Do you ever wonder how those people get so lucky to be on stage dancing with big name artists? Have you ever thought about being one of those dancers someday?
It all starts with you. Now don’t be scared if you don’t dance or if you’re just starting out. You do not need to be a well-known dancer where everyone knows, you do not need to be an A class dancer, you do not need to have been dancing since you were a little kid, and etc. You do not need to be anything but passionate about dancing and smart with whom you choose network with. With hard work and a never-ending determination to achieve your goal to be on that stage dancing for a big named artist, you can make it big time! There are so many directions you can take to get to your goal; there is not one correct way to get there but let’s talk about a few ways you can go about getting to your goal.
Where do you even start?
Let’s start by establishing the fact that anyone can dance! If you put in the work and time, you will surely improve on your dancing skills. Just like anything else, improvement will happen overtime not overnight. A good starting point would be taking dance classes. Taking as many dance classes as you can is a big benefit because there are so many different styles of dancing. From popping, locking, to whacking, and so much more, you can learn the techniques that go into each style of dance. If you enjoy a certain style of dancing, you can choose to master that style or you can infuse different styles into your own! Allowing yourself to be open to learning so many different styles through a variety of dance classes will benefit you in the long run because you add to the skills and techniques you have previously learned through previous teachers. Not just the dancing techniques itself, but additionally the teachers provide you with wisdom as well that they cannot teach through dance. So take advantage of classes that are out there!
Join a Dance Team or Enroll into a Collegiate Dance School
Something that you can choose to do along your dance journey is to join a dance team or a well-known dance school! Joining a dance organization gives you networking that could be very beneficial to you. Some of your teammates might have some connections to a dancing agency or a person they know that books dancers for small gigs. Your dance organization might also participate in small projects that expose you to the dance industry and that in itself puts your foot in the door.
Additionally, a lot of dance organizations love making dance video projects that they post on multiple social media platforms and being a part of those videos will get your name out there as well showcasing your skills. Being part of these videos will also give you footage to use when you create your highlight dance reel. But it is recommended that you make your own dance video projects that are under your own name. It showcases your artistic ability as well as your style, uniqueness, and skills. Getting someone who knows how to record and edit videos really well is a crucial component when making these videos because you want the video to ‘wow’ those who are watching it, not just with the dancing, but with how the dance is presented as well.
Market Yourself with Highlight Dance Reels
A highlight dance reel is basically a compilation of dance footages that showcase your best dance work. You may include those dance video footages that you were part of, any dance gigs you did, big or small, and anything else that you think showcases your dance skills at their best. It’s crucial to create dance reels every year to showcase your growth and to show what you’ve done or accomplished. The more you involve yourself, the more footage you have, and the better your highlight dance reel can get because you have so much footage to choose from.
Eventually, when you achieve your goal of backup dancing for a big named artist, that’s when you want to add that experience into your credentials and highlight dance reel. This will make you even more marketable in the dance industry because you have that experience under your belt of being a backup dancer. But, just because you achieved this goal once, doesn’t mean it will be easy for you to get opportunities like that again. You have to keep working everyday to improve and to learn and to keep involving yourself in projects because the grind never stops. There’s always room to grow and opportunity for you to grow. It could also get difficult to get such opportunities because sometimes they have a criteria that they’re looking for when choosing backup dancers; those include, but not limited to, height, look, and sometimes gender. It’s not meant to discriminate; they’re just looking for the overall vision from the artistic point of view and sometimes fulfilling the request of the artist.
All this is achievable but it is a long, tough path to go into. It just depends on how much work and time you’re willing to put in, how you well market yourself to put yourself above the rest, and making those smart connections with people you meet that could potentially open doors for you.
I hope this article allowed you to get a small glimpse of what it takes to be in the dance industry as a backup dancer and the hard work that goes into it. I hope this inspires you to keep working hard towards your goals and aspirations, whatever they may be, dance related or not.