Four Networking Ideas for Dancers

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For an artist, the concept of networking is nothing new. From the very first day you begin coaching in your craft, this matter appears to come back up in dialog just about each different day all through your profession. Some artists choose to ignore networking as an efficient device for achievement, asserting that they will depend on their skillset alone to attain their objectives. Others select to imagine that success comes extra naturally if you combine components akin to expertise, ability, coaching, and networking all into one.

As a working dancer for greater than 15 years, I’ve mentioned networking with different dancers and choreographers quite a few instances each at formal occasions the place we method the enterprise aspect of dancing and extra casual settings. I personally imagine that networking, when natural and real, is usually a very efficient device to boost your profession as a dancer. 

In the case of networking, I don’t imagine there’s only one proper strategy to do it. Right here I’ll attempt to convey what’s labored for me and the teachings I’ve discovered over time.

1. Excellent your elevator pitch.
Within the phrases of choreographer and pal Barry Kerollis, “at all times make an effort to say sure to social occasions and observe your elevator pitch.” The clearer you might be about each your previous achievements and future objectives, the simpler it is going to be to have a quick (however vital) and assured dialog on the go. You received’t be so hesitant to community when you have got an concept of what you’ll say and the extra you say it, the extra assured you’ll change into. With elevator pitch, you will be prepared to talk with somebody who simply may have the ability to open doorways for you.

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2. Take lessons. 
Take a lot of lessons, particularly at first of your profession. That is, for my part, one of the vital components of networking and one thing that has labored for me through the years in Europe and America. Simply turning as much as an audition and getting booked is a attainable actuality, however your probabilities might be a lot greater if both the choreographer or director is already accustomed to your work and also you as an individual. 

When planning your coaching, attempt to completely analysis lessons and be clever about what you’re taking. Look into the instructor’s expertise and if their background or present work is in an space you wish to pursue. It’s not simply the instructor that it would be best to take into consideration networking with, but in addition these attending with you. These connections can show you how to all as you progress past the category.

This will likely sound self-explanatory, but in addition keep away from falling into the entice of following solely the hype that, within the age of social media, may be very deceptive. At all times remember that although a sure instructor is probably not the “hotshot” proper now, it doesn’t imply they haven’t acquired intensive expertise within the subject whereas these hotshots or these centered on traits might not have the expertise that can show you how to together with your profession objectives. The skilled choreographers who are actually lecturers will have the ability to give you the know-how and prepare you to face the precise calls for of the business somewhat than simply offer you stylish choreography. 

I additionally personally imagine that completed and fulfilled artists are likely to really feel extra comfy to open doorways for others and genuinely level you in the best path, which might be a giant assist in your networking.

3. Have an internet presence.
We will’t focus on networking within the present world with out briefly bearing on the significance of on-line presence and social media. It’s vital to submit your work and use social media as some other device to advertise your craft. Work together with these in your subject, however purpose to not be distracted by all of the noise surrounding these platforms. Don’t let likes or views dictate what you submit or not submit. Preserve it skilled and let your work communicate for itself. Belief that whoever desires to see your materials, will see it! In the event you’re apprehensive concerning the adverse impacts of social media, you possibly can be taught extra about how one can handle that right here.

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Along with social media, keep in mind to maintain your web site up to date together with your résumé, headshots, and bio that you would be able to additionally ship or print at any time if wanted.

4. Genuinely care about others.
Lastly, this will sound apparent however being an honest and thoughtful human being who cares for others can take you very far. This might single-handedly be a very powerful issue to take into consideration when networking. The thought of creating connections with a purpose to merely get forward is an outdated one and this purely transactional view {of professional} relationships has, in my view, modified over time. Increasingly, artists wish to be surrounded by those that encourage them, who assist them develop, and who genuinely care about their work and properly being. That is particularly vital within the dance world the place you might be always anticipated to be at your finest and your help group is extraordinarily vital. 

I at all times advise that you just work in your craft simply as a lot as you’re employed on your self as a human being. Make serving to others a precedence with out creating any expectations. Be comfy with sacrificing a few of your time on your friends in order that they will obtain their objectives and know there may be nothing incorrect with that. It’s going to at all times come again to you a method or one other. 

Networking is subsequently not about making connections to get to locations. It’s about giving your time and a spotlight to others so when a possibility arises, you’ll be primary on their thoughts. Not simply due to your ability, however due to who you might be.

*This submit was initially printed on Dec. 4, 2019. It has since been up to date.

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The views expressed on this article are solely that of the person(s) offering them,
and don’t essentially mirror the opinions of Backstage or its employees.

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Carlos Neto

Carlos Neto (@carlosnetodance) is a choreographer, dance instructor, actor, and Backstage Professional.

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