How to Become a Successful Dancer

3 Key Tips for Outside of the Dance Studio

How do you become a successful dancer?

A dance teacher can help you become a better dancer

Well, a friend of mine was telling me that she wanted to be a Rockette and that she was going to the camp this summer in New York City. When I asked her what else she was going to do to move towards her dance career, she wasn’t’ sure.

Does this sound familiar?

Well, the dance world is highly competitive so what do you need to know to become successful?

Of course, you need to train in various forms of dance and work on perfecting your technique EVERY DAY. You can bet that your future competition is in the studio practicing for hours. And while your training is key, there are also some key things you need to have in order to reach your dance goals…

3 Key Things You Need to Be a Successful Dancer (Outside of the dance studio)

 

1. Have a good work ethic.

 

How often do you think about your dance training and technique? While you may work hard at the studio on your technique, you also need to work hard at the other things in life that will make your dance training possible.

For example, how are you going to pay for your food, housing and classes in the future?

You need to do well in school and be able to get some kind of job that will pay for your “necessities” until you have some dance paychecks coming in. Work hard at school so you can find work after you graduate. Then, work on various skills pertinent to your job (social media, technology, administrative, telephone, customer service, etc.) so that you can get the highest pay possible.

In life and the dance world, you need to work hard and do the best at whatever you spend your time doing.

2. Stay healthy and fit.

While you may see your dance career as being off in the future, what would happen if you got the chance of a lifetime now to dance? Are you ready? How does your body look? Are you in good, physical condition to handle long rehearsals, performances and more?

If you want to be a successful dancer, start working on your physical condition now. You want to be at the right weight for your body type and develop your stamina and strength. This way, you will be ready for any auditions that come your way. Plus, you will be able to practice longer and harder to improve your technique!

3. Be positive.

If you look at the negative side of things and have a tendency to be jealous of others, it’s time to turn things around. The dance world is highly competitive and unpredictable so it’s important to be able to keep a positive attitude when things get tough. Also, your attitude shines through at auditions and can give you a competitive edge.

To be more positive, work on your dance technique and body so that you can be the best you can be. These goals will help you focus so you have less time to think about how others are “better than you.”

It can also help to get a supportive group of friends and family members together to help you feel better about what you are doing. And try not to be too hard on yourself. Remember, you are very lucky to be able to dance and should always be thankful for this gift.

Work on your Dance Training and More.

Being a successful dancer takes much more than talent. You need to work hard at all aspects of your life. This includes staying in the best, physical and mental condition possible. This way, you will be able to focus on your craft and be the best dancer possible. Plus, your positive attitude will help you through the rough times, help you win more auditions and make you a better person overall!

Now, what are you going to do today to start making your dance dreams a reality?

For more help and tips, please see these articles.

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Are You Ready for your Close Up?

The phone rings, and a well-known producer at one of your targeted media-venues wants to interview you via Skype video in 30 minutes. That’s fantastic! But wait…are you ready?

If so, this could be a great, publicity opportunity for you… whether you are a dancer, teacher or studio owner. If not, this could be a PR nightmare waiting to happen.

With this in mind, here are three ways to deal with that potential phone call within minutes…

3 Tips to a Better, Video Interview

  1. Prepare bullet points.

The more time you have to create your bullet-points and practice what you are going to say in advance, the better. But if you’re short on time, right down the top, unique benefits of your products and services.

And if you asked the producer what she or he is going to ask you about in advance (always do this!), write down potential, bullet points for the answers you will give. Print your list using a big font you can easily see, and tape your bullet-points right next to your video camera.

  1. Check the mirror and your space.

Look in a mirror to make sure you don’t have food in your teeth and that your hair is in place. Sit in front of your video for a test run, and see what is appearing in the background and if the lighting is correct. Clean up any clutter that will appear on the video, and make sure the lighting flatters you. Also check the sound quality and place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door.

If you have time, you may want to put on a company shirt or add some company products behind you so they appear on the video. But remember… your appearance, and what appears in the video, all depend on the brand image you want to present.

  1.    Breathe and try to act normal.

You may be nervous if you haven’t done many of these interviews. Just try to breathe and look into the camera like you are talking to another person. Glance at your bullet-points if needed, but just remember to look straight at the camera… not your computer screen.

And if you don’t know how to answer a question, simply state that you don’t know the answer and will need to get back to the interviewer on that particular question. You can also transition to a different topic that you feel comfortable discussing.

You’re Ready!

Requests for video interviews may come up quickly. Try to prepare in advance as these can be excellent opportunities to promote your products and services to a wide audience.

