Web Exclusive - Ask Amy

I’m interested in eventually pursuing a career in the arts after I’m done dancing. What kinds of jobs are there in a ballet company besides the artistic director and teachers? —Kat

A ballet company is just like any other business—outside of its artistic staff, there are numerous administrative positions for managing its day-to-day operations. For instance, the executive director manages the company’s financial side and non-artistic staff, leads strategic planning and communicates with the board of directors. Companies also have a development department, which is in charge of fund-raising, special events and managing relationships with patrons and potential donors. A company manager may act as an administrative assistant to the artistic director, as well as a tour manager and a liaison between dancers and artistic staff. People in marketing manage the company’s brand, image and social media presence, while public relations associates handle press inquiries and announcements. All of these positions require business acumen, so while your knowledge of ballet is a huge plus, you’ll need a college degree to be considered. For leads on undergraduate and graduate programs in arts management, check out Association of Arts Administration Educators and the National Council of Arts Administrators.

 

Of course, if business skills aren’t your thing, you may want to consider a behind-the-scenes career on the production side. I’ve known several dancers who’ve transitioned into stage management, making sure performances run smoothly from backstage. If you’re itching for something more artistic, you can always pursue a career in costume, lighting or set design. Many companies also have a videographer and photographer on staff (both of whom work closely with the marketing and public relations department). Of course, these positions require further training, too.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about arts administration or production, I would contact professionals in positions that interest you for insight on what they do on a daily basis, as well as what skills and educational credentials you'll need to get started. Career Transition For Dancers is a great resource for those thinking about the next step—for more information on how they can help, click here.

Latest Posts


Getty Images

How to Support the Black Dance Community, Beyond Social Media

The dance community's response to the death of George Floyd was immediate and sweeping on social media. Dance artists, including Desmond Richardson and Martha Nichols, used their social platforms to make meaningful statements about racial inequality. Theresa Ruth Howard's leadership spurred ballet companies including Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet to pledge #BalletRelevesForBlackLives. Among the most vocal supporters have been dance students, who continue to share the faces and gut-wrenching last words of Black men and women who have died in police custody on their Instagram feeds and Stories.

The work we're doing on social media as a community is important and necessary—and we should keep at it. But now, that momentum must also carry us into taking action. Because to be a true ally, action is required.

A responsible ally amplifies Black voices­­. They choose to listen rather than speak. And they willingly throw their support, and, if they can, their dollars, behind Black dancers and Black dance organizations. Here are some ways you can do your part.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You

Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!


Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks