One of the best ways to approach River North, especially if you are a dancer in college, would be to audition for our summer programs or attend a one day workshop, both taking place in Chicago. We always see dancers we are interested in in these programs that we like to cultivate. If we see progress or even if the dancer is ready for a company position we obviously show interest in one of many appropriate ways; Ask them to return and train with us more, offer them a summer apprenticeship, offer them a season apprenticeship, or ultimately join the company.
In general, I would say to research the particular company or choreographer, go to see them perform and when you have the opportunity to take company class or audition bring that passion you have for that co or work.
Overall, I’m going to say things that I find I am not seeing a lot of in college trained dancers.
Work hard!! Work on your ballet technique. No matter what body of work you prefer, the knowledge and application of ballet technique will always help the most contemporary and avant garde dance career.
Build responsibility and accountability in all aspects of life. it is so important to take care of your self which in turn takes care of your behavior towards others (whether it is your peers or your superiors) I always tell the dancers that once respect is for oneself, it translates into respect for each other and obviously for the art form they are partaking in.
My other HUGE one is versatility!!! Keep your mind open to all kinds of work, for the versatile dancer, I find to be the most exciting.
Work on non-judgement as a whole, with yourself and obviously with each other in the studio and on stage.
Talent is obvious, but who you are as a person is also incredibly important, the above is important as it says something about who you are as human being and not just the body with which you dance. Directors and choreographers have feelings for these things, in class, in rehearsal and they can tell if someone is not being genuine. Directors and choreographers are not only looking for talent but people. People who will get along and make good art happen. It is a difficult balance, especially when as a dancer you are trying to impress the person in the front of the room. The true tool is to simply remind yourself to be who you are and let that shine through. Everything somehow works (style, technique, expression, artistry) when that happens.