But if you don’t have a lot of preparation time, simply write down bullet-points of tentative responses, check your appearance on the video in advance and act like you are speaking to another human being when you look into the camera. This way, you’ll be ready to go and look professional… even if you are a nervous-wreck inside!

What are you going to do today to prepare for your next, media interview?

For more information, please see these articles.

 

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Turn Those Resolutions Into Dance Goals

Learn to be more flexibleBe a more successful dancer this year!

Now that 2014 is in full gear, what does that mean to you as a dancer?

Yes, you know all about resolutions and how most people break them by February each year. With this in mind, why not make goals instead of resolutions?

Here are a few tips to start your year off the right way and accomplish more with your dance career:

1. Define your future.

What do you really want to accomplish as a dancer?

It’s one thing to dream about being on Broadway, dancing in a film or television show or opening your own studio. It’s another thing to write down exactly what you want and actually take action on it. Your dreams may be big, but don’t let that stand in your way.

Figure out each step you need to take to get closer to your dream. Write down goals for this week, this month, this year, and the next five years.

Set timelines and try to finish each step by each deadline. You’ll be amazed at how your dreams will start to materialize!

2. Work hard.

Well, I hate to say it, but even if you think you’re a good dancer, there is always someone better out there. Being a professional dancer is a lot of work.

You need to take dance classes, practice and study your dance technique EVERY DAY. Just dancing around your house or with friends does not count.

Don’t kid yourself. If you really want to be a dancer, you’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of you. But if you reach your goals, it’s completely worth it!

3. Go for it!

With all the work involved in becoming a dancer, or opening your own studio, the process can be overwhelming. Plus, many naysayers will tell you that you can’t do it.

If you really want to have a career in dance, don’t let anyone or anything get in your way. Focus on your goals and stay positive!

Being a dancer is a lot of work, and you’ve got to expect many hours of frustration, physical and mental exhaustion, pain, and negativity from others. It’s a very difficult career, but if you really want to be part of it, all of your hard work will pay off!

Now, go dance and work to be one step closer to your dreams!

For more dance tips, click here.

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10 Quick Tips for Overcoming Dancer Nerves

All dancers get nervous before a big audition, performance or advanced class. To help with this, here are…

10 Quick Tips for Overcoming Your Nerves

  1. Take some deep breathes (You hear this all the time, but it helps.)

  2. Focus on one thing you want to accomplish.

  3. Stretch extensively beforehand so your body is ready to go.

  4. Think positive thoughts so your mind is ready too.

  5. Look at this as a learning experience and just do the best you can.

  6. Stay away from negative people.

  7. Dedicate your performance to someone else.

  8. Have a grateful attitude (You are lucky to have this opportunity!)

  9. Picture yourself doing a great job before you start.

  10. Let it go! This is not the end of the world. It’s dance!

I’ll write more about these tips in the future, but this will give you a “cheat sheet” to review before you leave for your next big audition, performance or dance class!

Knock ’em dead!

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Your Dance IS Improving!

Do you ever feel like you are practicing like crazy, but no matter how hard you work, you are not improving?

Well, as a fellow dancer, I can tell you this is normal. While you may not see improvements, others can. We tend to get so close to what we are doing, that we can’t see our technique getting better.

But don’t let this frustrate you. Instead, follow these simple guidelines to stay on track with your dance training.

1. Set class goals.

In addition to your overall, dance-career goals, it’s important to set small goals every time you take a class.

For example, figure out what you want to work on prior to stepping into the dance studio.

Then, focus on that one thing throughout class. It may be keeping your legs straight in a kick, putting your arms in the right place when you turn, holding your head up, etc.

This way, you can improve your dancing, one movement at a time.

2. Take notes.

When you finish a class, try to write down what you learned as soon as possible.

Did your instructor yell at you about something?

Did you see another dancer do something cool?

Did you fix your balance because you moved your body in a certain way?

Take notes, and then review them on a regular basis. It takes some effort, but you’ll be amazed at how much it will help you remember key points and improve your dancing overall.

3. Give yourself a break.

Did you have a terrible class, rehearsal or audition? Don’t worry. We all have good dance days and bad dance days.

Think about what you learned, write it down and then let go of the negativity. After all, you can take a brand new class tomorrow and do a better job.

Stay positive and watch what happens!

You are Improving!

If you take classes regularly and practice on your own, you are improving… even if you feel like you are getting worse!

Dance can be frustrating at times, but don’t let sweat, tears, pain, and negativity get in the way of the learning process.

Continue to work towards your goals. Then, you can truly enjoy the art of dance, improve your technique and become the dancer of your dreams!

For more help, see these dance tips.

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3 Ways to Deal with Rejection as a Dancer

You just got cut at the audition and lost yet another dance part to someone else. You are either too tall, too short, not a good enough dancer, or just not right.

