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  • Writer's pictureChloe Mihacevich

Pursuing A Career in Dance - Advice From A 20 Year Old

Let’s be honest, pursuing a career in dance isn’t the easiest of paths to take. It’s rough out here (but also exciting and worth the fight!) I have been blessed with many mentors who have helped me get to where I am right now and I hope in some way, I can do the same for anyone who is choosing this same path! Although I am not an expert by any means, here are some of the things that I have found that have helped me so far in my dance career. Hope this helps or brings new insight! :)

1. Networking. Networking. Networking. I know you probably have already heard this, but it really is the truth and probably one of the most important things you can do for your career. I honestly always felt like the majority of jobs you book are based on who you know, and since Covid, I feel like this is how jobs are getting booked more than ever! Cattle call auditions don’t seem to be happening like they used to. Often you are being asked to submit because SOMEONE YOU KNOW asked for you to submit. It just is what it is. When my older sister moved to LA she booked her first job the second day she got there. How?! Because someone she knew hired her. In her first two years in LA she worked a lot and do you know how many of those jobs came from actual auditions? TWO. Every other job in that span of time came from some sort of connection she had. Or one job led to another. CONNECTIONS. CONNECTIONS. CONNECTIONS.

So take as many classes as you can. Introduce yourself to the teacher/choreographer at the end of class. That’s all I did the first month I was in Atlanta. I am still working at this every day. I am in a new market where no one knows me here. I know it will take time for people to know who I am, but I work at it every day. Make them remember you. Tell them something about their class you loved (but still be genuine!!!) Whenever I teach, I know I love when someone does that at the end of my classes. Follow choreographers on social media that inspire you. Engage with their content and manifest working with them! But GET IN FRONT OF THEM…and do it CONSISTENTLY.

2. It’s not all about your talent - It’s also about who you are as a person. Are you someone who is going to be bringing good energy to rehearsal every day? Are you reliable? Will you show up on time and be professional? Do you get along with people easily? Are you bringing the drama or are you staying out of it? Are you always on your phone and acting like you don’t want to be there? These are all questions you need to ask yourself. Be the person that choreographers LOVE working with and want to always have around. This doesn’t AT ALL mean put on a fake facade or be someone you’re not, but being a nice person and bringing good energy to the room every single day will make you a person someone not only wants to hire once, but time and time again.

3. Always stay true to yourself and know your worth. People will try to change you and take advantage of you, but you always have to remember who you are and what you believe in. Don’t sacrifice that at the expense of a job or “fame.” Don’t sacrifice who you are for a job. Remember you are trying to make a CAREER for yourself. And if you want a career you love, then you are going to have to stay true to who you are. If you have to be someone you’re not for a job, then that job was not meant for you. Learn to be ok with that.

4. Your success is determined by how much you work for it. You’ll only get out of it how much you put in. If you’re not training constantly and working on your craft daily, you’re not going to get what you want. The most admired and successful dancers are the ones who work harder than EVERYONE else in every aspect of their career. If you aren’t working towards being better every single day but want to be the best, you’re doing something wrong.

5. Which brings up my next point: Training is so important. You grow in class. You get better in class. You make mistakes IN CLASS. Training every day you can will only make you better and stronger. You meet other dancers, you get in front of choreographers, AND you’re bettering your craft.

6. Which also leads into: You never know who knows who. The amount of times I’ve heard through the grapevine, “Oh ya he was looking for dancers and asked me for recommendations” or “My friend is doing this video and we’re trying to find people for it” is INSANE. You literally NEVER KNOW who knows who and what one person’s connection can bring you. This goes back to networking and being a person people want to work with!! So get in class. Train to be the best you can and it will benefit you more than you probably can imagine!!

7. Stay in your own lane. Don’t be bothered by what other people are doing and who said what about who. You show up for yourself on the job, do your job, and that’s it. Don’t get caught in the drama. Show up for yourself and whatever anyone else does/says is none of your business.

8. Remember everyones’ paths are different and someone else’s success doesn’t hinder your own. There is no one way to do this and there is no time frame for how it all plays out. Two years ago, I was graduating from high school and I was filming (at home) for SYTYCD, my life long dream at the time, and then Covid turned my whole career plan upside down. The season of SYT was canceled right out from under me. My plans to move to LA were put on hold. I had zero control over the time frame of my career. I had spent YEARS trying to get things lined up for myself and it was all working out perfectly and then in an instant, my life did a complete 180. Things don’t always go like you think they are going to go and being willing to accept that is crucial. You have to be able to pivot and stay positive.

My acting teacher always says “You could be one project away from your big break” so don’t quit now! Just because someone else finds success earlier than you doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen for you. Everyone’s paths are different but I’m a firm believer in whatever is meant for you will find you. Be happy for others when they reach success because WE ALL KNOW how hard this industry can be and be proud of others for sticking to it too.

Which leads me to my final point:

9. DON’T EVER GIVE UP. In this industry I’ve seen so many people give up on their dreams when it’s gotten hard. Keep pushing!! If there’s a goal you really want to accomplish someday, don’t stop until you do. You never want to live with regret and a bunch of “what ifs.”

Well what if you just followed your dreams and then fucking achieved them, huh?

Hope in some way that helped or inspired you. (Heck, even if you’re not a dancer, I think a lot of these things apply to ANY job you are working toward!) But if you are a dancer and you need some support…know that I’ve got you. Feel free to hit me up any time for a little encouragement or as a sounding board or whatever! And if you have any tricks or tips that helped you in this industry…feel free to share with me too! I’m still trying to navigate his journey as well!!! :)

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