-by Brian Henninger
In a dance industry that is full of what ifs and second guessing yourself it is important to make sure your always doing as much as you can to put yourself in a position to succeed and capitalize on opportunities presented to you. One of the most important principals to understand as a professional dancer is the simple act of just “being present”. The term “out of sight out of mind” is one that definitely applies to dance so the more you can be present within the scene the more opportunities you will be around for at least in the beginning of your career when building connections is the most important.
Make an effort to have your ear to the pulse of what is happening around you. Know what events are taking place, know what teachers are also working choreographers, and most importantly make sure you are attending those classes and events at least semi regularly. Consider this, your average working choreographer who is also teaching classes probably sees over 100 dancers every day. People introduce themselves, take their classes, audition for them on an ongoing basis. so the only way for you to cut through that sea of other people is to simply start being present in that choreographers “world”. Become a regular, show them that you have work ethic and are really interested in working on projects they are apart of. Don’t be desperate though. This is a fine line to walk between being really persistant and motivated, and being that annoying person always in a choreographers ear asking for opportunities. The more centered and grounded you are in yourself as a dancer and person the less likely it will be that you will come off as desperate.
The other side of that coin is to just be around the scene more. Make sure your taking class regularly, checking out shows that are happening, and making an effort to be friendly with EVERYONE. This isn’t high school any more and the time to just stick with your own clique is over. The more of a genuine, friendly, and reliable person you can be the more genuine, friendly, and reliable people you will attract to you and along with them opportunities and circumstances that will lead you to where you want to go.
Whats the moral of the story? BE AROUND. Thats really it! just being around will put you in the position for more opportunities, people, and circumstances to come to you. so make an effort to take class often, Check out shows, and be friendly with everyone. It really is true that its all about who you know and your relationships, Don’t take that lightly!
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