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Dance Ranked Most Physically Demanding Job in the U.S.

Dancers certainly don't need anyone to tell them how physical their profession is. But now, we have the data to prove it.

Researchers at InsuranceProviders.com analyzed data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a national organization developed through support from the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, to determine the 20 most physically demanding jobs in the country. They analyzed the level of strength, stamina, flexibility and coordination required for a host of jobs.


Unsurprisingly, careers in hard labor—such as iron and steel workers, roofers, firefighters and construction laborers—accounted for 15 of the 20 professions on the list. But the data determined that dancers have the most physically demanding job of all, with an average combined score of 97 out of 100 for overall level of job physicality. (O*NET collected information to assign a score between 0 and 100 for each of several key aspects of a job.) Dancers scored 100 out of 100 in the stamina, flexibility and coordination categories, and 87.8 out of 100 for strength.

Athletes and sports competitors took third place—though whether this ranking will settle the dancers-versus-athletes debate once and for all is yet to be determined.

Fitness trainers and aerobic instructors, jobs that many dancers take up as side gigs to help support their artistic endeavors, ranked at #5, and choreographers also made the list at #9.

See how the top 20 jobs stack up below.

Courtesy InsuranceProviders.com

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This concept is the throughline of the curriculum at American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where dance students spend all four years honing their audition skills.

"You're always auditioning," says Santana Trujillo, AMDA's dance outreach manager and a graduate of its BFA program. On campus in Los Angeles and New York City, students have access to dozens of audition opportunities every semester.

For advice on how dancers can put their best foot forward at professional auditions, Dance Magazine recently spoke with Trujillo, as well as AMDA faculty members Michelle Elkin and Genevieve Carson. Catch the whole conversation below, and read on for highlights.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
July 2021