Alright, I really don’t like talking about myself when it comes to these things. I feel weird about it. But I think my “secret sauce” is musicality and ability to pick up and retain choreography. I would have to say that technically, I’m pretty decent. But my strong points are reflecting the music in my body when I dance and learning choreography quickly.
I auditioned for a jazz piece on Monday, and the choreography was to a Bernstein piece. The choreography was really syncopated and somewhat confusing, but I was able to pick it up after the first few times it was shown. Learning it for me was fairly easy, but the counts were all over the place. It was difficult to connect the counts to the music because the timing was constantly changing, but after listening to the music a few times, it was easy for me to dance on the music. I’m not trying to seem conceited or superior, but I felt that I was one of only a small handful of people that were able to execute the steps on the music with the right timing. I hope that made me stand out against some of the other dancers who didn’t have exactly the right timing.
As far as money goes, that’s always going to be tough, and I’ve already accepted that. Getting a contract with a company is great because that means getting paid. But that’s a long road to go down, and it takes a lot of patience. Usually, to get a corps contract, you first have to get into the second company – if that particular company has a second company – then get an apprenticeship. It can take lots of years and sucking up. And if you aren’t good enough to get into the second company or get an apprenticeship, you have to be a trainee first. That means you’re paying the school or the company to train there so that you MIGHT have a chance at getting a contract someday in the future.
I think I will probably have to have a job while I’m trying to get into a company, but if and when I get a contract with a company, I should be able to live off of what I would make dancing without having to get a second job. But really, I love dancing so much that I wouldn’t mind working another job in order to be able to keep dancing. Also, the higher your rank in a company, the more you get paid. The principal dancers get paid the highest, followed by the soloists, and then the corps. So you can’t really slow down once you’ve fought your way into the company.
I think I need better communication skills or something. I’m sometimes shy when it comes to dancing. I am a humble person, and I don’t want to ever seem like I’m showing off in class or something. In class, I tend to stand in the back and dance for myself, not for approval from my teachers or fellow students. I think my mindset is that I want to be recognized for my talent, not for my ability to be obnoxiously in everyone’s face seeking attention all the time. But my mom likes to tell me that “the squeaky wheel gets the oil,” and that if I want something, I have to let people know how much I want it. I obviously have a problem with doing that, but I know that in this industry, that’s sometimes how it works. So especially in auditions, I need to work on showing people that I want the job, or the part, or whatever it may be. I guess I need to be more self-promotional.
Also, I’ve always wanted to be in a ballet company, but honestly, I feel confident enough in so many techniques and forms of dance that I would rather do anything than nothing. If it doesn’t end up working out with ballet, I will gladly go for and accept any other dancing job, whether it be in a modern company, on Broadway, or even commercial dancing. I think that having the ballet company goal will push me to achieve it, but I also won’t let myself be limited by that goal. I’m open to any and all possibilities, and I will never rule something out just because it’s not my favorite style of dance or my dream job.
I’m going to audition for as many things as I can after graduating, and I think that a degree from SMU will really be beneficial for me because of the strong reputation of Meadows. I really hope to go straight from college to a company without having to backtrack and be stuck in an unpaid trainee program for any amount of time. I think that I will be artistically mature and prepared for any dance job, and I will try to market myself as a very versatile, adaptable dancer. But seriously I want to be in a ballet company so bad.