How Much Does a Professional Ballet Dancer Earn?


Ballet is an art form that has been around for centuries, and professional ballet dancers are highly skilled and disciplined performers. As such, they command impressive salaries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for professional ballet dancers in 2018 was $30,000 per year.

However, it is important to note that these figures do not reflect the full range of income potential for professional ballet dancers. The salary for a principal dancer at a major ballet company can reach up to six figures annually. Additionally, many dancers supplement their income with teaching or choreography work or through appearances in films and television shows.

The amount of money a professional ballet dancer earns depends largely on his or her experience level and the prestige of the company he or she is employed by. A principal dancer in a leading company may be offered more than $100,000 per year along with other benefits such as travel and housing expenses. Ballet teachers may earn between $20-$50 per hour depending on the level they are teaching.

In addition to their paychecks, most professional ballet dancers receive benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans from their employers. Professional dancers may also qualify for additional compensation from unions such as Actors’ Equity Association.


Professional ballet dancers are highly trained artists who demand impressive salaries. Depending on experience level, company prestige and teaching opportunities, salaries for professional ballet dancers can range from $30,000 per year up to six figures annually plus additional benefits from unions like Actors’ Equity Association.