Tap dancing to Ricky Martin songs at the San Diego County Fair five years in a row does not make you a professional dancer, but with a little more training you could make a career out of those years of dance classes.
Morgan Seeley of Carlsbad took dance lessons for more than a decade and taught five-year-olds how to boogie at the YMCA in San Diego, but she wanted more of a dance career.
She brushed up on her modern dance skills, asked her sister to create a video of her best moves and sent her resume along with her photo and video/audio demos to Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. Two weeks later she had a tryout and two months after that she was preparing for a show.
“It’s a dream job. Seriously, I am dancing with the hottest dance company in the world,” she said. “I work my ass off and stay up past two in the morning and have no social life, but I love it.”
To apply for a gig with this fancy circus, check out cirquedusoleil.com.
Vegas has other types of dance jobs including the sexy showgirl, but this job isn’t all glamour and glitz. “I make about $600 a week,” said Jamie Keyes, who graduated from Point Loma High School and currently works at a downtown Vegas club as a showgirl wearing a giant headdress of feathers and fake jewels, ridiculously high heels, and a tiny costume. “I share a condo with three other girls because it’s expensive to live here, but I have to say I love what I do. Will I do this another 10 years? I doubt they’ll have me. It’s all about how tall and thin and young you are. I’m learning to sew costumes so when I have to retire I’ll have something to fall back on.”
To hoof it in Las Vegas, research the email addresses of potential clubs, hotels, theaters and other places that feature showgirls. Email a brief resume with a recent photo or short video of you in costume. Also check out lasvegasjobs.com.
There are also jobs in Vegas, Atlantic City, and even San Diego for burlesque dancers, but you’ll need a fan or two. Burlesque dancing is a cross between stripping and theatrical dancing, and you’ll be wearing 19th century clothing such as corsets, tassels, garters, stockings, and feather boas, and you won’t be prancing around naked. This cabaret dancing can include live music, singing, costume changes, jokes, and even a pole.
Burlesque jobs might be a little harder to find, but once you have your dance routines down you can send your resume and a video to nightclubs or build a website and promote yourself.