How to Write a Dance Resume
Welcome! For this blog we will be going over how to create your dance resume! Every dancer NEEDS to have a dance resume. At auditions, a dancer will turn in a headshot and resume (stapled back to back) to the casting directors. Once your resume is created, I suggest saving it someplace easily accessible-your desktop for example. That way you always have it at your fingertips and you can add to it when necessary. The format for your resume will be the same whether you have an agent or not. Once you are signed, only the contact information on your resume will change (i.e., you will replace your contact information with that of the agency).
Top of the Resume
First things first: your name. Visibility is important. It needs to be bold and in a larger font than the rest of the text. Below that you need to list your height, weight, hair color, and eye color. The words “height, weight, hair, and eye” all should be bold and capitalized. As previously stated, if you are not signed to an agency, you will need to add your own telephone number and email. Have the words “phone” and “email” bolded and capitalized as well. (See example below.)
HEIGHT: 5’6” | WEIGHT: 130lbs. PHONE: 123.456.7890
HAIR: Brown | EYES: Brown EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
DOB: 01/31/2002 ß DOB for people who are 18 years and younger!
*NEVER add your address or any other personal information to your dance resume. At auditions, casting directors don’t always shred the headshots and resumes when they are done with them. Most of the time, they go directly into the trash. If your headshot and resume were to get into the wrong hands, that person would literally have a picture of you and know where you live. It’s very unsafe and creepy!
Headers should be listed in the order below:
*Note: these are bolded, capitalized, and underlined. The font and size should stay the same as the credits listed under them. There is no need to make the headings bigger.
Do not stress out if you don’t have credits to go under each category. If you do not have credits for a certain category, simply leave it off of your resume. If you are just starting out, your resume will not be super full and that is okay! To help take up space, enter twice between each category.
Anytime you have booked a job or worked on a project, remember to add that listing to the TOP of the related category. In other words, credits should appear in reverse chronological order.
Your dance resume will have 3 columns to it. The column on the far left will be the title of the project. The middle column will be the role you played. And the right column will be the choreographer, director, or company name. It is very important that you fill out all three columns for every job. Don’t leave something blank! (See example below.)
Kesha – “Learn to Let Go” Dancer Jillian Meyers
Alle Farben – “Bad Ideas” Secret Agent John Threat
Nacho – “Bailame” Lead Female Marlon Films
Christina Aguilera – “Come On Over” Dancer Tina Landon
Mandy Moore – “So Real” Dancer Travis Payne
There are a few different ways to list this category. I have seen both of the following formats used by different agencies. For your first option, you can list each style of dance you have trained in, followed by a dash and list the teachers/choreographers. (See example below.)
Jazz- Helene Phillips, Melissa Miles, Tony Elliott, Sheryl Murakami
Ballet- Maxine Hupy, Dasha Tertova
Hip Hop- Miguel Antonio, G Madison, Tovaris Wilson, Nico O’Connor, Rob Rich
Contemporary- Rudy Abreu, Karen Chuang, Sabrina Phillip
Heels- Claude Racine, Liana Blackburn, Galen Hooks, Sienna Lyons
Salsa- Gustavo Vargas
For your second option, you can list big programs or intensives that you have done. (See example below.)
BFA in Dance from University of Michigan
Galen Hooks “Immersion” Intensive
Ricky Jackson’s What Moves Work Intensive
Body Language Experience
Cameron Lee Mentorship Program
Rockette Summer Intensive
When listing the people under whom you have trained, you should only list those who know you by name or whose classes you have taken CONSISTENTLY. If you took one class at a convention with Brian Friedman 5 years ago, then he shouldn’t appear on your resume. Alternatively, under the training section, you could list Brian under a category labeled “Master Classes.” (See example below.)
Master Classes: Brian Friedman, Tucker Barkley, Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Jordan Cassanova, Kenny Wormald, Yanis Marshall, Rumor Noel, etc.
This category is where you will list everything you can do besides dance and specific dance styles. You should feel comfortable demonstrating any skill listed in this category in front of casting directors. You don’t have to be the best at these things, but you must be able to fully do them. Some examples of what you might list here are sports, knitting, horseback riding, make-up application, yoga, acting, singing, driving a snowmobile, etc. Believe it or not, knowing how to drive is a skill! So if you have a driver’s license you can list that as well. Not everyone knows how to drive! Let’s look at a bad example, on the other hand. If you’ve taken a single aerial yoga class, you should NOT list aerial work amongst your skills. Again, make sure it is something you can do solely by itself.
Extra Heading (for Kids Only)
If you are just starting out in the industry, you won’t have a lot of credentials to list on your resume. For children, to help take up space you can have the heading “Awards/Scholarships” entered right above “Training” heading. This is where you will list scholarships received at conventions as well as high-point-overall awards at competitions. Do not list every award or placement for every dance you have ever done. Pick the most prestigious awards. (See example below.)
2018 Artists Simply Human Apprentice Scholarship Winner
2018 LADM Scholarship Winner
2018 Teen Dance of the Year Winner, Rainbow Dance Competition
2018 Miss Teen Dance, Kids Artistic Revue
2017 NUVO Standout Artist
2017 Hollywood Connection ICON National Finalist
2016 24 Seven Dance Convention Non-Stop Dancer Runner Up
Tips and Tricks
- Your resume should only be one page in length. Once your resume becomes full, be sure to use a smaller font, a smaller size, and smaller margins.
- Do not list recitals on your resume. We want to keep it as professional as possible. Most dancers have performed in recitals, but not everyone has won a dance scholarship!
- When formatting your resume, make sure you hit the tab button so that everything lines up accordingly. You want to keep it clean and easy to read.
- Use the same font throughout the entire resume.
- It is okay to add “extra/background” work you have done to your resume. It shows you have worked on a professional set before!
Download a sample resume now!
Stay tuned for next week where we will be learning all about headshots! Thank you and see you next time!