As of last week, I am a grown-up dancer, earning my living in the most improbable of ways… the arts. After this week, I will also be able to add “teacher” to my life experiences list, since Monday was my first day helping with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir day camp. This makes me profesh, correct?
As ones enters college, it behooves him/her to think about beginning to practice the professional attitudes that will demonstrate maturity and help get the job done. Though you will be student in college, there is no reason you cannot act like a professional. If there’s one thing I learned during this most recent year’s audition season, it’s that you command more respect if you act in a professional manner which indicates you feel you deserve said respect. Basically, act mature, and people will treat you as such.
The Butler Department of Dance has a Professional Practices class you must take as a new student. I know there is a pharmacy equivalent, and the Intro to the Discipline class acts as a sort of professionalism class for the English Lit and Creative Writing Majors. And of course, it’s only way after the fact that I appreciate the class…
- Maturity means stifling small complaints. If you see error, point it out respectfully and only to effect some sort of necessary change, then stop. Don’t complain for the sake of complaining.
- Maturity means remaining calmer, more focused, and more eager to learn than you actually want to be or than those around you are. Maturity means getting it right quickly and consistently. Maturity means occasionally taking on extra tasks with a smile.
- Maturity means showing respect for the job at hand, whether it seems too daunting or too little. No work of art lacks worth, and the more of yourself as an artist you can pour into a project, the more fulfilling it will be, both for you and for those around you.
This summer, I’m plunging headfirst into the real world, and old, tired sayings are gaining reality and importance the more I shed that snakeskin of student. More than ever, I wish I had internalized the gravity of a positive attitude sooner.
College will be challenging, with its incredibly multi-faceted demands on time and energy. However, a positive attitude manifested in mature professionalism really does make a difference, providing the biggest returns on the effort you give to your college (or professional) activities.
So life, bring on the next challenge!
Ugh, sorry to sound so preachy. But with all the earnestness I can muster, this really is true.
I just realized I have not posted since Sunday — where has the week gone? We graduate so soon, yet so much lies between me and a diploma. Namely:
- Coppélia production and performance
- dance and academic finals
- Senior English Essay — workshopped and now awaiting revisions
- two or three final projects in other classes
- A French class, which I might be taking as an independent study
This summer is wide open. I hope I’ll finish that French class so I can actually graduate in August (though I’ll still walk in Commencement). I might have a guesting job in Illinois, and of course I wouldn’t want to miss the beach with my family! Then… I start dancing with Tulsa Ballet II at the end of July!
I tweeted about this a while ago:
And when I opened Butler’s student newspaper yesterday, I saw I made the back page, where the Collegian staff quotes some Butler-related tweets seen in the last week. I’m famous!
Spring Break. Lounging on the beach, in the hammock, by the pool, in a tree. All valid and envy-worthy activities.
I shall be traveling the country, looking for a job. Besides visiting BalletMet, Tulsa Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet, I’ll be rewriting my BSI paper, getting a haircut… and seeing my family! I know lots of other senior dance majors will be doing the audition tour as well.
It’s weird to think this will be my last spring break ever. Though I might complain about being busy all the time, I still have academic calendar breaks. These disappear once I graduate and abruptly begin my tenure as a grown up. I guess I should enjoy the perks of not-quite-adulthood while they last. What has happened to the time?
I’m excited about graduating; I find myself more and more wanting to join what I call “the real world.” At the same time, I know that my grandfather at least thinks college is as good as it gets. I’m sure he’s right. I’m very spoiled here, living with all my friends in a very nice housing unit, doing what I love in a safe environment, etc, etc. Still, I want to hold onto that excitement; if I grow too nostalgic, I think graduating could quickly turn into a dreaded date. I want to look forward to graduating, so I’ll focus on the positive.
Anyway. That last paragraph got away from me. What are you doing for spring break? Butler’s Alternative Spring Break sounds extremely cool, and I just learned that my priest is going to Hawaii.
Spring Break 2011: My family rides the jitney -- I can only hope my three days at home this year are as epic.
And the above fact made my Sunday so much more pleasant. Two hours in the car in light traffic during the day seems like nothing compared to three hours in the car in crazy traffic at night. In the fog.
