Australian dancers are known for their excellent training and ‘hard work’ ethic. The reward? Aussies have been gigging the world including LA, Broadway, and London’s West End for decades.
Clearly we’re blessed to have a country full of passionate teachers in the cities and rural areas, who have been well trained themselves, and who are committed to passing on their skill and love for the craft.
Why then do some people get gig opportunities, while others with exactly the same training miss out? Hmmm?? Most people are loath to admit the questions they have about this frustrating situation… [Insert thought bubble here] “Umm am I too X, or not enough Y, and basically do I just suck at this?!!”
The truth is it takes a winner’s mindset to endure the training you’ve already come through on your road to being a pro dancer. If you didn’t have a strong success psychology to start with, you simply would have dropped out miles back. So forget your limiting questions. Those questions are what suck! Instead ask yourself how you can benefit from the following ideas.
See most people are focused on discovering a great big groundbreaking difference that will win them the career of their dreams. What’s required though is rarely huge and obvious. Instead it’s the subtle nuances that will put you on the path to a future so bright you’ll have to wear shades!
Put it this way: Have you ever watched an elite sporting race final like in the Olympics? The winner gets the medal, their national anthem played, product endorsements worth millions of dollars, TV gigs, and they’ll be loved forever as a national hero. But think about it, there’s often no more than a few nano seconds between first and second place. That’s the nano nuance you need to discover to be a winner in your circle. That nuance is the difference between being excellent and being extraordinary!
So if you want to make your training pay you in dream job opportunities there are a few tips I recommend:
1. Be a dance artist – Style is becoming a forgotten art. Often the emphasis is on amazing hip hop moves, classical technique, and athletic acrobatic tricks. All of these are important elements to study for sure! However dancers risk becoming stylistically stuck because time is not invested in getting cross genre styles into their body. Those who can switch gears from the innovative 2010 ‘feels’ to the class of the 40 ‘s styles, for example, will endure and be the most valuable dancers on agents’ books.
2. Be a dance-ologist. Dynamics is a mystery to most dancers – but even worse, they don’t realize it. The way you interpret time will have a MASSIVE effect on how watchable and dynamic your dancing is. Time precision is an absolute must. Use your ears first and then your limbs. And work with a time cop teacher (there are a lot of us out there) to test your musicality, and condition in exciting dance habits.
3. Be a beginner again. The one thing that is most likely to stop your raging success is being unable to step back into the shoes of a learner. Once you’re accomplished at something it can be hard to see the tiny little lessons your teachers are wishing to illuminate for you. And it’s doubly hard because often students are looking for the huge lessons like I mentioned before, when what is needed is almost unperceivable actually. This is when people plateau and eventually fall off track.
To be a nuance detective ask yourself questions like: What are they doing with their face, mouth, and eyes, breathing? Where is their weight? What part of the body do they lead from? How do they use time?
And remember no two people dance exactly alike so the great news is there are literally millions of ways to become extraordinary. So always put a little bit of your uniqueness into your work and ‘own’ the choreography.
Go invest time working with experts who have already done or are doing what you want to do. There is a subtle difference between someone who knows the work in theory, and someone who has ‘done’ the work in the industry. Be sure YOU make that distinction. And always have fun doing it!!
Please join me at my next Audition Guru workshops. Join the newsletter and the Facebook Group. And be sure to visit the DanceLife Events regularly to keep in touch with what’s going on near you.
Check out Audition Guru’s next workshop for Rock Of Ages HERE.