The world of ballroom dance is intoxicating. It slowly draws you in until you get to the point where you can’t get enough. You say to yourself, “If only there was a way I could make a living in this industry…” Well, there is. Here are some ways you can use your ballroom dancing for profit.
Before we begin, let’s get something out of the way. Just because you’re considered a good ballroom dancer doesn’t mean you’re able to teach. If you want to make a living as an instructor, you have to learn both the leader’s and the follower’s parts. In addition, you’ll need to know many dances, steps, and techniques. When you’ve got that down, there are a few places to put that skill to good use.
Ballroom Dance Studios
Take it from me, being an instructor at a ballroom dance studio is a sweet gig. Aside from ongoing dance training (which means you’ll continue to improve as a dancer and a teacher), there are lots of benefits. To begin with, you’ll get to sleep late and dance every day. Next, the studio will provide you with people to teach. This means you won’t have to go out and hustle your own students. Finally, the more you train and improve, the more money you’ll make. That’s because you’ll have more students and, as an advanced instructor, you’ll command a higher rate for each lesson.
Gyms, Clubs, Parks, and Schools
There’s always going to be a need for group class instructors in these venues. It happens when a lot of people become smitten with a certain dance and are dying to learn it. Dances like Salsa and Bachata come to mind. As an example, every summer in Cincinnati, OH, there’s a weekly event called Salsa on the Square. It’s sponsored by P&G, the multinational corporation that’s headquartered in Cincinnati. It features free group classes in Salsa, Bachata, and other Latin dances, followed by open dancing outside at downtown Cincinnati’s Fountain Square. Teaching at events like Salsa on the Square is an awesome way to present yourself to hundreds of dancers each week.
Teaching is only one way to use ballroom dancing for profit. But, if you decide to go for it, the big thing is to let others know you’re an expert in ballroom dance instruction. Then, all you have to do is ask for an opportunity to lead a series of classes. Keep in mind, you’ll probably be asked to demonstrate your knowledge. Simply find some volunteers to practice on to make sure you have a smooth delivery.
Many dance couples do shows and demonstrations to make money with their ballroom dancing.
Weddings and Private Parties
How much fun would it be to perform a seriously passionate Tango at a wedding reception? What about doing a Charleston at a Roaring 20s party? You get the idea, putting on a show is the perfect way to use your dancing to make money.
For this to work, you have to get your name out there. Start by registering with wedding and party planners. Also, you would do well to contact hotel catering executives. Many times their clients want to be able to provide entertainment at their events. And, when it comes to entertainment, who doesn’t love watching ballroom dancing?
Make a resume, create a video, and prepare a sample dance demonstration. Then, get to work spreading the news that you and your partner have created a terrific show that’s perfect for any special event. Above all, if you want to make money dancing, you’re gonna have to be aggressive in your self-promotion and a little bit cocky.
Community celebrations, malls, and flea markets
Whenever there’s a holiday or anniversary, businesses have a chance to bring in potential new customers by putting on a show. So, as performers, visit decision-makers at places like any community that has a clubhouse, or indoor and outdoor malls and flea markets.
Those are just a few ways to use your ballroom dancing for profit. Additionally, be on the lookout for auditions for community theater musicals. Not only that, you could visit bars and restaurants that may want to offer a ballroom dance show from time to time.
Selling Ballroom Dance Supplies and Accessories
Practice Clothes, Costumes, Shoes, and Jewelry
The more you know about the fit and function of competition clothes, the easier it’ll be to get work with a ballroom costume designer. The designers need men and women to display samples in the area set aside for vendors at competitions. You will need to be able to answer questions, make suggestions, and encourage dancers to invest in flattering dancewear.
Aside from that, you can advertise on social media or open an online store like Shopify. Don’t forget about Etsy, craft shows, and brick and mortar dance stores.
Competition Style Hair and Makeup Application
If you love ballroom dancing, have a good eye, and a steady hand, make money doing hair and makeup at competitions. The look is glamorous and unique, which means you can be as creative as you want.
A career doing competition hair and makeup can be very lucrative. Also, life changing. If you were anything like my friend Margaret Burns, who created Purple Tiger Hair & Makeup, you and your crew would travel all over the world making dancers look and feel great.
Ballroom dancing is big business. Therefore, employers in this industry are looking for dancers who love people and have a passion for ballroom dancing. If that’s you, talk to an instructor today and ask how you can get started.
You make it sound so enticing, Barbara, to move forward to teaching, etc. It would be a great gig, for sure! Who isn’t enthralled to see bodies in unison sweeping majestically and effortlessly across a dance floor? To say nothing of their fabulous attire, jewelry, and remarkable make-up – boys included.
You don’t mention as a female instructor how you are hit upon constantly by male students- no different for male instructors as well- unfortunately not many can appreciate the art form, they see instructors as pretty much prostitutes .
AnneMarie, thanks for your comment.
As a ballroom dance professional, my experience was that I was always treated with respect by my students and peers. I wish the same for you.
Are you still teaching, do you know of anybody in Chicago area or suburbs where they are teaching?
No, sadly I’m not teaching. However, I can recommend the Arthur Murray Studio in Merrillville, Indiana. Happy dancing!