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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Resumes: How to Write an Effective Dance Resume


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I just wanted to quickly add that you do not ever have to put your age on a resume. By law, an "interviewer" may not ask you your age.



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  • Victoria Leigh


  • lillianna


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  • missy12784


Some companies may prefer that you do list your age, though, as ABT specifically requests this on your resume when auditioning for their company.

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My daughter is a senior this year. This is her second year at a fairly large pre-professional program that she has also attended for the last 2 summers. They have a great SI and I feel sure that, in terms of training, she is getting what she needs from a SI there. She is auditioning for several other SIs this year, mostly for audition experience and to see how she "rates" compared to other dancers her age, as she hasn't auditioned for anything in 2 years.


Now the dilemma: She has been accepted into one rather prominent SI and we are trying to make a decision on whether she should attend. We have been told by someone who is definitely in a position to know (and not biased toward either program), that this SI would not provide anything more than she would receive at "home". Her home SI would definitely be more affordable as she has a scholarship there. So, money aside, it seems to come down to a situation of which would be more valuable to her future.


Is it better to have on your resume several reputable SIs, or is it OK to have gone to fewer SIs and to one SI several years in a row? When it comes down to it, does it even matter what SIs are on your resume when looking for a dancing position, or is your company audition the important thing?


She is planning on attending the pre-pro program for one additional year, but she is at the point where she has to think about getting a job and how much these decisions will affect her future.


One last question: some of the SI auditions are for places that have a company attached and that choose trainees or apprentices from their summer program. If she is accepted to one of those programs (we haven't heard yet), should she attend with the thought of a possible future place in their company, or stick with her current excellent training?


My head is spinning over all the choices we have to make right now. I would love to have some other viewpoints!


PS - I'm sorry this is so long! :yes:

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MomofDancer, this is a really tough one to answer without knowing where she is now.


As for the resumé, I really don't think that it matters a lot which SI programs she has attended. Not sure they even really get read, at least in that much detail. The company audition itself is what matters, not what is on the paper.


As to staying another summer at the same school or going to one connected to a company, also hard to know, but my first instinct is to say go for the company school. It would be best to spend a post-graduate year in a company school where you might get to perform with the company and have a better chance of moving into a position there.

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Thank you Ms. Leigh!


I had a feeling that when it came time for company auditions, they would be more interested in your actual audition and ability than where you had spent your summers - but it's hard when faced with these decisions! :)


Thanks also for the advice between current or company, I will pass it on to my daughter and it will help a lot with our decision making. :blushing:

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I have my first company audition this Sunday, and as I was reading through that wonderful resume-writing website that was suggested on another thread (thank you, thank you, whoever found that!! :jawdrop: ), I was wondering: how necessary is the cover letter if you are actually GOING to the audition? The author made it seem like it was especially for video auditions. Will I need it in addition to my resume and photos?





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No, a cover letter is needed for a lot of job and college applications, but not for auditions. Resumé and very good photos are most important.

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Thanks, Ms. Leigh for the info....good to know I have one less thing to worry about remembering! momof3darlings, I will certainly report back and thank you for your good wishes! I need all the support I can get (especially if the weather is bad like it's supposed to get.....let's hope it waits til I'm safely back in Jersey Sunday night!) :)




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  • 11 months later...
:) I need to put together a resume for my first company audition this Feb. I'm having trouble because I haven't had any professtional experience, I haven't gone to any SI's; all the guest/master teachers have come to my school, my school puts on The Nutcracker and excepts/news works during the summer. Do I have anything worth putting on my resume? Help!!!!!!!
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Your resume can be short and sweet. Just write about your training. What school you're at, how many years, and your teachers.


If you're a hopeful professional, going to an SI is a good idea. Maybe you should concentrate on SI auditions instead of company auditions if you're not yet company ready.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've gone to the website that has been posted a lot regarding how to write a well written resume, but I still have some questions.

1. how long/short should it be? Only one page?


2. font size? Too small and some can't read it?


3. No professional experience and been dancing in same school for 16 years. I only go to the summer intensive that my school offers. What can I put on my resume so I look like I've had a good 16years of dancing?


4. Sould I put both performing experience and training?

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Missy - hope I can help out...


1. Only 1 page!!!!


2. Experiment with the font size. Too big and someone would think you were trying to fill up the white space with big letters because you don't have anything to put down. Too small and older people will be frustrated! (and I'm sure you think anyone over 40 is OLD - but trust me - we just don't read that small print well!)


3. skipping over this and going on to 4. first...


4. yes - you put performance experience - for instance - solo roles, competitions where you placed highly, etc.


OK - on to #3 - put down where you trained and your main teachers - listing what type of dance you took - i.e. ballet, jazz, modern... Did you have any guest teachers at your studio - list those under "Additional Instruction" - you would also list your summer intensive there.


Make sure your name is Large and easy to read at the top. Right below your name and in a smaller font - put your height, weight, date of birth. Additionally, you must give all your contact info - I like that along the bottom of the page - but it's up to you. Address - email address - phone number.


But - the most important thing to remember is this - you don't get a dance job just because you have a killer resume... you get a dance job because you are a great dancer! Attending a long list of summer intensives might look nice on paper but if you can't back it up with solid technique - it won't matter. Also, most auditioners don't even look at your resume until the end anyway - after you make it through all the cuts.


It must be clear & easy to read. Don't go overboard with fancy fonts or anything like that. However, a nice pastel paper is nice - make sure it is a heavier weight than just plan printer paper.


Hope this helped - good luck to you!

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Usually the resume is pasted on back of your 8x 10 photo. (use rubber cement instead of glue so there are no bumps) List both your performing experience and your training. Be sure to include your name , address and phone number and email, if applicable. Font size should be normal size (12is good), but you could accent some things with different font. If you have any other special talents, list them at the bottom as a special talent (singing, playing an instrument, acting, etc) I also placed notes that my DDs were high school graduates, things that might be important to a director. Make sure that it looks organized , neat and easy to read.

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How should I type everything down? Should I use complete sentences or bullets that get straight to the point(e)?


Performed as The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker with Marchant Ballet Theatre from 2001-2005.




The Nutcracker- Sugar Plum Fairy 2001-2005. Marchant Ballet Theatre.

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