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Ballet Talk for Dancers

use of contacts???


dbleon

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Not quite sure what you mean, dbleon, but teachers often use contacts to get a particularly gifted student seen by a company.

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If the company dancer feels totally comfortable and confident in doing that, I don't see why not. Sometimes it can be "who you know". :dry:

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It's called "networking" and has been an acceptable part of job-seeking since practically the start of time.

 

(Mr. Uggh, this is my friend Muggh. He has this new invention he calls "fire". Maybe we could take him on?)

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Networking is right. And "who you know" can save you much time and grief.

 

My example strays from the ballet context, but here goes:

 

My mother lost her job in a mass layoff about two years ago. She repeatedly turned down friends' offers of introductions to "the right people" because she wanted to find a job based on what she saw as her own merit i.e. the content of her resume. This despite knowing that in her tight local job market every opening received hundreds and hundreds of resumes from qualified people. She was unemployed for a year and a half and ended up cashing in her retirement before she finally accepted a friend's offer of an introduction, circumvented much of the screening process, got in to see "the right people," and landed a job.

 

There is NOTHING wrong with allowing someone to help you get a foot in the door.

Once you're *in* the door, you have the chance to wow people with your skills.

 

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Instead, climb on and see where it can take you.

 

I work in the entertainment industry, and this is just my .02.

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Thanks Shanynrose

My philosophy also.....DD is oly now learning to be assertive and promote herself in this "business"...something that should have been part of her former pre-pro school :wub:

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I wouldn't beat up too much on the pre-pro school for not having provided assertiveness training, dbleon. I think it's the rare arts-education program that prepares students for the business end of their arts careers. I'm a journalist and some time ago, I did a series on visual artists who were making a living out of their art. The No. 1 complaint from each and every one of them was that the BFA and MFA programs they had all come out of had included nothing on the marketing and finance skills that are needed out in the real world. They all wished they had taken the time to do business minors along with their arts studies.

 

Filling in holes like these are where parents are still a much needed part of their little artists' lives. We can't expect the schools to do everything, nor should we.

 

OK, time to climb off my soap box. :wub:

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Chauffer

My post wasn't meant to "beat up" on the pre-pro school....only from a parents perspective that after spending a kazillion $$$ on this training, parents should be able to expect this

 

1. DK's have a working knowledge of the dance "business"

 

2. DK's informed of which companies they should audition for (body type /dance style, most nievely hope thier school company will offer them a position)

 

3. As a parent, we were expected to send our students and keep quiet and not ask too many ??? just pay the bills... I have come to realize, rather lately I am ashamed to admit, that I should have been much more pro-active in making sure my DD was given the skills to form a "plan" after leaving her program!

 

Off my soap box also! :wub:

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  I'm a journalist and some time ago, I did a series on visual artists who were making a living out of their art.  The No. 1 complaint from each and every one of them was that the BFA and MFA programs they had all come out of had included nothing on the marketing and finance skills that are needed out in the real world.  They all wished they had taken the time to do business minors along with their arts studies. 

As a BFA graduate in visual art, I can certainly attest to this! My degree was in the 1970's, but I was hoping maybe things had changed since then. My other beef at the time I was a student was that no real advising was done in the large university I attended as far as what particular "track" a student with professional aspirations would be best suited for--studio artist, teacher, commercial artist, etc. I think if I were a student in the arts nowadays, I would search out a mentor in the field to guide me along the way and to help with those ever-valuable contacts.

 

To get back on topic, networking and using contacts these days seem to be the most likely ways of finding any sort of meaningful employment, unless you are truly exceptional or truly lucky.

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It's no different in other fields than it is in dance. I graduated magna cum laude from law school. One of my first assignments was to draft an answer to a complaint (that I could do) and file it with the court. Filing? What's filing? How do I do that? Where's the courthouse???? :wub:

 

And there are no classes in how to run a law office and make ends meet!

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As Balletmom has put it -

To get back on topic, networking and using contacts these days seem to be the most likely ways of finding any sort of meaningful employment, unless you are truly exceptional or truly lucky.

 

 

P.S. the other tangent touched upon by dbleon would make a great new thread :rolleyes: - and I've just started a new topic on this very subject over on Cross Talk.

Edited by BW
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dbleon, I sincerely hope you're seeing from these posts that you're not alone in your frustration. Your pain may be individual, but this does seem to be a common complaint with other ballet moms and dads.

 

And with that, I'll defer to the very constructive thread that's been started over on Cross Talk.

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