By Brian Henninger
Being a working professional dancer is one of those professions that when compared to the entire course of your life is just a small fraction of time. Your career within the dance industry may span 20,30,40, even 50 years or more, but your time as a full time performer… MUCH shorter. So how then can we even afford to be patient with our progression and the opportunities we find? If you choose to look at your dance career in this way, always so focused on how your “time” as a dancer is running out, then I assure you that you’re going to be making certain moves before you are ready, and putting yourself out there in ways that do not allow you to make the best first impression on the choreographers, producers, and agents that could potentially book you. How else can you look at it though? Time is running out and you’re trying and hustling and pushing yourself for every opportunity you can find. This is the mentality that many dancers have, and in my opinion it is the wrong mentality, or at the very least it is slightly misguided.
I believe that patience, and taking your time with your dance career is a much better way to go about things. Patience does not equal LAZY, and this is an important distinction to make. Patience is doing everything in your power for where you currently are on your journey as a dancer, while realizing that things DO NOT happen on your time. Patience is taking risks and putting yourself out there, when you are truly READY. How do you know you are ready? That comes from experience, mentorship, understanding the industry and the level that is expected of professional entertainers, and the level that YOU expect for yourself.
Check out this video where I speak a bit about patience, and why it is vital to make good. No. GREAT first impressions.
“He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin
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Cover Photo via Andrew Comiskey