Dancers are featured in plays and musicals as well as performance that blurs the line between theatre and dance. Professional dancers usually train for many years. Some specialize in only one form of dance, while others study and perform multiple styles. Dancers can be employed by one company and cast in multiple shows over a period of months or years. Usually, though, they are hired on a per-show basis as a contractor. Some dancers are also choreographers or dance captains.

About the Video: Anjali Mehra, Dancer, Matthew Bourne's New Adventures

What does it take to make it as a professional dancer? Anjali Mehra, a member of Sir Matthew Bourne's New Adventures company who recently appeared in The Red Shoes at the Ahmanson Theatre, shares her insights on what it takes to build a career in dance. She also offers a glimpse of a typical day for a dancer, from warm-up exercises to make-up, and explains how she pirouetted her way into Bourne's dance company straight out of school.