“Sorry, I can’t go. I have dance.”
This was a familiar phrase my friends would hear as my afternoons were spent at lessons or rehearsals. Even today I am lucky to still do what I love despite sacrificing a few get-togethers here and there. Entering the professional world, a dance background can be beneficial.
Auditions, freestyle sessions and that moment behind the curtain lead dancers to a place of complete vulnerability. Adrenaline starts to rush and thoughts of “I can’t do this no, no, no!” start to flood the mind. As dancers, we train endlessly in the safe confines of a studio where mistakes are bound to happen. There is no judgment as we figure out how to perfect each step we try. Once we leave that studio and are placed in front of an audience, we can only have faith in ourselves that the hours we put it that comforting studio can pay off now on performance day. Dancing allows people to get used to the feeling of pressure and be able to thrive when put on the spot. We take risks because we know the end result can lead to the next big idea. It’s better to take these risks (whether in choreography or at the office) and embrace these trials rather than play it safe not knowing at all what could have been.
From the risks we take, rejection or failure is inevitable. The dancer must be resilient and not let an audition rejection or slip up on stage stop them from continuing to evolve as artists. To be a trained dancer, it takes hours of training, strict self-discipline and mental strength to continue pushing yourself in this art form. In the professional world, you will face many obstacles and encounter a few setbacks. It is up to you whether to focus on those setbacks or have the mentality to pull through it.
Dancers have to think analytically and artistically at the same time. There were many cases where my dance team would rehearse for months before the show and someone gets sick or can’t perform anymore. The formations have to be changed and the dancers need to think quickly on their feet adapting to the new formations. We can’t let the audience know while on stage that just moments before, we were scrambling to make last minute changes and still remain calm. Dance teachers may ask you to improvise, choreographers ask to contribute an 8 count or you may find yourself in a dance circle. Whatever the case, dance allows your mind to be free and respond to the music innately. The training allows a broadened sense of thinking and viewing problems at various angles.
These factors are all favorable in any industry you hope to work in. Plus, it’s a fun time. Break a leg!