Here’s another job to add to the “dream occupations” list, at least for a certain type of person: being an official dancer, or what is often called a “dance host,” on Crystal Cruises, the luxury cruise line. Basically, a Crystal Cruise dancer (or Crystal Cruise dance host – dancers are hosts and hosts are dancers) does nothing but dances with solo women or men all night on board ships that sail all over the world. For their dance services, the dancers are rewarded with free travel to exotic locations around the globe on a luxury cruise ship. Not a bad way to live, right?
Until not long ago, Crystal Cruise dance hosts were all hosts, which is to say they were all men. However, this year dance hostesses will be introduced on a few select cruises that feature a lot of dancing (in the form of cha cha, swing, and waltz dancing). Two dance hostesses will join eight dance hosts on three voyages in the coming year, according to a Crystal Cruises press release announcing the new “ambassador hostesses.” (Why exactly they are called “ambassadors” – and all the Crystal Cruise dancers, not just the new women, have this title – is not entirely clear. We guess they serve as ambassadors for the cruise lines, or something like that.) The dance hosting field has been dominated by men, and continues to be dominated by men, because traditionally more women are seeking dance partners than men. The male dance hosts are all single, divorced, or widowed and are there for the enjoyment of any women on board the ship who lacks a dance partner. The men are also all older – they are at least in their 50s, and many are in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s.
In case this “dance partner” arrangement is starting to sound a little sketch with all this talk of single men and women seeking dancing companionship, we should note that the dance hosting programs across the industry are completely legitimate. Cruise lines make it clear that the dance hosts are professional and wholesome, and hosts have to be careful not to shower too much attention on any one guest, as they are on board to serve all the relevant passengers (women who want to dance) equally. Many of the women who want to dance are vacationing with spouses and merely want someone to dance with. The dance hosts are obviously accomplished dancers – that is how they got their enviable positions as waltzing globetrotters – so dancing with them is analogous to practicing an activity with someone who really knows what they are doing, like working on your swing with a golf pro.
That is, in short, what the Crystal Cruises dancers do, a group that now includes women and men. They get to travel around the world in luxury for free in exchange for dancing with enthusiastic partners. It’s not a job for everyone, but if you like to dance and travel, and assuming you are retired from your paying job, it’s about as good of a position as you could get.