The National Endowment for the Arts analyzed census data from 2005-2009 and came up with something that isn’t news to a lot of dancers: only about 28 percent of this barre-grasping crowd has a full-time, year-round job.

That might sound like the other 72 percent spends long, empty days eating Ramen and scrounging for work. However, as a story in the LA Times chronicles, this isn’t necessarily the case, either. Dancers may profess being bad with numbers (although most of us can count to eight pretty well), but many are killer freelancers. As artists interviewed for Laura Bleiberg’s story attest, this can be a very effective survival strategy.

To meet some of the pro freelancers in Los Angeles, head over to the story above. For details on the NEA report, follow the link here. It’s chock-full of interesting stuff.

Do you have stories about freelancing to stay afloat, or landing a full-time job? Feel free to share in the comments!