The TRUTH about the dance world!
Hi dancers, it's Emma owner & head MUA at Pro-i.
This is a blog post I've been wanting to write for some time, so buckle up grab a drink it's gonna be a Goodie!
So those who don't know me Hi!! I was a professional dancer for 10 years and let's not get things twisted it was the best 10 years of my life (sorry husband)
This is by no means a hate post; I just feel there are things every dancer should know when going into the crazy world of performing.
The first thing I want to stress is this industry ISN'T FAIR!!! So if your someone who thinks things should always work out fairly then I'd say choose another job quickly!
You could be the best dancer in the audience, look great, you're up on time, be totally prepared & not get through the first round. Trust me this will happen and you will leave thinking what did I do wrong? And why on earth did that girl get through when she turned up late, messed up the routine & didn't have the right shoes on.
The answer is simply she had the look they want. It can come down to something so stupid as hair colour, height, build. The worst thing you can do is go home and pick yourself apart, don't do it! This is the part when you take a deep breath, accept it wasn't the job for you & look for the next audition.
Do yourself an absolute solid & grow a thick skin pronto.
The next thing you need to know is you're replaceable. I know you've heard this before but is 100% true! Don't ever get complicated in your job because I can guarantee there is a list, with at least 10 girls, just desperate to take your spot at the drop of a hat. Whether it's because of injury, illness, bad behaviour, laziness you have a doppelgänger at the other end of the phone praying for a call.
Being a dancer isn't a bog standard job, it's the most incredible job in the world & many don't get the privilege of it so treat it with respect.
Let's talk publicly stunt open calls! This topic is one me & my friends have so many angry chats about.
Nothing makes my blood boil like this. A few times a year the BIG West End shows will be looking for new cast members and they are usually found through their regular agents. However when a show isn't getting bums on seats or the PR they need they make a huge song & dance and have an "Open Call Audition". Where any man and his dog can line up & try out for a role in their West end show. Trust me when I say that even Julie from the coffee shop down the road who loves singing at weddings, after a bottle of wine will be there, DON'T GO!
This is a very simple way for the show to gain some social media coverage it's so desperate for & maybe even a cheeky spot on the news. You will be there for hours and may never even get seen. It's a Joke and if I could stop companies don't this I WOULD!! If you want a West End job get yourself an agent.
Throughout my 10years I've definitely had various jobs some amazing some not so, but I always got as much as I could out if every contract.
Let me explain... as a dancer your contract could be anything from 1 day to 1 year. Let's say middle ground 4 month contract & the routines are easy (which doesn't challenge you) the travel to work is terrible and your costumes suck! It's going to be the longest 4 months of your life if you are negative about everything (trust me I know) Find the little things that bring you joy.
Number 1) you're getting paid to dance and you love that!
Number 2) it's only a 4 month contract
Number 3) try and save really hard & treat yourself to something fabulous when you finish.
Number 4) Are you the best dancer there? If that's a no then work harder, observe, learn, grow!!
Before you know it you will be looking for your next job & that one might be the best one of your career!!
The last thing I want to say is don't ever give up!! It's a tough job for a reason, but when you get the contract you want there is no better feeling in the world!
Not many people ever feel the job satisfaction that dancers have, because it's the thing you love most in the world. So work hard, don't take your time for granted & make amazing memories you can look back on for your whole life!!
You will always and forever be a dancer and that's amazing!