Hello there, fellow dance friend! I have one word for you for today…just some insight on just one of the many angles we take in dance (our wide network):
Since I first started dancing, networking has taken my dance world further than I could have ever imagined. Speaking only from my own personal experience, I think that if you are new to the community, joining a collegiate team is one of the best ways to kick off some good networking J. You not only build long-lasting, working relationships, but you could also grow in dance by obtaining leadership skills, experience with choreography, and even just learning how to work together towards a common goal. Knowledge in these areas will definitely come in handy when you start planning your first dance/concept video or teaching your first Boogiezone class!
Don’t have the luxury of being on a team? That’s OK!!! Networking then becomes even more essential to improving in the art of movement. Aside from sharing a passion for dance, it is necessary for us to stay open to connecting with others. Now if you really think about it, most successful dancers and choreographers out there right now are unique not only because of what they have to offer and share, but also because they are open to meeting new people and creating different opportunities for themselves.
We’re always thinking of ways to become ‘better’ dancers. Sure, you can take 20 mL classes a week and choreograph 10 pieces every two weeks, but where does it all go if you have nowhere to share your art? We are so passionate about dance that we can easily forget about how we got here and who was a part of the journey. Let’s examine the definition of networking:
Network (dictionary definition): a group or system of interconnected people or things: a trade network
Trade. To think of networking as a trade-off between giving and taking can remind us of the value of relationships in a dancer’s growth. We’re constantly meeting new people through joining projects, competing at shows, taking dance class, and even going to team mixers that somehow everyone knows about (not surprisingly, ha!). If you think about it, it’s easy to shake someone’s hand and say your name at these kinds of events, but the connection that develops after makes the encounter more vital for a dancer’s growth in the community – we just can’t do it without each other! We have to want to build relationships because we can easily indulge in our own knowledge and experiences. What good would it be if we danced in circles and just our own successes and failures? Where would the growth seed from?
In most cases, we adapt and grow with whom we surround ourselves. Depending on what kinds of attributes we obtain, we as dancers develop in the community with the help of others. Driven by our innate hunger for more, we hope to be at the “right” place at the “right” time. So who knows? Maybe the next time you kill it in class, you’ll end up performing at a show, sharing the stage with Keone and Mari!
What tips do you have for networking in the dance community? How has networking helped you personally? Leave a comment below to let us know!
Along with networking, it’s important to treat the current relationships you’ve built with respect and reciprocation. For those on dance teams, check out the things to keep in mind for relationships within the team!