By Jessica Innes
It is said “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” and with tenacity and the right approach, the dream of dancing for a living can become a reality. We all dream of being a Broadway musical star or dancing in a Justin Timberlake video clip, however the sifting process in the performing arts allows only tiny portions of talent to make it through the brutal mill of the industry. So after hours of gruelling training and perfecting of your craft, what options do you have to utilize your hard work? It’s all about making yourself a versatile performer and finding your own niche to flourish in.
TEACHING: This is reliable and fulfilling work that will allow you to develop valuable choreography skills. Approach local dance schools and share your passion with the next generation of dancers. If you have no teaching qualifications look into taking the The Ausdance Skill Set for Teaching Dance as a start. It is a short course that provides experienced dancers and existing dance teachers with the skills and teaching strategies needed to successfully teach dance in community, recreational and social settings (including schools). A University Degree in Dance Education will open even more doors and allow you to teach HSC Dance.
INTERNATIONAL CONTRACTS: Many countries draw from Australia’s talent pool to fill positions on cruise ships, in theme parks, for Bollywood and casinos all over the world. You need to ensure you have a valid passport and are willing to commit to a contract of at least 6 months. Experience other cultures as you dance all over the world!
MUSICAL THEATRE: Triple Threat’s have a huge advantage in this area so develop your singing and acting techniques to increase your versatility. You often need an agent to be put forward for auditions so finding representation is a good first step.
MODELING AND COMMERCIAL: Dancers have the advantage of maintaining a good level of fitness due to regular training and have an increased awareness of their bodies. Many dancers will find they are suitable for modeling and extra work for film or television. Photographers are always looking for amateur models so start putting together a portfolio. Online casting sites such as AT2, Showcast and even StarNow have some great opportunities. Dance Informa also lists opportunities in our AUDITIONS section.
STAGEHAND WORK: Surround yourself with inspiring performances by working backstage or as an usher at a theatre. You’ll save money on buying tickets and you’ll gain valuable contacts that can guide you to the spotlight. TAFE Australia offers many different courses in Lighting, Set Design and Audio Engineering and any additional qualification is an asset to your future.
CREATE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES: You are the master of your own destiny, so if you want to dance and don’t have an outlet, do something about it! Form a crew, collaborate with other artists and put on a community show or make a dance film. Every experience is going to add to your credibility and wealth of knowledge as a performer, so be proactive and put your best foot forward.
We wish you the best of luck with your future endeavours and a successful and fulfilling dance career!