At some point or another, every dancer considers what it would be like to become a professional. The thrill of being on stage, getting to pursue your ultimate passion as a full-time job — what could be better?
K2 Dance Studios knows a lot about the industry, and we’ve compiled some tips for anyone who’s thinking about pursuing dance full-time. Some of these tips are from professional dancers themselves. But as always, every dance career starts with lots and lots of dance classes — sign up for hip-hop, jazz, tap, contemporary, and ballet classes with K2 Dance Studios!
You can still be seen from the back line.
So often in dance rehearsals, auditions, and performances, we get caught up in where we think we should be. But the truth is that there are truly no small roles. If you’re in the back, you’re still performing, and as a professional dancer who will likely go through countless auditions, a spot on the stage is worth its weight in gold.
Most of us put a lot of our focus on where we want to be in life — which is great, so long as we don’t forget where we are. Not having a solo performance or a front-and-center stage position doesn’t mean you never will. Use any setbacks you experience as motivation.
Learn as much as you can.
Ballet classes might not be your favorite. You might avoid improv classes like the plague. But if you spend your time only learning what’s comfortable for you, you’re not going to grow as much as you could. That could end up being the difference between getting selected in an audition or being rejected.
Countless professional dancers all say to never skip ballet. It’s the line of dance that can be one of the most competitive, and if you’re not wanting to become a ballerina, it can seem like a waste. Ballet classes teach fundamental techniques for dance, and shouldn’t be overlooked. It goes along with our dance studio’s point that you should seek to acquire as much industry knowledge and dance skills that you can.
Become comfortable with critique.
This is probably one of the most important pieces of advice for anyone wanting to become a professional dancer. You will be critiqued constantly in the pursuit of professional dancing, and you have to take the feedback and learn from it — as insanely hard as it is to do.
The thing that sets some of the top professional dancers apart from the rest is that they have lived in the world of constant feedback, and have embraced it. If harsh, negative, or even unfair feedback sends you spiraling, you’re going to have a really tough time pursuing dance as a career. It’s a fine line between “I’m not perfect” and “I will use this to be better,” but it’s a line that makes all the difference when it comes to accepting criticism.
Invest in your body.
If you’re a middle schooler or high schooler dancing, you probably dance no more than 15-20 hours each week, likely depending on how seriously you’re considering becoming a professional dancer. As a professional dancer, you’ll dance that many hours in two days. Right now that might sound like the dream, but the truth is that it takes a brutal toll on your body.
As prima ballerina for the American Ballet Theater Studio Company Isabella Boylston explained in an interview with Teen Vogue, she has warmups in the morning for a few hours. She’ll then dance in rehearsals from 12-7 p.m. In order to keep up with the physical demands, she also participates in physical therapy, gets chiropractic adjustments, and goes in for massages every week.
Healthy eating and stretching properly is only the half of it — in order to be a professional dancer, you have to be fully ready to invest in your body. You also have to know what happens when your body inevitably can’t keep up with professional dance, which brings us to our next point:
Have other ideas for your future.
In a survey that was conducted for professional dancers, respondents said that the average dance career lasted 37 years. The truth showed that most professional dance careers average just 15 years.
Our dance studio isn’t telling you to forego your dreams of becoming a professional dancer (as long as you’re willing to put in all of the work, and we mean all). But if you start your professional dance career at the age of 18-20, you’ll likely need to find another career before the age of 40, if you’re lucky. Have some ideas in place for your future, after dance.
Take classes with K2 Dance Studios!
We hope these pieces of advice have helped anyone considering a career in dance. Dance is one of the most rewarding, toiling, amazing, challenging, and ultimately, indescribable careers there is. It takes so much work, but it is possible — and it becomes all the more possible when listening to expert advice.
But as always, professional dancers got their start in the studio, and you can begin yours with K2. Offering exceptional dance and ballet classes for aspiring dancers in the Corona area, K2 Dance Studios is the perfect place for you to start your career. Of course, if you just want to dance for fun, we think that’s equally amazing! Contact us to get started — we look forward to dancing with you!