Securing agency representation is a big deal for a dancer. As important as that moment is, it’s what happens after that sets your course as a professional. The relationship that exists between a dancer and their agent helps create the essential groundwork to build and grow dance careers.
Terry Lindholm, senior agent and founder of GTA, a leading agency for dancers and choreographers, spoke with Answers4Dancers to recommend 8 important tips that dancers should keep in mind to help easily launch a satisfying, effective, and long-lasting relationship with an agent.
Be A Communicator - As in any strong relationship, agents look for connections based on good communication. Interaction is the key to success.
Highlight Your Strengths - As a potential client, you need to make sure that your agent has a genuine interest and understanding of your skill set.
Be Realistic - Your agent should have an initial plan of how to get you acclimated into the community of working dancers and how to connect you with choreographers that are in the high percentage area of your interest zone. This requires you to be realistic about skills, have an understanding of the work environment and its players.
Have Answers - I always ask dancers what kind of dancer they are, what choreographers they think match their skills, and what their dream job is. These questions provide a starting point for defining a satisfying relationship.
Keep Training - Obviously, this will go on for the entire time you are a client but we need to add ‘business classes’ to your training regimen. We add classes that may be out of your comfort zone to challenge your skill levels and classes populated with working dancers and perhaps assistants to choreographers. This way you can be seen. Lastly, we add skill-expanding classes such as a heels class or an aerial arts class.
Have Great Photos - If an agent has properly vetted its clients the photos you have will often replace a first call audition. The photo needs to look like you but most importantly represent the kind of dancer you are.
Be a Team Player - The agent-client relationship is a true collaboration. When teamwork is present… it can be magical. At GTA we look for longevity and we’re proud that many clients have been with us for years. We have worked with dancers that the A4D community probably recognizes such as Cassidy Noblett, Martha Nichols, and Loriel Hennington. This evolution keeps representation fresh and allows us to keep growing as well.
Be Prepared - Do your homework. Research agencies and their clients. See if they are a fit for you. Get recommendation letters from established teachers, choreographers, or a current client of the agency you’re interested in. Don’t forget to read all contracts and ask lots of questions.’
In conclusion, Lindholm summarizes that strong relationships are the key between GTA and its clients. “It is not always perfect but with communication, we are able to solve problems that arise. An agent that understands who and what you are and has a genuine vision for how to be a part of your team is a great candidate to help shepherd your career,” he advises. “I cannot stress enough that I believe this is a 50/50 type of relationship.”
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