15 TRUTHS ABOUT BEING A PROFESSIONAL DANCER
1. Dancing is difficult. No dancer has ever been successful based only on their innate talents. Dancers are artists and athletes. The world of dance today is akin to extreme sports. Innate ability and talent will only help us until a certain time. Dancers must work hard and persistently. Dancers give years of their lives plus sweat, tears and sometimes blood to get the honor and pleasure of performing on stage.
2. You won’t always get what you want. We don’t always get the role we want, get the job we want, hear the compliments we want, earn the money we want, etc., etc. This teaches us humility and respect for the process, the art form and the masters we have chosen to teach us. The sooner we accept this, the sooner we can succeed. We will never be 100% sure that it will work, but we can always be 100% sure that we will not achieve anything if we do not work.
3. There are so many things You don’t know. There is always more that a dancer can learn. Even our least favorite teachers and choreographers can teach us something. The minute we think we know everything, we stop being a valuable asset.
4. Maybe not tomorrow. A dancer never knows when their dance career will suddenly end …, studios close, careers end due to injuries, car crashes, deaths … Dance every day like it’s your last performance. Don’t save the fun of dancing just for the stage. Do even the usual exercises in the classroom with passion!
5. There’s a lot you can’t control. You can’t control who hires You, who fires You, who likes Your job, who doesn’t. Don’t waste your talent and energy worrying about things you can’t control. Focus on honing your skills, become as good a dancer as You can be. Keep an open mind and positive attitude.
6. Information is not true knowledge. Knowledge comes with experience. You can discuss the task a hundred times, go to 1000 classes, but without performing on stage once, we will have only a philosophical understanding of dance. Find a way to get to the stage. You should know that such performances are not by hearsay to call yourself a professional dancer.
7. If You want to be successful, prove your worth. The easiest thing that doesn’t require work is to prove to Your employer that he doesn’t need You. Instead, be indispensable. Come early, know your material, be prepared, keep your opinion to yourself if it is not asked about and above all, be ready to work hard.
8. There will always be someone who will be better than You/be better than yourself. Whether it’s work, or money, or role, or trophies, it doesn’t matter. Instead of worrying about what others are doing around You, focus on what You are good at, what you should be working on, what makes You happy as a dancer.
9. You can’t change the past. Everyone has a past. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has great moments they want to enjoy. “Would you keep a piece of garlic in your mouth just because You liked potatoes last night?”- “Boston Common” television series. Dance is an art form that forces us to focus on the present. To be a master in dance, we have to be in this moment; it happens that we fail, we get injured. If this happens, see paragraph 12.
10. The only person who can make You happy is yourself. Dancing for ourselves and for others can’t make us happy. The basis of our happiness is our relationship with ourselves, not how much money we make, what role we play, what Studio we dance in, or how many competitions we win. I’m sure these things can affect our mood, but ultimately, who we are for ourselves makes us happy.
11. There will always be people who don’t like you. Dancers are all on display when they perform. And especially in the world of the Internet there are a lot of critics. You can’t be liked by everyone. No matter what You do, there are always those who think it should be done differently. So concentrate on doing what comes from the heart. What others think and say about You is not all that important. What really matters is how You feel.
12. Sometimes You will fail. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, following the best advice, being in the right place at the right time, we still fail. Failure is part of life. Failure can be an incentive to our greatest growth and progress in learning. If we had never failed, we would never have appreciated our successes. Be prepared to fail. When this happens to You (because it will happen to You), accept the lesson that comes with failure.
13. Sometimes You will work for free. Every professional dancer has ever worked without pay. If You are offered to work for free, You must be sure that You really agree to it. There are many good reasons to work for free, and there are also many reasons not to work for free. Ask yourself if there is a good reason, if it will bring You a good experience, if it will bring You joy. Stipulate all financial parties at once and completely and do not expect payment at the end.
14. Repetition is a good thing. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insane. If You keep doing what you’re doing, You’ll keep getting what you’re getting. If You continue to attend the absolute minimum required classes and do not practice further, do not complain to your teacher that You are not moving to the next level. If you want to go beyond Your comfort zone, you have to force yourself to go beyond your own limitations.
15. You will never feel 100% ready. No one ever feels 100% ready when the time comes. Dancers must be willing to take risks. From performing dangerous stunts to traveling the world with a new dance team, from trusting a new partner to trying to learn a new form of dance, dancers need to have a flexible mind and mindset, as well as the body. The greatest opportunities in our life force arise when we grow out of our comfort zone. This means you won’t feel completely comfortable or fully prepared.