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Dancing As A Career

From time immemorial, dance has always been part of Indian celebrations. Be it wedding or award ceremonies, the event cannot be completed without the shaking of a leg.

Dancing is an intrinsic part of Indian culture. There are many well-known classical and folk dances. These dance forms are typical to certain parts of the country and have taken on the hue and texture of that region.

The two main divisions of dance are classical and folk forms. There are dance forms typical to certain parts of the country and these dance forms are based on ancient dance discipline. Among the most popular classical styles of dance seen on stage are Bharatnatyam of Tamil Nadu, Odissi of Orissa, Kathakali of Kerala, Kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh, Kathak of Lucknow and Jaipur and Manipuri of Manipur. There are several other forms of dances that fall into the category of semi-classical, folk, drama and martial arts contributing to the panorama of dance in India.

Training in Dance can be started from very early age – five or six. Careers in this field can be that of a performer, teacher and choreographer. If you aspire for a career in dance, you should have an inborn talent which can be sharpened with training and guidance. There is no specific age to learn dancing. All you need is the will power to master the art.

Dancing Eligibility Criteria

One needs to have an inborn talent; training and guidance can only hone these talents. Training in dance should start as early as age six or less. The basic requirement for training in dance is 10+2. However, for post graduate level courses, graduation in the subject is compulsory.

Duration of courses: while certificate course is of one year, Bachelor courses are of three years and Diploma and Post Graduate level courses are of 2 years.

Personal attributes: Main skills needed for this creative profession are versatility, sense of rhythm, grace, stage presence in addition to an expressive facial and body language and physical stamina.

Pros and Cons


  • Extremely satisfactory as one gets to do what one is in love with
  • Outflow of creative energy
  • Fame and name once you are established


  • Long practice hours and work schedule
  • It is not a 9-5 job
  • You cannot expect regular shows and performances
  • Regular dancing can have health hazards as well


You cannot expect good perks at the beginning of your career. If you work as an assistant then the pay could be something between Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 per month. Once you have a name, the sky is the limit. In between you can always do shows on stage and on the television. 

Read: Cultural Talent Search scholarship

Dancing Career Roles

ChoreographyChoreography means dance compositions, the grouping of dancers and establishing the sequence of dances. For this specific role, dancers with exceptional creative powers with skill to interpret music in terms of dancing are needed. Choreographers work in films, on stage, for television and video music shows. Future prospects are very bright for choreographer as more and more stage and TV shows are being organized these days.

Teaching: This field requires an aptitude for teaching, initiative and patience. A Dance Teacher must have thorough knowledge of practical and theoretical aspects of dance. Dancers who take up teaching as a profession can find jobs in schools, colleges, universities, dance institutes.

Performing: A performing artist must have attractive appearance, facial expression, skill to interpret roles and most importantly stage presence. They must also have to be in tune with the interest of the general public. Numerous avenues are open for performing artists. Besides forming their own troupes they can take time out for coaching too.

Dancing Job Prospects

Lots of dancers are employed by academies, kala kendras, Doordarshan, Dance troupes, All India Radio and teaching institutions engaged in imparting dance education. Also opportunities to drama artists are offered by professional theatrical and opera companies and semi-theatrical institutions like AIR, TV studios, movie studios, films division, song and drama divisions and many more. Nowadays quite a few corporate houses and private institutions sponsor performances of musicians and dancers to promote their products. One can always take up self-employment in the form of holding private classes or starting a dance training institution.

Many schools appoint dance teachers on a full-time basis to manage cultural activities and train children for inter-school competitions, etc.

Where to study

There are not many organized courses of training. The notable ones are available at Sangeet Akademi, Delhi for choreography and ballet direction while the Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography, Bangalore, offers a 3 year degree in choreography.

The other important institutes are:

  • Saraswati Music College,

(Affiliated to Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad)
A-1/226, safdarjung enclave, New Delhi-110029
Ph: 26105611, 26167922
Fax: 26194545
Email: [email protected]

  • Bhatkhande Collegeo of Hindustani Music

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

  • Karnataka Sangeetha Nrithya Akademi

14/3, Cenara Finance Corporation Complex,
Nrupathunga Road,
Bangalore 560 002, Karnataka

  • West Bengal State Music Academy

36, Prince Anwar Shah Road,
Calcutta 700 033,

  • Kala Academy Campal

Goa 403 001,
Phone – 44293, 43280, 43288, 43289.

  • “Abhinaya Institute of Dance”

Radha Mohan, Mohan,A-3/16,
Avillon Green Fileds,
Mahakali Caves Road,
Andheri E, Mumbai 400093,
Ph: (022) – 8347460,

  • “Arunodaya Kala Niketan”

Sandhya & Suvarna M N,
10, Kalanilayam, Cheddanagar,
Mumbai 400089,

  • “Ashwini Kala Kendra”

Kunal B. Tate,1/5 Ashwini,
9-B Palimala Road,
(Palihill) Bandra (West), Mumbai 400050,
Ph: (022) – 6403543
Fax: (022) – 6456728

  • “Bharata Natya Kalalaya”

Prema Nagasundaram,6, Sukh Niwas,
Mahul Road Chembur, Mumbai 400071,
Ph: (022) – 5226250 / 5228663

  • “Darsana Dance Academy”

Ramani G V, Ganesh Bhavan, 276,
Telang Road,
Mumbai 400019

  • “Gyan Ashram Inst. of Performing Arts”

Barboza Svd, Gyan Ashram,
Mahakali Road,
Andheri E, Mumbai 400093,
Ph: (022) – 8325046
Fax: (022) – 8325046

  • “EVAM”

C/o The Company Theatre,
Atul Kumar, F2 (G.F), Silver Anklet,
Yari Road,
Versova, Andheri W, Mumbai 400061,
Ph: (022) – 6345253
Fax: (022) – 6324342

  • Indian People’s Theatre Association (Maharashtra State Committee)

Ghia Mansion,
Ist Floor 86, Sutarchawl,
Mumbai 400 002

  • Abhinay”, Jayalakshmi Eshwar

45, Rajouri Apts, Opp. G O I Press,
New Delhi 110064,
Ph: (011) – 25135608 / 25139816
Fax: (011) – 25440977

  • “Bharatha Natya Niketan”

Vani Rajmohan,
31/3989, Regharpur,
Karol Bagh,
New Delhi 110005
Ph: (011) – 25714892

  • “Bhoomika Creative Dance Center”

Narendra Sharma,53,
Bharati Artists Colony, Vikas Marg,
New Delhi 110092
Ph: (011) – 22242716

  • “Centre for Indian Classical Dances”

Sonal Mansingh,
C-304 Defence Colony,
New Delhi 110024
Ph: (011) – 24623350
Fax: (011) – 24642379

  • Delhi Ballet Group

16/27  W.E.A.,
Karol Bagh,
New Delhi – 110006

  • “Delhi Tamil Sangam”

Tamil Sangam Marg,
Sector 5, R K Puram,
New Delhi 110022
Ph: (011) – 26174217

  • Delhi Music Society (Incorporating the Delhi School of Music)

8, Nyaya Marg,
New Delhi 110 021

  • “Gandharva Maha Vidyalaya”

Leela Samson, 212,
Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg,
New Delhi 110002,
Ph: 9011) – 23238784 / 23233791

  • “Ganesh Natyalaya”, Saroja Vaidyanathan

C-16, Institution Area,
Behind Qutab Hotel,
New Delhi 110016,
Ph: (011) – 26862995,
Fax: +91-(0)-11-26567397,

  • Institute of Music, Dance & Dramatics

V-13  Rajouri Garden,
New Delhi

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