Are you a professional dancer who needs a new, exciting job? Look no further than the cruise industry for opportunities.
Check out this CruiseJobFinder interview with an experienced shipboard dancer! Also, Part II delves more into jobs for dancers on cruise ships.
Tell us about yourself.
I have been dancing since I was a kid and always wanted to be in professional shows. I have done various exams in my dance disciplines.
What made you want to work in the cruise industry?
The cruise shows always look like so much fun, and I figured that traveling the world while getting paid to do what I absolutely love, is the best kind of job. I talked to a friend of mine from the one dance class I attend who had done it before and she gave me some tips and told me how much she enjoyed it.
What related experience did you have prior to being hired?
Working as a dancer on the cruise lines, means that you have to be a very good dancer. My dance experience is in various dance forms, and I have been dancing for many years for studios and have appeared in various dance shows and musicals at my local theater.
Which cruise line do you work for and which ship do you work on?
I work for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines on the Allure of the Seas
What were the job requirements set forth by the employer?
As a dancer on board the ships, you will need to learn about 3 full length productions, including musicals, Vegas like reviews, or Broadway style shows, as well as the welcome dance. Sometimes you are also required to work in the library and you might have gangway duties. Although you work mainly in the evening, you will have to be rehearsing and preparing during the day. You need to be at least 18 years old.
Did you receive any special training or preparation for this job? If so, how long did it take and what specifically did that involve?
The training is not really training, but more rehearsing. If you are not fully dance trained you will not get the job in the first place. You get about 1 month rehearsal before the ship departs so that we can learn the choreography.
Describe your work schedule?
My work schedule involves relaxing and doing nothing in the mornings, but I start getting ready for the shows in the afternoon. We usually have two shows a night with an hour break in between.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I had to prepare for the shows, work in the library and sometimes assist with getting the stage and theater ready. You should make sure that you are getting paid for any off stage duties.
What are the terms of your employment?
I usually work 6 months at a time, but work a few days on and then one or two off. For example on a 10 day cruise you might work anywhere from 4 to 9 night. This all depends on the types of dance shows they have and what position you have in the dance crew.
When your contract is up how do you line up more work?
I am given the opportunity to extend my contract or move onto a new cruise ship at the end of my term.
Is it possible to land this type of job without any direct experience?
No, you have to have an advanced dance background and should be very skilled at lots of different dance disciplines.
Besides actual 'on the job' experience, are there any personal qualities you would need in order to get into this department?
You must have a good stage presence and not be shy to perform in public. You should be friendly and professional, as well as be on your toes - literally! Be ready for anything and be able to learn choreography quickly.