Where did the dancers go? From massive social media attention to movies and commercials, dance is everywhere, so why this question you may ask?
It’s because the era of the dancer is gone. Since 9/11 dance jobs have become more and more scarce, leaving dancer’s searching for ways to monetize their gifts and talents.
Dance class seems to be the one thing available for dancers to sustain some type of regular income. Dancers become teachers, to do what they love, and earn some income while doing it.
This encourages the dancer looking for steady income to teach choreography even if credentials and experience are lacking.
As a former dancer I totally understand the struggle, however we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the impact it is having on our community.
Impact #1 – Students Teaching Students: Imagine its your first week in high school and your teacher unexpectedly gets hired to teach at a big University or College. This being an unexpected issue your school hires YOU to teach the class. Being that this is your favorite subject you think, “I can do this!” But ask yourself, “Am I really qualified to educate?”.
Impact #2 – Inexperience On Site: There is a HUGE difference between a dance class and a professional setting. When inexperienced choreographers walk into a professional setting and treat it like a class it makes us all look bad. Understanding that validation may be coming from the amount of views one may have or their social media following we must keep in mind, popularity may get us in the door, but talent and professionalism will keep us there!
Impact #3 – Less Work For Dancers: When inexperienced people come into a professional setting and make things difficult for a Producer or Director it causes them to refrain from involving dancers in their next project. What does this mean? Less jobs, because people begin to see the dance community as a pain in the a**, and unprofessional.
We cannot blame the dancers for what they are not taught. They also shouldn’t be frowned upon or punished. What I would suggest is a class on etiquette, professionalism, and business taught by the professionals. This would help our entire community and give them the experience needed before hand. Keep in mind before starting employment at most jobs they provide two weeks of training before you start. Where is this for the professional dancer? Lets educate the students so they can educate the future!
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“Popularity may get us in the door, but talent and professionalism will keep us there…”
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