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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Company life: Relocating


balletislove20

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I was just wondering... I've read a lot of profiles for professional dancers, and most dancers relocate quite frequently... for example I'll read... Miami City Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Pacific Northwest... (I just picked whichever ones came to mind) So I want know how does a dancer get to be in so many companies that are so far from each other... what about money? Do they just fly to a new state and audition ? How does it work?

 

I am an aspiring professional dancer and I was wondering how dancers do that.

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Yes, generally they fly to whatever State or Country where there is a company they would like to dance with, and audition. Sometimes principal dancers will become well known enough to gain the attention of other directors who see them in performance somewhere, but generally, most dancers will have to audition.

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And, yes, it is expensive!

And time-consuming!

And nerve-wracking at times... ;)

Networking is always important. :yes:

 

-d-

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I can't emphasis enough the value of networking. :D

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Keep in touch with everybody involved in dance. Attend as many dance functions as your pocketbook and time will afford. Take master classes, and introduce yourself to the teachers. Talk to teachers after classes. Go to dance events and introduce yourself. Send a thank you note to teachers whose classes you've especially enjoyed. Send a note to AD's if you've seen their companies perform, telling them what you know and love about their company's performances.

 

Hopefully, you have a teacher or mentor who knows lots of people in the professional dance world. Ask that person to contact AD's on your behalf when you're ready to audition.

 

Attend company class auditions whenever possible because they are more personal, and send thank you notes afterwards. If you know someone in the company, mention it to the AD.

 

Use Facebook to its fullest networking potential! :D Keep in touch with dancers you've met throughout your life. Some of them will go on to other jobs in dance companies, perhaps as choreographers or business people or even AD's; they could prove invaluable to you down the road.

 

Never, never, never burn bridges, even when you're just dying to tell someone off!

 

Remember: Human beings still need and appreciate the personal touch. It doesn't matter who the person is: dancer, AD, ballet master, teacher, etc. Most of the dancers I know have gotten their professional jobs at least partly through some connection. They still need to be good dancers, but often it's the connection they have to someone in the company that breaks the tie between them and another candidate for the job.

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I was just wondering... I've read a lot of profiles for professional dancers, and most dancers relocate quite frequently... for example I'll read... Miami City Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Pacific Northwest... (I just picked whichever ones came to mind) So I want know how does a dancer get to be in so many companies that are so far from each other... what about money? Do they just fly to a new state and audition ? How does it work?

 

I am an aspiring professional dancer and I was wondering how dancers do that.

 

Hi balletislove20,

 

Personally, the first two companies I list in my bio are companies I was an apprentice with. I was lucky enough to get some great performance opportunities at those two companies so I always include them. Alas, they were not permanent situations. As we all know, it is hard to get a job, so I went where I had the opportunity at the time.

 

As far as flying to auditions around the country, I definitely did that. By mid to late January I sent packets out to companies I was interested in that included a cover letter, resume, headshot, full body dance photo, and a video of performance excerpts. I only ever heard back from interested companies, I always asked if they knew yet whether they had any openings, and would ultimately just fly out to a couple of places. It could get expensive, but at least I felt I had narrowed things down a bit before booking flights. :)

 

The only "shot in the dark" auditions I did were ones that happened to come around locally that I would do mainly for the experience. I had tremendous stage fright and audition anxiety as a young adult, so the more I could throw myself into the "lion's den" so to speak, the better.

 

Good luck!

 

~Pointe1432

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone for the advice! There are a lot of good ideas. I'm not seeking employment anytime soon...I'm still in need of proper training! But I will keep that in mind for the future and start networking and building from here.:D

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