Dancers, Don’t Let Rejection Get to You!

If you are going to be a professional dancer, you are going to have to learn how to deal with rejection. Yes, it hurts and makes you feel crummy… but it doesn’t have to. Instead of looking at it in a negative way, think about these five tips the next time you lose a part…

3 Ways to Deal with Rejection as a Dancer

  1. Review your moves.

Although your may have done everything perfectly at the audition, you can still review what you did. How did you act in front of the casting director? How quickly did you pick up the choreography and do what they asked you to do? Think about everything you did and what you could have done better. Take notes, and remember them for future auditions.

  1. Think about the other dancers.

When you were at the audition, were there any dancers that really stood out? Why? Did they look really good? Were they fantastic, dance technicians? Did they know the casting director? Did they have the “it” factor?

By thinking about the other dancers there, you may start to understand why you were rejected while other dancers weren’t. Plus, you can think about the highlights of their auditions and use these “insider tips” as you move forward in your dance career.

  1. Move on!

After an audition and rejection, get over it and move on. Let yourself be unhappy for a set amount of time, and then LET IT GO! There will be other opportunities to shine, and this part just wasn’t supposed to be. If you dwell on the negative, you are not helping yourself at all.

Keep learning, trying and dancing!

As a professional dancer, you need to learn from all of the auditions you go to and take some kind of knowledge away from each one. Whether you see some cool dance moves another dancer is doing, a great outfit or some interesting choreography, it’s up to you to stay positive.

There are so many things out of your control as a dancer that you can’t take it personally when you lose a part to someone else. You’ll get burnt out and be very unhappy!

Instead, think about how lucky you are to pursue a dance career. Keep working on your technique and performance levels, and continue growing as a dancer. When the time is right, you will get the part. But in the meantime, think of an audition as a learning experience. This way, the rejection will only help you grow stronger!

Good luck, and for more dance audition tips, click here.

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Dancers, Should You Learn How to Sing?

It may be the secret weapon you need!

You may be focused on your dance career and care about nothing else right now, but you may be missing out on a secret weapon. If you haven’t thought about learning to sing, now is the time to put it on your “to do”list.

Why?

3 Benefits of Being Vocal

1. Dancers who sing have more audition opportunities.

There are a lot of other men and women out there who want to dance professionally. The competition is fierce, and there are only so many parts each year for all of the dancers out there.

Why not increase your chances of working more by learning how to sing?

Once you know how to sing, you can go to all of the musical theater, theme park, cruise, and other auditions that call for “dancers who sing.”This opens up your audition opportunities by the hundreds!

And try not to make it difficult. Just learn to sing a ballad and an upbeat Broadway number well. Then, show the casting directors that you are not only a fabulous dancer, but you can sing too!

2. Dancers who sing can make more money.

Once you land a job as a dancer and a singer, you will make more money. Not only do the unions usually call for you to be paid more when you provide several talents on the set of professional productions, but there are also separate recordings that go on while you are dancing. You’ll get paid for your dancing AND your recorded voice.

3. Dancers who sing can travel more.

Think about all of the great musicals and performances going on across the world. If you can sing and dance, you may find yourself doing a European tour, performing on a cruise to Greece, on location for a movie musical or television commercial, and more.

While being in a dance company gives you the opportunity to perform worldwide, why not increase your chances of having more travel opportunities by learning to sing?

Have Fun Singing.

While it’s great to become a working dancer who can act and sing, or a triple threat, there are so many other benefits that go along with learning to sing.

You can express yourself in a new way, sound better during holiday caroling, sing a baby to sleep, and just have fun singing. Plus, it’s always a great confidence-builder to know you can sing, especially if you see someone at an audition who is a great dancer but can’t sing as well as you can!

And who knows? You may find that you have a fantastic voice and end up getting more work singing than dancing! Give singing a shot. You have nothing to lose, and many, many benefits to gain.

For more information about this topic, please send me your comments and check out more articles about the professional, dancer’s life here.

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Have Dancer Depression? How to Get Over It

“I don’t want to go to class.

“I don’t feel like dancing.

“I’m a horrible dancer, and everyone is better than I am.

“I’m sick of being cut at auditions.

Do any of these statements sound familiar? The life of a dancer is hard, and we’ve all had these thoughts go through our head at some point.

When this happens, it’s important to stop being negative and change your mindset, but how do you do that? Here are:

3 Ways to Get Out of Dancer Depression


1. Remember Your Love of Dance.

Why did you get into dance in the first place? It’s probably something you love to do that lets you express yourself in a very special way.

