can’t convey emotions and expression with your body.

If you want a career in performance, you’ll also need to be prepared to work flexible hours, including late nights and weekends, and maybe even spending lots of time away from home if you tour.

In short, a career in dance takes years of dedicated training and sacrifice.

What does a Bachelor of Dance Education involve?

To become a professional dancer, you almost always need some sort of dance qualification, like a bachelor of dance education or some other degree/course. The good news is ACPE is here to help!

ACPE is Australia’s leading provider of dance education, with teaching staff who are highly qualified and experienced dance professionals with real experience in the dance industry as well as education.

Teachers like Diane Grant, Head of the Dance Department. Diane says: “I started out as a professional dancer at the age of 18. I then transitioned into academia and then started tertiary dance teaching about 20 years ago.”

Or Nalina Wait, one of our dance teachers, who has been in the dance industry since 1996, both as a teacher as well as working with independent dance artists.

Our Bachelor of Dance Education is a specialist, four-year full-time degree (or part-time equivalent) that will help you build a successful career by providing you with the skills and attributes you need as a professional dancer.

Broaden your career options with practical skills beyond dancing

Not only does our degree set you up with everything you need to become a professional dancer, it combines dance, health, physical education and teaching into one degree, so you’ll graduate with a number of career options, including being accredited in two teaching methods for the secondary school system: as a Dance teacher and as a Personal Development, Health, and Physical Education (PDHPE) teacher. Our degree is also accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority.

As a dancer, you’ll most likely be doing a lot of freelance work – with not much job security. So having a teaching qualification means that you have more career options and a solid career for those times when you might want or need some stability.

Units range from dance history and theory to the science of anatomy and physiology, plus practical studio time to learn about dance styles from the classical to the contemporary. It’s taught in a flexible format via lectures, tutorials, dance classes, performance workshops and seminars.  

To ensure you’re ready for the classroom, you’ll also undertake four school-based professional experience placements, which helps you see how your skills can translate to educational settings. As you’d expect, a successful audition (linked to standards of dance technique and dance composition) is an entry requirement for our degree.

Australia’s only Bachelor of Dance Education degree

But don’t just take our word for it. Our students love our Bachelor of Dance Education degree because it’s the only dance degree in Australia that sets up students for both a career as a professional dancer AND a dance teacher, and because we invest in the best and most experienced teaching staff.

“I chose a dance degree at ACPE because it’s the only place you can study dance education as well as PDHPE,” said Kara Valente, a Bachelor of Dance Education student.

Another one of our Bachelor of Dance Education students, Lauren Beutel said: “I love studying the dance degree because the teachers in the classroom and the studio have so much knowledge.”

That’s why we’re so proud that we have a 89.5% graduate employment rate across all of ACPE. So what are you waiting for? Let ACPE plié the best career in dance Australia has to offer.

To hear more from our dance students and teaching team, you can check out this video on the Bachelor of Dance Education homepage. Or get in touch with one of our friendly ACPE team members to discuss your interests and career goals, and if our professional dancer degree or another of our dance teaching courses are right for you.

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