Do you love to express yourself through dance, whether modern, ballet, jazz, tap or improvisational? Are dancing and performing passions you want to explore in life? York's Department of Dance is the oldest and most comprehensive university-level dance program in Canada, offering a variety of interdepartmental work between several programs focused on theatre, music and film. Majoring in Dance can lead you down an amazingly interesting path in the performing arts industry.

Career Options in Dance

This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers a Dance degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Dance than others.

  • Acting Coach
  • Actor
  • Art Gallery Director
  • Broadcaster
  • Casting Director
  • Choreographer
  • Critic
  • Curator
  • Dance Instructor
  • Dancer
  • Dance/Movement Therapist
  • Dance Studio Owner
  • Designer
  • Director
  • Editor/Publisher
  • Entrepreneur
  • Film Researcher/Consultant
  • Fundraiser for the Arts
  • Journalist
  • Media Correspondent
  • Music Industry Consultant
  • Non-profit Administrator
  • Performer
  • Producer
  • Special Effects Consultant
  • Stage Crew Manager
  • Stunt Coordinator
  • Stuntperson
  • Theatre Adminstrator
  • Youth Worker

Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

Skills Developed through a Dance Degree

A background in Dance ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges.

Core Skills

  • The ability to interpret your emotions through movement
  • The skills to effectively perform in front of an audience
  • Specialized knowledge of dance history, dance writing, dance teaching methodologies and body therapy
  • An understanding of the field of computer applications in dance studies

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to organize, understand and analyze sources of information and to apply new information to different professional settings and tasks
  • The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
  • The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different areas of the performing arts

Management and Teamwork

  • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project's intended and successful end result
  • The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
  • Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
  • The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects

Professional Associations and Organizations

Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field.