Start thinking about the art of dance and why you dance. With all of the classes, rehearsals, soreness, and stress involved in a dance career, it can be very easy to forget your love of dance. Take some time to rekindle your spirit. Put aside all of the outside elements and remember why you love to dance.

2. Get Over It.

We are all allowed to feel sorry for ourselves once in awhile, but don’t let negative emotions get the best of you. Give yourself a time limit to be sad. For example, if you bomb an audition, have a good cry, punch a punching bag or eat a special treat, and then stop the negativity at a certain point.

Tell yourself that when you wake up tomorrow morning, you are not going to dwell on the negative event any longer and move on. It may even help to make a list of all the things you are thankful for. By writing down all of the things you have, you’ll realize how lucky you really are.

Use the bad experiences you have in dance to make you stronger. Dance is all about rejection and working hard to perfect your craft. Develop a hard shell so you can accept negative experiences and turn them into a driving force to make you a better dancer.

Many times, you may be the best dancer at an audition and not get the part. Realize that you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control your emotions.

3. Get Support.

If you are having a hard time controlling your emotions and going through a bad time, reach out to supportive friends and family. And if you don’t have anyone to talk to, look for a dancer’s forum online, school counselor, support group, or therapist.

It’s important to get your emotions out and work through them. The world of dance can be very emotional so accept the fact that sometimes you are going to need outside help to get you through the rough times.

By talking to someone, you’ll feel better about yourself and start to feel positive once again.

You Can Do It!

If you love to dance and are pursuing a career as a dancer, you are going to run into many tough situations that will test you physically and emotionally. When it gets to be too much, go ahead and have a good cry, eat a special treat, and/or talk to a friend. You’re allowed to be sad. Just don’t let your negative emotions get the best of you.

The struggles you go through can make you a better, stronger dancer. It’s up to you to change your mindset and make the best of each situation.

For more tips on having a dancer’s life, click here.

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How to Overcome Dance Audition Nerves

You have been practicing your dancing and improving your skills for several years. Now, the big, dance audition is finally here. You are excited about having the opportunity to show off what you have learned. At the same time, you probably have some butterflies in your stomach. It’s natural to be nervous when you audition, and here are a few tips on:

How to Overcome your Dance Audition Nerves

1. Turn your nerves into positive energy.

Instead of focusing on how nervous you are, turn that feeling into positive energy in your performance. More than likely, your nerves won’t subside until you start dancing or are done with the audition. With this in mind, deal with your nerves instead of trying to get rid of them.

Focus on what you need to do and think about your performance. If you have practiced enough and feel confident in your skills, your muscle memory will take over. Let your nerves be there, but focus on positive thoughts.

It also helps if you prepare as much as possible prior to the audition. Pack your dance bag the night before and prepare all of the clothes, accessories, shoes, make-up, etc. you will need in advance. This way, you’ll have less to worry about the day of the audition.

2. Try to take deep breathes.

I usually don’t like it when someone tells me to take a deep breathe and relax. It usually makes me more uptight. But, if you focus on your breathing, it will help you calm down. Go to a quiet place at the audition, close your eyes and ignore the competitive dancers around you. Breathe deeply and think about what you need to do at the audition. If you don’t feel calmer, at least you will be more focused.

3. Listen carefully.

It can be very easy to be distracted at an audition. There is a lot going on, and your heart may be racing with anxiety. With this in mind, make a conscious effort to slow down and really listen to what the choreographer is telling you to do. If you don’t pay attention, you may miss an important step or direction that can cost you the audition.

Take a Moment.

No matter how experienced you are, nerves and anxiety can always show up when it’s time for a big, dance audition. Because of this, you need to figure out how to deal with it.

Focus on what you need to be doing, pay attention to your surroundings and take deep breathes. You may want to try different things to help you relax such as meditation, reading a book, stretching, etc. The way you deal with your nervousness is a personal thing, and it’s important to find out what works best for you. Sometimes it helps if you focus on your dancing. After all, that’s what you love and are there to do!

Check out this entry for additional help with your dance auditions.

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Question Yourself While Dancing

When you are dancing, what are you thinking about?

If you are not focused on counting and your position on the dance floor relevant to other dancers, there is something you should be doing:

Ask yourself questions!

Do you remember all of the corrections you were given in dance class or rehearsal? Well, when you are dancing, you should be thinking about these notes.

As you do certain moves, ask:

Is my foot pointed?

Is my leg straight?

Am I looking at the floor or up?

Is my arm in the right place?

Where is my balance?

You get the idea.

Over time, most of your movements will fall into place, and you won’t have to think about them. But you can always be improving certain moves, and the only way to do that is to think about what you are doing and make corrections.

Do you need help with your dance moves? Check out more, dance tips here.

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