If you’ve always wanted to be a professional dancer then now is the time to stop dreaming and start doing!
As I write this it is 4th July and it is Independence Day in America. I’m in the UK so this is a celebration that we know little about and just occasionally see some magnificent photos of firework displays from our American friends.
It also times well with many, many dancers all over the country graduating from college or finishing school. It’s such an exciting time to feel like you’ve worked so hard up to this point and now it’s your chance to go out and find your independence! – See what I did there!
It can also be a really scary time as all of the structure and routine is taken out of your life and suddenly you have to figure out what to do next…
So many dancers hit this point and if they don’t step straight onto a cruise ship or straight into their dream company they begin to panic and not know what to do next.
That panic and lack of knowledge will often leave them feeling lost so they take a temporary job to make ends meet.
Temporary turns to permanent and eventually they look back and realise that they completely gave up on their dreams.
I call this falling down the graduation gap!
Don’t let that happen to you.
There are three key things that you need to begin building your bridge over the gap…
Clarity, confidence and solid foundations!
I know you want to be a professional dancer but what kind of pro dancer? What’s the ultimate dream job? What’s the goal?
You need to know exactly where you are going so you can figure out how to get there. If you got in a taxi and just told the driver to go then the first thing he would ask would be,
You have to know where you are going in order to plan your route there so it’s time to figure out what those big dream jobs are.
Once you know then you can go and do your research and find out the criteria for the dream job and what you need to apply and audition.
If you don’t believe in yourself and you don’t think you can do it then why would anyone else? You can’t walk into a job interview and say,
“Hi, I’m sorry but I don’t think I’m good enough for this job and you won’t want to hire me but I thought I would come in and waste your time anyway.”
If you won’t say it then why think it? You need to start believing that you can do things and when you do get rejected for work, because it will happen- it happens to all performers, then you need to not beat yourself up and just know that that job wasn’t right for you but the right job is on its way.
Focus on your strengths and power forward towards that dream job.
If you are going to take your hobby and turn it into a professional job then it is absolutely essential that you lay yourself solid foundations to build your career on.
Your foundations will include:
- CV/ résumé
- Dance pics
- Knowing what the dream jobs are
- Knowing how to apply for them
Doing the research to find out how to get those perfect jobs, knowing what you need to have to apply (CV, headshot, showreel etc.) and having those things in place and ready may feel like a lot of work but it will be worth it in the end.
You’ve done the training… You’ve stretched, pointed, leaped and relevéd until your muscled ached and your toes bled and now it’s time to put that training to good use! You owe it to your years of hard work, late nights and early mornings as well as dragging yourself to class on the coldest days and on the sunniest evenings. You’ve made it this far so now you need to give yourself the best possible foundation to launch your dance career.
When you think of it like that a little research to get clarity around those dreams doesn’t seem so bad afterall!
Come and say hi on Instagram @darleydance and tell us about your dream job!