Dance—An expression of an intensified sense of life, arising from an inner perception that stimulates both mind and body. It is man’s natural and primitive means of expression and has been a part of the life of every tribe, society, and celebrations. There is a myriad of styles of dance such as ballet, hip-hop, tap, jazz and modern to name a few. Martha Graham, considered being the mother of modern dance defines “dance as a force that enables you to find yourself and lose yourself at the same time”. If reading these lines gave you goosebumps and you want to dedicate your life to a career in life, this career counselling platform will be the perfect mentor to help you land on the moon. This blog will help you understand how to choose a career in dancing?
Before we tell you how to build your career as a professional dancer, here are a few ground realities you have to reckon with:
- Fierce competition exists among professional dancers for available jobs.
- Some risk of injury is present with this career since it is physically demanding.
- Work hours are highly irregular and may include days of rehearsal followed by evenings of performance, seven days a week.
- It often requires travel as a professional dancer. Tours may last for months away from home.
- Dancers must display creativity, teamwork, and persistence. They need balance, knowledge of dance techniques and physical stamina.
- Salaries of those talented and lucky enough to make dancing a profession can often vary widely, depending on several factors. It is possible that more talented dancers can make more money as can more experienced dancers. Dancers from large production houses or shows may earn more money than small production houses.
If you are still on this page that means that dancing is truly your passion and you are ready to make a career out of it. As a career counselling platform, we have talked to the best in dance and have compiled below the tips they swear by:
Practice, Practice and more practice-
A dancer walks dance, talks dance, and dances dance!! Once you have found your style and started your lessons, you need to put that knowledge into action. Get on YouTube and groove to your favourite tunes. There are countless videos and tutorials to help you master your style. Keep practising in front of a mirror and when you are more confident in front of a crowd. Keep trying new things and strive to improve your posture and techniques. We as a career counselling platform can help you find the right style of dance suited to your taste and find you the best classes suited to your passion and budget.
Consider an Undergraduate Degree-
Although a college education is not a must for a dancing career, undergraduate programs in theatre arts with dance as the focus provides students with the opportunity to fully explore the many various dance genres and become proficient in a certain favoured discipline. In school, it exposes a dancer to various areas of interest such as choreography, contemporary dance trends, movement analysis, dance history, even physical therapy techniques, to name just a few. The relationships experienced, and the friends made who share similar interests and aspirations go a long way in the life of a dancer.
Here is a list of top colleges for dance in India.
- Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore
- Veve Dance, Mumbai
- NalandaNritya Kala Mahavidyalaya, Mumbai
- Ballet Repertoire Academy of India, Mumbai
- Sri Thyagaraja College of Music and Dance, Hyderabad
Never take your body for granted-
Having talked about practice it is always important to know your body and its limits. Dance is a physically demanding and you require a lot of stamina. So skip no meals and make sure your body is in top shape by regular exercise, eating a lot of proteins and fat. Be always alert to any pain or injury. Many a dancing career could be ruined due to an untreated injury. Have fun with the whole experience and learn to relax through meditation.
Keep an open mind-
In a demanding and competitive profession like the arts, it is important to keep an open and positive attitude. Learn to accept the losses that might come with the gains. A fruitful dancing career may come after decades of struggle and hard work. But it is important to keep your head high and dance your way out of all your troubles. Explore all the different techniques, classes, teachers, choreographers available to you. Accept constructive criticisms from your peers and mentors but stay away from the haters.
Have a plan-
Starting out, it’s OK if you don’t have a plan. Attend auditions and network. There are many career counselling centres that can help you get in touch with a specific company or choreographer you would like to work with, get their schedules and attend any workshops or classes. Try to host your own show. Find a career coach to get you started. There are many career options for a professional dancer:
- Perform in theatres and dance troupes.
- Perform in movies and music videos.
- Become a choreographer.
- Open a dance studio and become a dance instructor.
- Work in arts administration for a dance company or theatre
- Be a costume or clothing designer for dance performances.
- Become a physical therapist or dance medicine, specialist
- Work as a yoga or Pilates instructor
- Become a dance photographer or videographer
Be Tech Savvy-
In this era of innovative technology, it is important for any dancer to stand out from the crowd. Try to start your own YouTube channel to showcase your unique talents and help get noticed by future employers. Social media marketing through Facebook and Twitter is very important for dance employment.
There are many online career counselling platforms that guide you in self-marketing and provide tips in building websites and organizing meetups. As you grow, there are many platforms to help you network and connect with agents and companies. There are many online platforms that help you get auditions, get connected and stay informed.
Have a backup-
It might take years of toil to be on top of the world. You should be prepared for many years of financial struggle and irregular paychecks. It won’t hurt to have an alternate income source on the side like a small business or a day job so you don’t have to rely too much on your loved ones and can put yourself through the expenses of a dance school, agents and marketing costs.
Last but not least, some things to know when you are a parent or mentor to a rising dancing star:
Your favourite person longs to be the next Michael Jackson or Shobana. They require your support, encouragement, and understanding. Our career counselling platform also offers the life coaches of dancers the right tools to help them help their mentees make the right choices. They will need not only financially like helping out with living expenses, tuitions, the cost of an agent or an advertising agency and more than ever, but they also need your love and constructive feedback.
So what are you waiting for getting your dancing shoes on and DANCE BABY!