If you want to dance, get off your butt and dance...
Don’t waste time wishing and wondering. Take class. Gather info. Show up at auditions. See what choreos are responding to. Find out if you’re on the right track or just spinning wheels.
Set markers. Give yourself 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years to achieve any goal that makes sense for you. Educate yourself. Besides auditioning, seek out the different ways pros are making themselves valuable to choreographers. Invest in choices that can make you more effective in competitive situations. ISN'T THAT WHAT YOU REALLY WANT?
Be honest about your progress. If you’re not where you want to be by a given date, admit it. It’s not the end of the world. It will free you up to alter your plan or create a new one. Discover...and decide if you were meant to perform in New York City Ballet, appear on Broadway, Cirque du Soleil, Smash, Glee, or join the next world tour of 'West Side Story.'
Who influences our life choices?
Nothing matches the joy a child feels more than the affirmative round of applause that erupts from Mom, Dad, Aunt Emma, or Uncle Fred. That moment of ‘yes, we love watching you dance’ is the tip of the iceberg. It often triggers a desire that never goes away. ‘Watch me dance, Dad, tell me you like it!’
If we’re lucky, we grow up having someone in our life supporting our desire to dance. They are our ‘dream boosters.’ Be it family, friend, or teacher, they offer hope and encouragement...communicating somehow that successful outcomes are always a possibility. They build us up. They satisfy something inside. Thanks to them, the hard work we face as performers is somehow easier. If that person isn’t in your life yet, keep your eyes open. They are out there. You will recognize a dream booster when you see one.
There’s a flip side to every coin!
Yep, there are ‘dream killers.’ They can show up when you least expect them. For example: You're at the coffee shop. You tell some friends you’re dying to dance in the Ailey Company or be a professional back-up dancer. One of them says, "Well, that's the stupidest idea I ever heard." You've just spotted your first dream killer.
Often it’s better to pursue dreams quietly on your own. Once you experience a measure of success, then make the big announcement. Most dream killers are, alas, family members. Some families expect every child to choose professions that everyone approves of. Then you come along and want to dance in a ballet company or back up Justin Timberlake. Be ready for a thunderstorm.
Go rent the film “Dead Poet's Society” and ask them to watch it. It will help them understand that you have to follow your own truth…what makes you, you. Beware of stage mothers and sport Dads that want to push you into fulfilling their big dreams. Don't become a surrogate for someone else's dreams. Go for your own.
THE FAMILY THAT DANCES TOGETHER STICKS TOGETHER
Any day children and dogs dance in the backyard, is a good day for everyone.’ - Grover Dale, A4D founder
BLOC TALENT NICK BAGA TELLS DANCERS TO FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS!
NICK BAGA knew dancing would be his career the day he asked Santa Claus for tap shoes. Ever since, he’s been entertaining his way through Hollywood, busting his smooth moves on tour with Justin Bieber and alongside John Travolta in the movie version of Hairspray. Not only does Nick dance, he hosts, raps, produces music, acts, and lives out his dream of making it big in Hollywood. What else does he do? He’s always on the lookout for the next chance to inspire other dancers to FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS!
FAMILY IMPACT ON A WORKING DANCER
Justin Timberlake dancer Melanie Benz reveals the strength she acquired at home.
WHY DANA LOVES WHAT SHE DOES
MOM COMES THRU FOR HER FAVORITE DANCER
CANADIAN MOMS LOVE ANSWERS4DANCERS
DOES FAMILY SUPPORT REALLY MATTER TO A DANCER?
"BALLET GIRL" IN BILLY ELLIOT LISTENS TO DAD
PROS STEP INTO MENTORING YOUNG DANCERS
CHRISTIAN’S MOM IMPACTED HIS EARLY DECISIONS
CHRISTIAN’S CAREER SAYS PLENTY ABOUT HIS CHILDHOOD
FEAR MANAGEMENT 4 DANCERS
HOW EMPLOYABLE ARE YOU?
Nailing the first booking is great, but it’s not the whole story. It’s the second one (from the same employer) that’s likely to define how employable you really are. If repeat bookings are the real story, how does a young dancer prepare for them?
For the lowdown, we needed a reliable source. Rhapsody and Jesse Lee Santos were contacted and invited for an interview with Grover Dale at our offices. Two days later, this exchange happened:
GROVER: Both of you have worked with artists like Britney Spears, Gloria Estefan, Mandy Moore, Pink, and Ricky Martin more than once. How did you manage that?
RHAPSODY: By doing what we trained all our lives for.
JESSE: We're growing into the kind of future we always wanted for ourselves.
RHAPSODY: In order to grow it, we have to create it. No one else did it for us. Nobody holds your hand for you when you’re going for a triple pirouette. You do it.
GROVER: In other words, you put yourself in the driver’s seat?
JESSE: Yes. From the start.
GROVER: You manage all of it.
RHAPSODY: You run the factory.
JESSE: You know when to step on the gas. You know when more juice is needed.
GROVER: You recognize the curves in the road. You choose the destinations.
RHAPSODY: And the improvements you make along the way.
JESSE: We identify the challenges and meet them head on.
RHAPSODY: We look around us and adjust the way we compete. We know the odds won't always work in our favor, but our love for what we do is so strong, we're willing to make the effort.
JESSE: We listen to evaluations. "You're a little too this, you're a little too that, and you're not exactly what we're looking for this time. Maybe next time..."
RHAPSODY: We listen and learn from every experience. We get beyond wishing and dreaming. We recognize that this is a business and there’s work to be done...
JESSE: We “up” our game.
GROVER: You make it sound like you’re thriving...
RHAPSODY: Yes, we love putting ourselves into it!
JESSE: It all adds up. We love discovering what we do.
GROVER: That kind of enthusiasm attracts bookings. How does a newcomer arrive at it?
RHAPSODY: There's no one way. There's a hundred ways.
JESSE: You can't buy preparation "off the rack." It has to be customized to the individual.
RHAPSODY: No two dancers have the same technical or emotional abilities. Dancer "A" might be strong in hip hop but soft in freestyling. Dancer "A" has work to do. Dancer "B" is an amazing but gets thrown by self doubt when she’s auditioning. She has work to do.
GROVER: Dancer "C" is a strong dancer but is slow picking up. Dancer "D” isn’t confident enough to show the energy she's got inside her. Both have work to do.
JESSE: Dancer "E" has all the training she needs, but has problems with weight. She has work to do.
RHAPSODY: The package we bring to the table is critical, and it's important for newcomers to realize that booking the second job depends on more than the way we dance.
JESSE: Securing a ‘repeat booking’ tells us…we not only delivered what the choreographer wanted the first time around...we fully occupied the whole process.
GROVER: ...rehearsals, clean-ups, note sessions, last-minute polishing, on-the-set activity, performances, and behind-the-scenes socializing. Every moment counts.
RHAPSODY: Employers see everything. Bring ALL of yourself to the table. It’s just as essential for success as the years of training you put into it.