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By Wendy Perron
If anyone’s a natural dancer, it’s Wade Robson. He’s been dancing since he was 5 and teaching hip hop since he was 12. Back in 2002 he was one of our “25 to Watch”—an obvious choice, since at 19, he was already choreographing for stars like Britney Spears. Now, at 25, he’s a mature dance artist, creating a unique world with each new piece, whether it’s for Fox TV’s So You Think You Can Dance, Justin Timberlake, or Cirque du Soleil. What made the difference? Love, of course. Read our cover story “An Innovator at Work” to find out how his wife Amanda helped define his vision as a choreographer. During our cover shoot, Wade and Amanda brainstormed a way for him to honor great performers of the past who influenced him. So you will see, in the photographs, images of Fred Astaire and Michael Jackson strewn on the floor or posters of All That Jazz and West Side Story on an “inspiration board.” Robson, who started out in hip hop, is now connecting to a larger dance legacy.
Because this is the Jobs Issue, we also got Robson’s advice on how to get a gig. But that’s just the beginning of our comprehensive Jobs Guide. For those of you who are studying dance seriously but haven’t found the job of your choice, take a look at “Jumping Over Job Hurdles.” In this story, Victoria Looseleaf talks to five dancers who started out wanting to dance with a company but ended up doing musicals, industrials, or dancing in various media—and, by the way, finding it artistically fulfilling.
Dancers who want to stick with concert dance sometimes need to be resourceful in finding side jobs. In “On the Side,” learn how Darrin Wright, who has a part-time bank job even though he works with five choreographers, and Lauren Engleman, who has had 10 side jobs at once, make it through each month.
We know that job hunting can take a psychological toll, so we asked Anne Wennerstrand, a psychologist and former dancer, how she counsels her dancer patients to cope with the knocks of hitting the pavement.
And for those of you who have not been performing professionally since you were 5, we have hundreds of job listings throughout the country.
Photo by Rose Eichenbaum.