David Dulberg
August 2018

Keep Up with Your Student Loan Debt and Other Advice for Professional Dancers

Care to dance?

Let’s say you may have the body, coordination, and strength to be a dancer. You may have the ability to express emotion with your motion. Maybe you have the endurance to deal with the physical stresses of professional dancing. And you may even have the intelligence to see beyond the next step and make your performance transcend into an artform.

But, you are still not ready to dance down that road. You better be sure to have some financial chops, as well.

Those in the dance world are tripped up by all the same factors that are stepping on the toes of millennials and those who are part of Generation Z, according to Dance Magazine. Part-time dance work is unpredictable and full-time dance company work is hard to find. Student loan debt and the higher cost of living make day-to-day household activities feel like a long, slow, solemn dance with financial death.

So here are the four things you should know:

There’s a lot of unpaid dance work out there

It’s a lot like an extended internship. Unless you are well established, you are often going to be asked to dance for free. Despite promises of future paid gigs, this will most likely not lead to paid work. Don’t assume a big payday is right around the next turn.

You have to learn to be a good money manager

If you’re in for the long haul, you’re going to have to be good with managing your money, especially if you don’t have much to begin with. Keeping up with your student loan and credit card debt are crucial. You should also be focusing on saving up for a “rainy day” and improving your credit score.

Get over it: You may have to supplement

Barista. Baby Sitter. Bartender. Accept earning money where you can, when you can. There is no shame in steaming up a few lattes to make ends meet.

Don’t let financial stress cause physical stress

When your work requires your body to be in the best shape possible, you may have to sacrifice comforts for essential healthcare, bodywork, and fitness training. You may be a starving artist, but you still have to treat your body well.

Though you may not be an instant financial success by starting a career dancing, you can still be dancing on air with hard work,  persistence, and patience. Focus on keeping up with your student loan debt payments, turn that unpaid “work” into paid work, and keep your body in the best shape possible.

So, shall we dance?


Options are available to help

Most people do not realize that there are programs designed to help those who may be struggling with their student loan payments. Thousands of borrowers have trusted Ameritech Financial to be their advocate. Click here to find out what options are available. Our services could help you get back on track.

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David Dulberg

David Dulberg lives with his wife in the coastal hills above a narrow creek, mid-canopy in a redwood forest. He has been writing for non-profits for many years, and volunteers as a pilot on the Baum Squad, a tandem bike riding program for the Earle Baum Center for the Blind. He does not have a pet. This does not make him a bad person.

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