In general, I advise using the internet to find who and what you want in dance (and in life). I believe we live in a world of “6 degrees of separation” and the resources available online are invaluable. So while someone may not know me personally, there is a very good chance they can find me through someone they already know. After that a respectful and professional approach is best. Have your materials prepared to the best of your ability, ask for help if you need it and then get them where they need to go. Ask questions to someone who knows more, don’t be shy. Find an email or a mailing address and get a contact number if you can. Be proactive and take the initiative to “audition” and push your hopes out there into the world. You must will your desire and never stop believing in yourself. I also feel a letter of recommendation from a person of respect on your behalf goes a long way. After sending out your material, don’t be too aggressive but ideally follow up to try and get a status report. The worst is thinking someone isn’t interested and they never even got what you sent. So if possible try and get a confirmation that everything has at least been received. If you do not hear back be proactive and follow up. Perhaps the timing isn’t ideal, but don’t become frustrated; keep improving your craft and doing everything you can, that ‘s all you can do. AND If you really want to get in touch with me and you are reading this, here is my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I think everyone is looking for dancers that want to learn as much as they can as often as they can. Train your body and soul from head to toe. A good dancer is a smart dancer and they must keep developing their art form and craft. Technique goes a long way but you must also posses things like pride, passion, emotional conviction and honesty. In the end you are ultimately your best teacher and therefore you have to know what makes you better. Only you are responsible for the dancer you wish to become. If you are comfortable, chances are you are not growing, so stay outside your comfort zone. Having that constant drive within yourself will eventually be your best investment. This determination and promise to yourself creates the magic. In the end, the magic is what people want to see and buy tickets for.
I always wanted to be on stage somewhere, even when I was a kid. Eventually when I was older my philosophy was to take the most challenging opportunity at the time regardless of whether it was with a big or small company (contemporary or classical) and learn on the job. I loved absorbing new information and wanted to work with everyone. This kept me hungry and busy; it was a gypsy lifestyle but it worked for me. I traveled a lot and have had a blessed career.
Be polite, respectful and dedicated to everyone, from the time you enter the building, to the time you leave. You are at the beginning of your career, push yourself and thrive. Remember the entire staff is there to help, so don’t take them for granted. Have realistic expectations and gravitate toward the positive personalities.
Great question, I think… most dancers don’t have a specific career direction to go in, or a company for that matter, that they want to join. So if they do have that knowledge, of where they wish to dance, they should do everything in their power to make that happen. Starting with a summer program if offered by that company, into full year enrollment if possible, with the hope that eventually it will lead to joining the company of their dreams. If you don’t have a company of your dreams yet, watch different clips online and study various company websites and the bios of the dancers. Tune into how they were trained and compare that to you, making sure you are on a similar path. If everyone in the company has ballet, contemporary, and JAZZ training and you are only focusing on ballet and contemporary, chances are you will be at a disadvantage. Ultimately, the more you know, the more you can excel in a multitude of disciplines and the more opportunities you will have. Learn as much as possible and then you can focus specifically on what you want. In the end, be open to all possibilities; if you are able to become a working professional dancer, you are blessed and already so special.
Try your hardest to love what you do, then it won’t feel like work.