By Sara Willcutt
1) Start with a Dance Resume
Your dance resume should highlight your experiences and accomplishments in order to foster your current dance goals.
The resume will include a cover letter, photos, reviews if you have them, references and for some a video.
Your resume is your advertisement to choreographers or dance company directors.
Do not make your resume an autobiography or list every performance you have ever been in. Try to keep your resume to one page. This may mean that you can’t put down everything. This is where you need to make choices and think about what job you are auditioning or applying for.
Your resume is important and it can set you apart form others.
2) Take Your Time and Do Your Best
Your resume needs to be perfect; getting a job could depend on it. You should make sure your resume is updated and that you always have someone proofread it to check for any errors. If you resume is sloppy, full of errors or confusing, it might imply that you are not motivated to do your best.
A clean well-written resume can give potential employers confidence that you pay attention to details and are professional and serious about your dance career.
3) Do Your Research
Before you create or update your dance resume, be sure to research the company or groups that will be looking at it. This can allow you to personalize your resume and cover letter to be more effective. Make sure you spell the director’s name correctly. Find out where the director has danced and studied. Find out the name of the artistic director.
To Do Your Research:
- Look in the ASD Dance Directory find links to dance company web sites.
- Look at Dance Magazine and Dance Spirit magazine to find articles about particular companies.
- Look for reviews done in the New York Times.
- Search the company name on big search engines like Google and Bing to see what comes up. You can also search the director’s name.
- Go to the library and look at Stern’s Performing Arts Directory, which is most likely in your local library. It lists every Dance Company, their addresses and phone number.
- Look at Cyber Dancer Page which is linked to many dance sites.
4) Make Contact
Call your target companies and ask to talk with the person in charge of public relations. Tell them that you are a dancer that is interested in auditioning for the company. Ask for information on their repertoire for the past five years and the repertoire the company intends to dance this season. Ask where the company is planning to tour, for the director’s biography and to whom you should send your audition materials. Offer your e-mail address so that it might be easier for them to e-mail rather that mail you information.
Try to find a member or former member of your target companies to talk with. You might find them through a find or some contact information on the companies’ website. Ask them questions such as:
• Who teaches at rehearsals?
• What are the rehearsals like?
• What is the director like?
• How are the dancers treated?
• What is the range of salaries?
• What time of year do the dancers return their letters of intent?
A letter of intent is a letter from the artistic director indicating his intent to continue working with a dancer for the next season. The directors then know how many contracts must be filled.
The best time to send your resume to an artistic is when he or she learns that a new dancer or dancers are needed.
Doing research like this means that you are not only prepared to write your best and most targeted resume, but you will also learn about the companies you are
interested in. You may discover that you are excited about a company, or you may find that it wouldn’t the right place for you. You can save a lot of time and energy by only auditioning for companies that would work out for you if you become a part of them.
Doing your research shows how much you care about the audition and that you are serious. Finding connections with directors and artistic directors is priceless.