Job Description:

A ballerina performs elegant and precise dance movements to tell stories and captivate audiences on stage.

Job Category:
Art & Fashion

What you will do:

The day-to-day activities of a ballerina can vary, but they typically involve a combination of the following:

  • Daily Practice: Engage in rigorous ballet training, including warm-ups, exercises, and rehearsals to improve technique and maintain physical conditioning.
  • Choreography Rehearsals: Practice and perfect dance routines and choreography for upcoming performances, focusing on precise movements and emotional expression.
  • Costume Fittings: Attend fittings and collaborate with costume designers to ensure costumes fit well and enhance the visual storytelling of performances.
  • Physical Conditioning: Incorporate strength training, stretching, and exercises to maintain flexibility, balance, and overall fitness.
  • Artistic Interpretation: Work with choreographers to understand and embody the artistic vision of a dance piece, expressing emotions and stories through movements.
  • Stage Rehearsals: Participate in full-scale rehearsals on stage to practice spatial awareness, timing, and interactions with fellow dancers.
  • Performance Preparation: Prepare mentally and physically before performances, including hair and makeup, warm-ups, and costume adjustments.
  • Performances: Take the stage for live performances, where ballerinas bring their training and rehearsals to life in front of an audience.
  • Injury Prevention and Care: Pay attention to body wellness, injury prevention, and recovery, including physical therapy and rest.
  • Artistic Collaboration: Collaborate with fellow dancers, choreographers, directors, and musicians to create a cohesive and captivating performance.
  • Continuing Education: Attend workshops, classes, and seminars to enhance skills, learn new techniques, and stay current with dance trends.
  • Rest and Recovery: Prioritize adequate rest and sleep to support physical and mental well-being.


You’ll need:

  • an in depth mastery of ballet techniques
  • knowledge of the human body and how it moves
  • knowledge of ballet history, terminology and vocab
  • an understanding of choreography
  • knowledge of how to apply makeup for stage appearances

As well as:

  • Dedication and Discipline: Ballet requires consistent and dedicated practice to refine technique and achieve mastery (drive)
  • Physical Fitness: Ballerinas need to be in excellent physical shape, with strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Artistic Expression: Developing a strong sense of artistic expression and emotional connection to movement is crucial for captivating performances.
  • Resilience: The dance industry can be competitive and physically demanding, so resilience and mental strength are important attributes.
  • Work Ethic: Ballet training often involves long hours of practice and rehearsals, requiring a strong work ethic
  • Teamwork: Many ballet performances involve ensemble work, so the ability to collaborate and work well with other dancers is essential.
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

The primary focus for becoming a ballerina is rigorous and specialised dance training. This typically involves enrolling in a reputable dance school or academy that offers ballet training at a high level.

While there are no specific GCSE subject requirements for pursuing a career as a professional ballerina, certain subjects can be of benefit:

Relevant GCSE Subjects

  1. Physical Education (PE): A good understanding of anatomy, physiology, and body mechanics can be helpful for dancers. PE can provide insights into how the body moves and functions.
  2. Drama or Performing Arts: These subjects can help you develop stage presence, expression, and confidence, which are important for performing as a ballerina.
  3. English Language: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, can contribute to effective communication with instructors, peers, and potentially with the public if you engage in teaching or choreography later in your career.

Professional Training

To pursue a career as a professional ballerina, you would typically need to follow an intensive and structured training program that includes both technique classes and performance opportunities. This training may eventually lead to auditions for professional ballet companies or other dance opportunities.

Additional Education

While GCSE subjects are not the primary focus for becoming a ballerina, some dancers may pursue further education in dance by enrolling in higher education dance programs or attending dance conservatories after completing their GCSEs.

It’s important to note that becoming a professional ballerina requires years of dedicated training, passion, and perseverance. Dancers often start their training at a young age and continue to develop their skills over time.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical ballerina’s working hours and environment can vary depending on factors such as the type of ballet company, the production schedule, rehearsals, and performances.

Working hours will include rehearsals, training, performance preparation, performances themselves and physical conditioning training.

Most of the time will be spent in a studio and theatre. Many ballet companies also tour which means traveling for performances.

Career Path & Progression:

A typical career path

  • Join a ballet company, start in ensemble roles.
  • Promotions: Rise through ranks, earn soloist and principal roles.
  • Artistic Exploration: Guest appearances, explore diverse performances.
  • Transition: Shift to teaching, coaching, choreography, or related roles.
  • Legacy: Remain involved post-retirement, contribute to dance community.

Remember, individual paths vary, and success is driven by dedication, talent, and passion for ballet.