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Do It Yourself

Today I’d like to talk about how these marketing tips and tricks I’ve taught you guys have helped me and other dancers I know. The advice I’ve given is not just meant for the professionals. I use it whenever looking for dance work here in Lawrence or Kansas City and I’ve seen it be proven true with both my dance ventures and my friends’.

I have a dance resume that I bring with me to every audition I go to. I am constantly updating it with my training and any sort of performance I danced. The more you have on your resume the more experienced you look and the better dancer they assume you’ll be. Listing all the names of your teachers lets the casting director see who you’ve worked with. Often times there will be someone in common that they’ve worked with also. This can make them more inclined to help you.

Though none of my immediate friends have actual websites yet because we are still in school, many utilize the internet. Several friends have YouTube accounts to post their dancing or choreography videos for others to watch and get to know them. Using YouTube is something I’ll talk more about later.

There aren’t any real dance agencies in Kansas, but you can still interact with famous and important teachers. Conventions come to Kansas City bringing the best of the best in the dance industry and provide you the opportunity to take their classes. One way you can network in person with these teachers is by always going up and thanking them personally after class. This is something I do at every convention I go to. The more they see you, the more they’ll start to recognize and remember you. So next time they come maybe they’ll seek you out and talk to you. Or if you visit Los Angeles or New York City, the two dance hubs of the U.S., they’ll recognize you when you audition for them.

Another way you can apply one of these tips at conventions is with branding. The same way an agent would help you come up with an image for yourself, you can create it yourself by dressing to fit the class. Do some research before taking the classes and figure out what each choreographer’s style is. If they are girly-jazz funk, wear something fitted and sexy. If they teach street hip hop, wear loose clothing that has a masculine edge to it. I’ve seen this work at conventions because the teachers are naturally drawn to those who look and dance like them. Teachers are more likely to give awards or scholarships to further train those dancers.

So there you have it. These tips are not just for the big leagues, but for everyone. I hope you can use this advice to give your dancing a boost.

Eccles, A. (Photographer). Alicia Graf Mack of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater [Photo]. Retrieved online from http://www.saturdaymatineeblog.com/category/dance/

Get Some Help and Get an Agent

I hope my last post didn’t scare anyone. Yes, dancers have a lot on their plates and a lot of responsibility. The good news is, they don’t have to do it alone. This is where agents come in. Agents help dancers find auditions and give advice on how each dancer can brand his or herself. Agents also help dancers network in person with other people in the industry. It’s not a requirement to have an agent, but it can be extremely helpful.

Agency auditions can be intimidating. A normal agency audition includes several hundred dancers and four or five people judging and watching. The goal is to stand out amongst all the other dancers and make the agents want to hire you. No need to worry about the numbers; there are dozens of agencies in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago each (Patterson, 2014).

Not all agencies require in-house auditions, either. Many will allow you to send a portfolio in to them online. This is where the dance reel I will talk about later comes in handy (Patterson, 2014).

Basically, an agent finds auditions and possible jobs that fit their dancers’ “brand” and resume, and set up an audition for them. Agents know many important people in the dance industry so they take your name and network, network, network. Your agent handles all your PR and “sells” the brand you’ve created for yourself to choreographers (Feller, 2014).

Yes, agents handle some work for you, but as their client, you really need to focus on communication. Communication from the dancer to the agent, and from the agent to the employer. Let them know if you’re not happy with something or want to change up your image. The more they know about the type of dancing and work you want to do the better. This follows the social media and marketing practice: one must always be communicating (Feller, 2014).

(L to R) Elizabeth Disharoon, Gen Hashimoto, Pascal Rekoert and Rosie Lani Fiedelman of Jennifer Muller/The Works (Photo by: Carol Rosegg)

Rosegg, C. (Photographer). (2009). Get in the Modern Dance Door [Photo].

 

Feller, A. (February 2014). What Your Agent Needs You to Know. Dance Spirit, volume(18), 36-38.

Patterson, C. (2014, March). Personal Communication with G. Haverty

Rosegg, C. (Photographer). (2009). Get in the Modern Dance Door [Photo]. Retrieved online from http://www.dancespirit.com/2009/09/get_in_the_modern_dance_door/

Marketing 101 – For Dancers

When people think about what they need to do to have a successful dance career, they probably envision themselves training and taking numerous classes throughout the week, eating healthy and exercising, and taking good care of their body. However, in today’s dance industry it takes a little more work. Dancers must be proactive about the business side of things and learn how to market themselves in a professional and enticing manner.

Marketing 101: make and maintain connections. This is the basis of all marketing techniques. While it may seem intimidating to talk to people and “network,” it is extremely important. The key factor to gaining support for yourself, your company, or your studio is to build relationships. Nowadays, even though things are moving more online, it is your responsibility to make your interactions feel personal no matter what platform they are on. People will come to see you dance when they care about and have a connection to the person on stage (Heffner-Hayes, 2014).

It is also vital as a dancer to have a personal website. You can showcase your work through videos and photographs on your website . Your website will also allow for future employers to view your resume and contact information. If you decide to create your own website, be careful. Make sure it comes across as very professional and serious when employers view it, and that it fits the image you’re going for (Holleran, 2011).

You can also benefit from creating a blog. A blog can be very helpful because it gives followers and employers an opportunity to see more of “you” and get to know you in other ways than just your dancing. Writing your own posts and talking about your goals and ideas creates a more personal connection between yourself and your audience (Patterson, 2014).

Crea, S. Dancers: The Company [Photo]. Retrieved online from http://columbusdancetheatre.com/the-company/people/

Heffner-Hayes, M. (2014, March). Personal Communication with G. Haverty

Holleran, L. (November 2013). Take 5 for Your Career: Market Yourself. Dance Magazine, Retrieved online on 2014, Feb. 18 from:     http://www.dancemagazine.com/issues/November-2013/Take-5- for-Your-Career-Market-Yourself

Patterson, C. (2014, March). Personal Communication with G. Haverty

Welcome

Hi everybody.

I’m excited to be sharing all of my discoveries with you here at Marketing On Pointe. This blog will be a place for dancers, and others, to learn how to create the best marketing plan and online profile for themselves in order to help them achieve more in the careers. In today’s social media-focused world it is vital to understand not just how to use prominent forms of social media but how to use them effectively. If put to good use, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube can be breeding grounds for auditions, new teaching and choreographic opportunities, and networking success.

Social media is important, but it is equally important to Have a good marketing plan set up for yourself. It will make an impact on your dance career. Creating your own website, reaching out to leaders in the industry and branding yourself to create a certain image for yourself as a dancer will make you more well-known and distinct when attending auditions.

I will be showcasing the social media use of three different dancers who have done an excellent job of utilizing all of these techniques and have been reaping the benefits of their success for several years now. This will help give readers a good idea of how they can execute the tips they learn like the pros do. The dancers I will be profiling are Kyle Hanagami, Ian Eastwood, and Brian Friedman.

If you’re interested in my background, feel free to check out the About Me page.

I’m excited to begin this journey with you guys. Let’s get started.

 

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