A street dancer who can eat only from dancing is a small portion in every society. It does not matter where you come from.
Ultra-famous dancers who have won the reputable world competition such as RedBull BC contests have options. They can persuade dancing as professional career backed by major sponsorship.
There are probably 100 or so people who can go on living like this (take every winner of RedBull. That will be 100-year pile of winners).
That is like 0.0001% of the entire dancer population.
If the street dance became a much more mainstream, the price of each content would become $1 million. That would be the only time you can start talking about living off as a professional dancer.
There are dance-themed TV programs like "So you think you can dance". But how many of those do people actually remember next year? Probably only the top 1 or 2. It is an extra competitive career path regardless.
Of course, that takes aside the fact there are many broad categories of dancing: street, social, traditional, choreography, freestyle, etc.
One thing that is clear is only a handful of international level dancers can go after such dream.
So far, everything sounds depressing for anyone who has put hard effort into dancing and practicing. Let alone those who are thinking about beginning. However, if you use the technologies available today, there can be bright future.
A world famous dancer is already incorporating this strategy to leverage his dance to generate a living. Living with big money.
I am sure those who are reading this article have thought about the possibility of being famous professional dancers somewhere in your minds. Hopefully, this article will open your potential.
Put yourself out there
In today's age, the internet is everywhere. Everyone consumes YouTube and blogs on the daily basis.
This powerful technology connects everyone in the world at a real time. Thanks to this, it has become possible to deliver the content to an unreachable place.
But how many people are actually on the producer side?
In fact, there are not many individual dancers who are taking advantage of the Internet. It is only a handful of famous teams. This is your chance.
Create your own website
Start an official portfolio website by yourself. Like this dancesensei.com, make your own site and start spreading out your information. Even though I have been focusing on the tips for beginner dancers, you can always place videos of yourself dancing, lesson schedule, contact form, blogs, etc. It is basically everything about yourself.
By having your own website, you can send the signal to the world what kind of dancer you really are.
You can always begin with creating an account at the free hosting site like Wordpress.com. It takes less than 30 minutes to set up even if you have never been a tech wizard.
It costs you to host your own custom domain. But, it is a small amount (less than $10/mo). I also suggest you get started first, and worry about the domain later. The worst is inaction from being stressed out too much in the beginning.
If you have some web/technical knowledge, you can rent a server, install Wordpress, and register the domain all by yourself. I will not touch on the detail here, but there are tons of information if you google it.
The biggest benefit of having your own portfolio site is that you may receive offers from unexpected places. They usually come through the contact form. The inquiry can be for choreography offer, workshop offer, etc.
By submitting your work of dance on YouTube, you can expand your opportunities greatly.
The performance posted on YouTube can catch the attention of big artists, and sometimes the offer to the music video appearance comes to your door. It can be from overseas as well.
You can also monetize your own video contents if you sign a partnership with YouTube.
The reward is a little less than 0.1 penny per playback.
(Depends on the country views are coming from. It is always changing based on YouTube algorithm.)
Some dancers get over 100 million views from one video alone. It is not uncommon to encounter videos over 1 million views.
For example, this Dubstep video by WHZGUD2 has received 100 million views. That means it has generated at least $50,000 just from 1 video upload!
It will be a game changer depending on whether you record the movie you are dancing and upload it to YouTube.
It's all about who knows you
Even if you try to achieve the same success of the last person, you will not survive. There is always a way of living that suits the current timeline.
Practicing dancing aggressively till age 30, and trying to get a job is possible. But there is always another option if you try hard.
We have touched on 2 essential skills:
1. Skills to create your own sites
2. Skills to create videos
These are must-haves for the future generation.
If it is troublesome to acquire those skills, you can always pay for somebody and have it done for you. But it becomes super handy if you can do it by yourself. And saves you a lot of money.
It is worth noting that there is only few dancer still who is aware of the importance and potential of posting yourself on the web. Even the big names do not do much.
Doing nothing, then the possibility remains zero. Let's maximize your chances.