23 Apr 8 EXTRA SKILLS OF AN EMPLOYABLE DANCER
As the entertainment industry is becoming more and more competitive, it is important that prospective dancers hoping for a career do as well. Gone are the days of just becoming a “triple threat” and whilst singing and acting are also incredible valuable for a dancer to have, there are a number of other skill sets that should be considered.
Here are our top 10 skills dancers looking for employment should look into.
- Aerial and Silks: Have you ever been a P!nk concert and seen those iconic silks? The last decade has seen a rise in cirque taking on the entertainment industry and being able to have just some of these skills is a great addition to your resume. For dancers, aerial skills such as silks and lyras are also great for strength and flexibility training and are generally an easy transition as the technique and training can be quite similar.
- Public Speaking: So it isn’t something that will make you a better dancer, but being able to speak well in front of an audience is great for auditions and jobs alike. Good presenting skills can move you from a background dancer to hosting a show and you will find your career path broadening and more employment opportunities opening up. Knowing how to speak well will also be helpful in an audition once the casting board ask you questions.
- Stunt Work: If working in film or television is something you are working towards, stunting is a great skill to have (and the pay is great!). Not only will it make you stand out from other actors and dancers hoping to land a role, but being able to tumble, fight, dive and more is excellent to learn body control and strength.
- Singing/Vocal Training: It’s one of the original “triple threat” skills but being vocally trained is still and will forever be a vital skill for dancers hoping to make a long-lasting career, specifically in musical theatre. In very little musicals now is there a dance-only role, so having multiple other skills is essential for landing the job. If you’re a regular eisteddfod dancer, it’s more than likely you’ve been in numerous song and dance numbers, but training your voice professionally has more to offer than just reaching notes. Vocal training teaches you to breathe properly, voice projection and how to modify your voice to achieve different intonations.
- Modelling: Like public speaking, modelling won’t necessarily help your dance skills but it is a great way to build confidence and could be beneficial with jobs like hosting and presenting. Knowing how to hold yourself, your best angles and being comfortable in front of a camera are all great skills any professional in the entertainment industry should know.
- Character Suits: If you are looking for work at a theme park or even at a resort, it is more than likely you will come across suit work. It is far from the most glamorous job you will have in your dance career, but it is incredibly enjoyable and a great way to work at places like Disney and Universal!
- Acting: The other original “triple threat”, acting, is one of the top skills every dancer should be training from a young age. From stage performance to being on camera and everything in between, unfortunately acting isn’t one of those thing you can fake it ‘til you make it. Being able to act will not only make you more employable, but, like dance, acting brings confidence and awareness of the body. It also teaches you voice control and effective communication, an essential quality in the industry.
- Networking: It’s the brutal truth but sometimes no matter how good you are, getting a job is about who you know. Being able to network at any event from eisteddfods to concerts and auditions is an incredibly valuable tool. You never know who will be casting one day and if you can make an impression on someone even if it is simply a Facebook friend or Instagram follower, you are not only opening yourself up to being considered for more opportunity, but are more likely to find out about auditions and castings you may not have otherwise seen.
Of course for any dancer ensuring your technique and stage performance is at a professional level is the first step to having a successful dance career, but having a resume filled of other skills could get you the job over the dancer standing in line next to you. It is not necessary to have every skill on this list, in fact, spreading yourself too thin could actually be a problem, but knowing what you do well and thinking of yourself not only as a dancer but as an entertainment industry professional could ensure you a long-lasting and incredibly successful career.