What does a Dance Captain do?

A Dance Captain is a member of a company (ensemble/Dancers/Performers) who is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the artistic standards of all choreography and musical staging within a production. 

What are the main responsibilities of a Dance Captain in a musical?

The Dance Captain works closely with the Associate or Resident Director, the Stage Manager and the Choreographer. A Dance Captain differs from a Choreographer as they work with the ensemble to ensure what the Choreographer has created is up to the standard needed for the show.

See what a Choreographer does here. 

A Dance Captain must complete the following duties:

  • Set any extra rehearsal times 
  • Ensure all members of the ensemble are doing the choreography correctly and all in sync
  • Be able to demonstrate areas of the choreography for the rest of the ensemble

Most Dance Captains are also Dancers within the show. This means they get an understudy or Swing to play their part on the night so they can watch and make notes on the show. They then use these notes to rehearse with the Dancers and ensure the choreography is maintained. They may also have to help work out who plays what role if someone within the ensemble is absent.

What qualifications do I need to be a Dance Captain in a musical?

A lot of Dancers don’t have any formal training but a formal qualification would be extremely beneficial to help maintain the technique standards with the company. Your training as a Dancer will help you find opportunities to be a Dance Captain and start building your skill set. It is also unlikely that a Dance Captain would be hired without the relevant experience and skills. One of the following qualifications would be suitable:

  • Dance
  • Choreography 
  • Dance and performance
  • Musical theatre
  • Modern ballet

See training opportunities in performance here. 

What skills do I need to be a Dance Captain in a musical?

  • Physical fitness 
  • Attention to detail
  • Confidence speaking to groups of people
  • Ability to give constructive criticism
  • Ability to learn choreography and musical staging
  • Excellent communication in instructing the company of the artistic vision 
  • Ability to keep calm under pressure
  • Organisation, efficiency and good record-keeping 

What does a career as a Dance Captain look like?

Most Dance Captains begin as a member of the ensemble. The Artistic Director and Choreographer will appoint a Dance Captain for the particular piece of choreography. Throughout your career you can become an Assistant Choreographer and then a Choreographer. 

How much does a Dance Captain earn?

This amount can vary depending on the size of the production, the theatre and the number of tickets sold. 

You can also search for Dance Captain vacancies with The Stage Jobs here. 



Photo: Shutterstock

Published: 4 December 2019

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