You Must Believe – A successful professional dancer believes they will make it, no matter what anyone else in the world thinks. You must believe you can do it.
You Must Persevere – A successful professional dancer has perseverance within himself or herself to keep pursuing and training, no matter the outcome. You must possess dedication to bring about success.
You Must Have Confidence – A successful professional dancer is confident in their abilities. Be confident about your dancing, especially when comparing yourself to other dancers.
You Must Work Hard – A successful professional dancer works hard. Practice and dedicate yourself to becoming a better dancer every day.
You Must Handle Rejection Well – A successful professional dancer lets rejection roll off their back. Disappointment is a part of a dancer’s life. Move on and do not let rejection get to you.
You Must Take Corrections and Criticism Well – A successful professional dancer takes corrections and criticism well. If a choreographer is taking the time to give you direction, be flattered. They would not waste their time if they did not think you were talented and worth it. Do not ignore corrections. Sometimes a choreographer gives corrections to see how “directable” you are.
You Must Have Strength and Stamina – A successful professional dancer is strong and has the stamina to make it through long rehearsals and performances. Consider adding a workout routine to your dance training to help increase your strength and stamina.
You Must Shine on Stage – A successful professional dancer is also a crackerjack performer. Create the mood of the dance through your facial expressions. Every movement should have feeling and emotion. A lesser dancer who is an exciting performer will always get the job over a bland dancer with perfect technique.
You Must Strive to Prevent Injuries – A successful professional dancer makes injury prevention a priority. If you have a big dance audition on Monday, think twice before going on that ski trip over the weekend. If you are injured, seek help immediately. Do not sit and wait thinking “it will get better.” Your body is your life when you are a dancer. Protect it. Eat right. Do not give in to eating disorders. If you take care of your body, it will take care of you.
You Must Find a Flexible Day Job – A successful professional dancer who has not hit the big time yet needs a job. Get a job with flexible hours so you can attend auditions at the last minute or anytime of the day.
You Must Audition… For Everything – A successful professional dancer auditions constantly. Go to every audition and open call, even if you are not “right” for the part. Every time you audition, you get better at auditioning.
You Must Take Unpaid Dance Jobs – A successful professional dancer does not wait around for paid jobs. Take every legitimate dance job available to build up your resume and make contacts, even if the job does not pay.
You Must Have a Headshot and Resume – A successful professional dancer treats dance as a business. Have an experienced photographer take a professional headshot. Reproduce your headshots with your name on the front and print a well-written resume with your contact information on the back.
You Must Network – A successful professional dancer networks constantly. Many times directors and choreographers call in dancers they know and have worked with in the past instead of holding auditions. The more people you know in the dance world, the more work you will get. Make as many contacts as possible. Keep in touch, but do not become a pest.
You Must Have an Agent… In NY or LA – A successful professional dancer who lives in New York or Los Angeles has an agent. In these locations, it is difficult to get into professional auditions without one. If you live there, get an agent who represents dancers.
You Must Keep Training – A successful professional dancer never stops training. Take classes, especially in the types of dance you are weak. Sometimes dancers must sing. Take voice lessons and consider acting lessons to work on “connecting with your character” and improving your performances.