Courtney Harge, associate director of inbound marketing for Fractured Atlas. Photo by De'Lon Grant, Courtesy Harge.

Whether You Need Funding, Promotion or Space, These 4 Steps Will Help You Advocate for Your Art

You already believe in your work as a dancer. But how can you make others see that it's worth supporting? Courtney Harge, associate director of inbound marketing for Fractured Atlas, outlines the essentials of advocating for your work.


Be specific with your needs

According to Harge, understanding what resources you need to enhance your work or platform can be the hardest part. Is it funding, promotion, rehearsal space or a partnership? "Be really clear," she says.

Recognize your skills

Discussions around advocacy often come down to money, and when dancers think they don't have enough, they feel like they're entering the conversation at a deficit. Remember that your work, whether it be as a performer, choreographer or administrator, is filling a need. "At the very least, assume an equitable presence at the table," Harge says.

Be honest about your goals

"It is much harder to sell someone else's idea of what your art should be than it is to sell your genuine idea," Harge says. "If you have to repeat the same argument all day, every day, it better be an argument you believe."

When you get a no

There's always a risk that you'll get rejected. But it's okay to continue the conversation by politely asking why. "If they know that you respect them enough to accept their no," says Harge, "they are more likely to continue the conversation later to find a yes."

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AMDA students learn how to present their best selves on camera. Photo by Trae Patton, Courtesy AMDA

AMDA's 4 Tips for Acing Your Next Audition

Ah, audition day. The flurry of new choreography, the long lines of dancers, the wait for callbacks. It's an environment dancers know well, but it can also come with great stress. Learning how to be best prepared for the big day is often the key to staying calm and performing to your fullest potential (and then some).

This concept is the throughline of the curriculum at American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where dance students spend all four years honing their audition skills.

"You're always auditioning," says Santana Trujillo, AMDA's dance outreach manager and a graduate of its BFA program. On campus in Los Angeles and New York City, students have access to dozens of audition opportunities every semester.

For advice on how dancers can put their best foot forward at professional auditions, Dance Magazine recently spoke with Trujillo, as well as AMDA faculty members Michelle Elkin and Genevieve Carson. Catch the whole conversation below, and read on for highlights.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
July 2021