How to Build a Dance Career
Hey there Dance Fam! Hope you’ve been well since I last wrote to you. I’ve been well. A lot of wonderful things have been happening in my life in the last couple of months which I am so grateful for. I will, however, publish a post spilling the tea another time. For now, I thought to share some tips on how you can build a professional dance career as I have had a few people reach out for advice on the same. You could share the piece with someone you know who might be keen on dance as a career and isn’t sure where to start. And without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Start where you are
With this I mean, start dancing with whatever resources you have available to you right now. Even if the only space you have available to you at the moment is your bedroom or living room, start there. Shoot videos with your phone, use your current wardrobe for costume changes and even perform for family and friends. All you really need is your body, music and a little space and just go. Too often do we put off our dreams with the excuse that we do not have the ‘resources’ we need yet we are not making the most of what we have now. Start now. Just Dance!
2. Expose yourself to experts in your field
Make YouTube your best friend. If for instance, your dance genre of interest is ballet, what do you know about ballet? Thorough research of what the standard in that field is helps set a standard and direction for you. Please remember not to copy but emulate! Define your own style as you learn from others.
3. Dance, dance, and dance some more
Practice makes perfect. We’ve all heard this before but it really is true. Personally, I can feel the difference in my movement when I have consistently been active and when I have not. Dancers are essentially athletes and as such, it is your duty to ensure your body’s stamina is at par. The only way to do this is to dance regularly, daily if possible. You have to put in the work for your body to reward you with the results you want; being a great dancer.
4. Take professional classes
Register for dance classes as soon as you decide on what genre of dance you wish to focus on. As much as you might have a natural flair for dance, you surely do not know everything. Classes are a wonderful way to learn the CORRECT technique and grow as a dancer. Yes, it might be a little pricy but you surely understand that it is an investment, right? Great things do not come easy. Take that extra job or two and pay for those classes. I did it and I believe you can too.
5. Build your online brand
Social media can be your best friend here. Learn how to use it to brand yourself. Do not buy likes and followers as you want people who are genuinely interested in your craft to follow you. Build an authentic community (Personal Website, YouTube channel, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are my go-to). Post your videos online as a means to track your growth and progress. If well curated, social media will get you those paid gigs and partnerships, those TV and newspaper features. I can attest to that.
6. Take care of your body
Eat right, exercise, stretch, attend to your injuries (proper medical cover is essential), and rest as needed. It’s very easy to overextend yourself all in the name of hustling your way to the top. But you have to remind yourself, your body is your craft. If well serviced, it will reward you longer, if not, it could mean the difference between a two-year career and an extended career over several decades.
There’s a lot more that goes into building a dance career especially given that different dance genres have their own rules to play by. However, the above six apply to all dance genres and will certainly set you well on your way to earning a living with your passion.
I hope this piece is useful to you or someone you know if you’re looking to launch a dance career. If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. I will be sure to answer them all. And remember, if you love what you do, it will still be hard, but well worth it.
Love & Light until my next post!