I would like to have characters for "dancer" engraved on a present for a female friend of mine.

What would be the most appropriate?

  • 舞娘
  • 舞蹈家
  • 舞者
  • 汉语小词典(1977):舞蹈家,舞蹈演员 for more info plug these into bkrs: 舞蹈家 #28762 专业从事舞蹈工作的人, dancer, ballerina, 她可以算一个舞蹈家。 She can be counted as a dancer. 舞蹈演员 ,通常只有训练有素的舞蹈演员才会劈叉。 Usually only a trained dancer can do the splits. 舞蹈演员随着音乐的节拍旋转。 The dancers are gyrating to the beat of the music.
    – user6065
    Mar 19, 2018 at 11:56
  • @TweedBeetle is there a more specific type or kind of dancer you are thinking of? It's a pretty broad spectrum in Chinese. A lot of more traditional words for dancing and dancer are often associated with prostitution. 舞蹈家 is the word for a dancer as a profession.
    – Mou某
    Mar 19, 2018 at 12:09
  • @user3306356 I was not aware of these associations. Thank you. I mean a contemporary dancer. Mar 19, 2018 at 12:15
  • Caution: 舞娘 sometimes refers to 'sex', nowadays only stripper(脱衣舞娘) use it.
    – sfy
    Mar 19, 2018 at 12:19
  • 舞娘 is a song's name of Jolin Tsai, I hardly heard of this word besides. 舞者 sounds a bit western, like 侍者, add a 者 after a verb, just like -er and -or suffix English. 舞者 and 侍者 are less used in China.
    – xenophōn
    Mar 20, 2018 at 7:52

7 Answers 7


If you are serious, I don't think any word like 舞娘 or 尬舞 is a good choice. (Probably 舞娘 is from the song by Jolin Tsai.) 舞蹈家 is a title for professional and experienced dancers. I don't know if your friend could be called a 舞蹈家, so if yes, just go with 舞蹈家. But 舞者 would always be a good translation.


舞娘:a female dancer who is usually very beautiful. 舞蹈家: a dancer who is a master or at least a professional dancer with well-known good reputations. 舞者:a dancer who may be professional or amateur.


My suggestion is:

尬舞女 - literally: dance-off girl.

Traditional words for dancing and dancer are often associated with prostitution. Think: 歌舞(伎), etc.

舞蹈家 is fine as a profession, but it's a bit dry and boring.

尬舞 is very trendy and modern.

  • 1
    iciba: 尬舞: Dance The two gangs break into a dance that eventually turns into a street fight. 两帮先是相互尬舞,最后则变成街头斗殴.1 大家来尬舞 get the party started
    – user6065
    Mar 19, 2018 at 13:15
  • Most usage has little or nothing to do with street fights.
    – Mou某
    Mar 19, 2018 at 13:57
  • 1
    The reason for the downvote...?
    – Blaszard
    Mar 20, 2018 at 7:30
  • could you explain more about what 尬舞女 means and what people would think of someone with an item engraved with 尬舞女? Mar 20, 2018 at 21:16
  • @TweedBeetle It carries a few different connotations so here's a few examples from youtube: [1] youtu.be/l6pQu82LYC4?t=2m55s [2] youtu.be/y2aAKn3BuoI [3] youtube.com/watch?v=Y7GgCAT4O7w [4] youtu.be/95PLfP89Has || 尬舞 ranges from these choreographed group dances to dance-offs.
    – Mou某
    Mar 21, 2018 at 4:11

舞娘 means a girl who dance for a living and kind of professional.like geisha 舞蹈家 a master in some kind of dance.like Isadora Duncan. 舞者 A general name of people who like dance.like street dancer. in your case,i suggest you figure out what kind of dance does your friend master,then intoduce she as:跳street dance的(a street dance people)


I have many questions about the nature of the gift, style of engraving you're thinking about using, and whether your female friend has a passion for dancing / dances for a living / is taking dance lessons and aspires to be a dancer, etc., and also, why do you want to engrave "dancer" on this gift.

The answers would help me to tailor a complete answer to your question. In other words, the answer to your question isn't straightforward.

The other answers here already gave you many different translations for "dancer", along with the connotations and usage. As you can see, "dancer" still carries a negative connotation in this day and age.

If you're looking to encapsulate a passion for dance, why not simply engrave "舞" ? Dance. Just Dance.


舞者 I believe is a better translation. It is not gender specific.


My suggestion : Don't, non of those are appropriate to named in a present.

Let's me put it some way : will any fan kitsch enough to give Sylvie Guillem a gift that with "excellent dancer" engraved ?

Please ask around and use proverb or metaphor for a dancer.

  • "Dancer" is different from "Excellent dancer" in that you're not judging the excellence. On the other hand, what metaphor would you suggest?
    – Frenzy Li
    Jun 12, 2018 at 6:22

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