The dance industry is a business. When it comes to the business and booking the job, there’s one key practice that you may hear time and time again: “networking.”
Networking can either catapult your career forward or send it in a downward spiral if utilized incorrectly. That being said, what is the true “right” vs “wrong” way to network? If you’re fretting about making that initial intro, you’ve come to the right place! We’re breaking down some networking best practices and sharing how to use them appropriately.
Extend a Post-Class Thank You.
We’ve all been taught say a quick “thanks for class,” and that’s a great practice to start if you haven’t been doing so already. If you are taking someone’s class for the first time in NYC, it’s a common courtesy to express your gratitude. A good rule of thumb for continued conversation is to keep it short unless the teacher sparks a longer conversation. Note that this is never an appropriate time to read off your resumé, humble brag about your upcoming shows or even ask for 1-on-1 career advice. Think of your first class like a first date — the teacher only knows you from one dance class, has an entire class of students to greet and most likely doesn’t have the time.
Keep Showing Up.
If you like a certain teacher’s style, choreography or teaching method, you should make it a goal to keep showing up. It shows you are dedicated to your training and it’s a great way for the teacher to learn your name, work ethic and movement style. That leaves us right to our next tip…
Don’t do it for the job.
While this is a hot topic of debate, class time is not an audition. It is your chance to grow as a professional, learn new skills, techniques and styles, as well as celebrate our art in a safe, supportive community of artists. Whether the teacher is casting an upcoming show or not, keep a good head on your shoulders. Taking class for the right reasons will take off the pressure and create a better environment for learning.
Stay social media saVVy.
If you friend a casting director, teacher or agent on social media, be sure you keep your presence professional. Also, don’t make it weird. Before you post about about a show, class or audition and tag a person of importance, think before you put it out into the universe. Determine this for yourself: How is your relationship with this individual and is it appropriate?