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Expat dancers: Moving abroad to study or to work

Being an expat dancer is demanding, especially if you’re moving overseas to chase your dreams. In light of International Dance Day, we’ve put together a little guide on some of the world’s best dance institutions, as well as on how to apply for either dance schools or jobs.

The Juilliard School – New York City

New York, a city synonymous with glitz, glamour and the promise of success. This is reflected in the city’s dedication to some of the finest dancing institutions in the world, including the prestigious Julliard School. Whilst difficult to gain entry to, the Julliard School represents a peak of North American dance education and its doors have been open to aspiring performers for over 100 years now. As for which dance forms are taught, it is remarkably diverse. Jazz, ballet and contemporary dance styles are practised here in equal importance; dance snobbery is something this school doesn’t believe in. If you’re an expat dancer looking to move to New York and follow your passion, you can’t do much better than practising here.

Royal Ballet – London England

Like New York, London is a city tailor-made for dancers looking to achieve their ambitions. One institution stands out from the crowd; the Royal Ballet. Founded in 1926, it is an internationally renowned centre focused on classic ballet and remains one of the most important ballet companies to this day. Numerous legendary dancers have honed their craft within the Royal Ballet’s gilded halls, many of whom have gone on to alter the world of dance as we know it.

London offers much more than just the Royal Ballet though, with street dance venues being immensely popular options for dancers who focus on contemporary (as opposed to classical) forms. Street dance competitions, such as the UK Street Dance Championships, see talented performers from all around the world showcase their best routines. Other notable venues for aspiring dancers include Basment Dance Studio, Pineapple Dance, and Caramelo Latin Dance.

Find the Style That Works For You

When looking to move to a new location to pursue dancing, keep in mind the dance culture of the place. Brazil for example, is much more likely to focus on styles such as the Samba, whereas Paris, France might concentrate on classical forms. Cosmopolitan cities like London, New York, Madrid etc, boast dance centres from every walk of life and aren’t limited to one specific style.

Applying for dancing schools or jobs

When you’ve finally settled on the location, it is time to start applying to dance schools. It does depend however, on whether you want to attend a dedicated dance school, or simply take a few classes. The latter is obviously far easier, but the reality is that becoming a professional dancer usually requires a proper qualification. Applying for the more established dance schools (such as the institutions mentioned earlier) takes a lot of work and perseverance, so our advice is to not lose hope. They are difficult to gain entry to and the requirements can be demanding. For example, the Royal Ballet in London holds challenging, Senior auditions in the Spring term, after the period for applying (September to November). Junior associate programmes open in January each year before closing in March, with auditions in the Summer term.

If you’re already a qualified dancer and you’re looking for work, there are a few things you need to consider. Make sure you have medical cover and don’t forget to read the fine print on any contracts you may be signing. It is essential you get these things sorted at least 6 weeks before you move; sometimes the unexpected happens and you don’t want to arrive in a location only to find out you no longer have the job.

For considerate advice on how to move to a new country for work, get in touch with Santa Fe Relocation’s moving experts on 020 8961 4141 today. We are the moving company that makes it easy, getting you from home, to new home and beyond effortlessly.

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