By Brian Henninger
Today I want to share a recent experience I had traveling for work and why being prepared to travel at a moments notice is important for the professional dancer. Most of the time as a dancer in NY or LA you will be doing gigs in town, music videos, promotions, commercials, live performances ETC. At some points in your journey as a dancer you will get the opportunity to travel nationally and internationally to work. Most of the time these opportunities will come with weeks of notice and several rehearsals, giving you time to prepare for your show and also to pack strategically for the time you will be away, but sometimes a gig will come up that gives you absolutely no notice and requires you to leave sometimes even on the same day. In these circumstances your preparedness and poise as a professional dancer will allow you to be successful.
Have your travel documents ready: This seems like a common sense thing right? Make sure your passport is up to date. Get your passport renewed ahead of time if it is going to expire. Keep a second form of identification with you at all times. These are the common sense parts of having travel documents but you also need to make sure you don’t have anything preventing you from traveling to certain places. I recently just did a gig where i traveled out of the country and one of the dancers on the gig unfortunately was not able to travel out of the country for no fault of their own, they just happened to have a passport from another country which for some reason would not allow travel to this certain place where the gig was taking us. He lost out on a good paying gig and a great experience simply because he wasn’t aware of an issue that existed with his passport. Be aware of these things as much as possible so you can avoid this type of unfortunate situation. I wish I could tell you that this didn’t happen often but I have heard several similar stories of dancers being stopped because of visa issues or even warrants from unpaid parking tickets. Make sure you are on top of your personal affairs so that they don’t hinder you from traveling and living your dreams.
Buy an International adapter for outlets: A good investment for anyone who might be traveling abroad and something almost no one thinks about before getting to the airport and having to pay way to much for one. Go to a electronics store and grab an adapter any brand should work fine just make sure it includes a surge protector. Some brands sell adapters without surge protectors and using those can fry your electronics because other countries use different voltage levels compared to america.
Turn your cellphone data services OFF: Make sure in addition to using airplane mode you also go into your cellphone’s settings and make sure you turn your data services off if you want to avoid expensive roaming charges. Some of the latest cellphones are programmed to automatically search for Wifi signals but after leaving that wifi signal they will switch from airplane mode to roaming because they are programmed to automatically search for signal. This can cause you to receive tons of emails and text messages which all cost more money because of data rates in other countries. Make sure you keep all data services off unless you have an international plan to avoid a nasty cellphone bill.
These are a few tips I have learned in my time traveling abroad. I CAN NOT stress enough the importance of having your travel documents up to date and verifying if you have any restrictions on your travel. Opportunities to travel and dance are amazing, and don’t come often. Be prepared so you can make the most of it and really enjoy the experience of living your dream!
Photo Via: www.metwashairports.com