Being a creative spirit, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do in life after she left school.

“All I knew were my passions and my strengths; I had no distinct career outline out nor did I meticulously plan where I would end up,” Anna said.

Because she had been dancing from a young age, she chose to do a Bachelor of Performing and Screens Arts, majoring in Contemporary Dance, at Unitec in Auckland, which then led her to freelancing jobs in Auckland and Wellington.

“Deciding to attend a tertiary institution dedicated to exploring the many facets of performance really changed my perspective. It showed me that making a career within any given art form is possible if you are dedicated and inquisitive.”

Now she can share her creative passion with other talented people when she collaborates on projects.

“Working closely with equally passionate musicians, actors, visual artists and other dancers means the scope of your outcome broadens immensely, and the result is textured and fulfilling.”

Anna’s advice to aspiring dancers is to be professional and versatile. Maintaining a good reputation is valuable in the performing arts.

“The performance world is so interconnected and any project may lead into another, if you stay open to adapting within situations and learning new skills. I’ve toured with Wellington-based dance companies, produced and directed my own dance projects, choreographed for music videos, done photo shoots and fashion shows – you just have to be open and persevere.”

Average pay

  • There are no set pay rates for dancers; they are usually paid per project or performance.
  • Full-time classical dancers can usually earn $30–$55k per year.

(Source: Careers New Zealand)

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