I auditioned for Louisville Ballet this past Sunday. This was my first real, ballet company audition, since the ones I did previously turned out to be more school-based. It actually went better than I expected. I was nervous until we started dancing, probably because we arrived early and had a fairly long time to warm up (though the hall was so crowded, there wasn’t overmuch space).
The artistic director gave a little speech before barre began, introducing everyone and basically telling us not to freak, which was nice of him. I enjoyed the class itself, taught by the ballet master. I even made a friend: I helped her with a barre combination, and she complimented my leotard. I love dancer camaraderie.
Barre was rather crowded — there were loads of people in the audition, but they broke the center work into smaller groups. I didn’t expect there would be so much standing around, but the studio was warm and sunny, and there were about a million people from Butler at the audition, so I enjoyed watching everyone dance. I do wish we had switched lines in for the center work, but the audition was otherwise much as I expected.
The consensus? Maybe finding a job won’t be as stressful as I’ve made it out to be. After all, the application process simply consists of doing what I love to do. Even my audition video, the making of which seemed one of the most arduous pieces of the pie, is coming together. Wish us all luck!
Headshot, courtesy of the incredible Dale Dong.
It was a long drive home from Chicago through the blinding mist, odd lightening flashes, and occasional splatterings of rain. This Sunday marked the first of what I intend to be many auditions. Yes — the job search begins.
I went to the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago audition with a carful of other Butler students… and ran into about eight others, as well as two alums. I made some friends, did some ballet, learned some rep. It was fun.
The drive back, however, was slightly terrifying since the fog became so thick on the road, and sections of the highway back do not have reflectors in the lane divisions. Thank the heavens, we had a pro driver and made it back safely. After midnight.
Getting up for French was not fun this morning… I can think this semester will be awfully busy! Who else has travel stories coming from or going to auditions? Please share!
This winter break has been characterized, colored, and otherwise influenced by the one large event looming in my life: audition season.
Dance jobs are not like normal jobs. Companies hold large “cattle call” auditions from January-May, and you might not be notified until the late spring (and beyond) of any job offers. They are unstable and do not pay well. Contracts generally run between 25-40 weeks of the year — dancers must seek other work (often guesting so as to stay in shape) during the summer layoff.
I really want a dancing job.
As a graduating senior, I will travel to auditions (mostly in Chicago, but likely some as far as San Francisco) every weekend, probably on Sundays. As soon as I’ve finished editing performance video, I’ll send my resumé/photos/DVD to other companies not offering auditions close to me or requesting materials.
Oh, yeah, I’ll take twenty credit-hours, complete my senior English essay, work with visiting repetiteur Kevin Irving to learn Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero, and bake at least one loaf of bread. (My sister gave me a World Breads cookbook for Christmas. I can’t let her down.)
I’ve been trying not to think too too much about dance auditions this coming spring, since the whole process seems quite daunting. But I’ve finally gotten my dance photos taken which will go in my resumé. A fellow dance major was kind enough to take me to his home in Cleveland and help with the four-hour photo session. If that isn’t friendship, I don’t know what is!
The process wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, although I was surprisingly sore afterwards. I did not realize that taking a photo of, say, a brisé, would require me to brisé fifty times in a row without stopping. The photographer was brilliant, talented, and exceedingly patient, as was his apprentice/assistant. As was the friend who stayed the entire time to help.
Intimidating at first glance...
I took my headshot first because I tried some with my hair down (pre-bun). That took longer than I thought it would, and I felt pretty awkward sitting on a chair smiling for ages and ages. The dance photos were more as expected. Seeing pictures of oneself can be helpfully revealing. I did not realize my arm was practically vertical in what I termed “the ninja jump.” Whoops. Body awareness.
Anyhow, I can’t wait to see the pictures. I hope from these I can pick a few really strong ones to give out with my resumé come spring… and the audition season. Much as I’m dreading auditioning (nerves, nerves) (also, I despise scheduling, and auditioning is more scheduling than anything else, at least at this point), I feel anxious for the process to begin. Let’s find a job!
Wish me luck. (And congratulations to Steph with her wonderful news!)