Career Advice
Yes, we will listen to any life lessons this man has to share

What does it take to become an international superstar? Carlos Acosta might have a few ideas.

At the Oxford Literary Festival earlier this month, the BBC sat down with Acosta to ask for his life lessons. His answers—which he says he will pass on to his kids one day—give incredible insight into how he's become such a beloved worldwide success.

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Career Advice
Mia J. Chong found her place in ODC/Dance through understudying. PC Andrew Weeks Photography, Courtesy ODC/Dance

You might feel like the second choice when you look at the casting sheet, but understudies are necessary, valued team members who are regularly called off the bench to perform—even with very little prep time. "It is like the ultimate trust exercise with your director," says Mia J. Chong, who understudied many roles in ODC/Dance's The Velveteen Rabbit as an apprentice before becoming a company dancer this year. "Often, you do a lot of the homework on your own to make sure you can produce a quality performance, even if you don't have the chance to demonstrate it right away."

Here's what to expect when you're learning from the back of the room and—when you're needed—how to step into the part with confidence.

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Advice for Dancers
Can you find harmony when your romantic partner is also your dance partner? Thinkstock.

I found a great boyfriend in my ballet company. I love how he understands my life as a professional dancer. The problem is we've started fighting whenever one of us gives the other a correction during partnering. Is dating him a bad idea?

—Lovesick, Toronto, Ontario

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Career Advice
A scene from Massenet's Cendrillon. Photo by Ken Howard, Courtesy Met Opera

The last place you might expect to find a graduate of New York University's decidedly contemporary dance program is onstage at the Metropolitan Opera House, scuttling around in a single three-inch heel, a massive petticoat and an ostentatious wig. But 2016 Tisch Dance graduate Andrea Pugliese can be found doing exactly that in The Metropolitan Opera's new production of Cendrillon, running April 12–May 11.

It might not seem like the most obvious fit for someone more accustomed to concert dance, but booking an opera job has major benefits—the dancers are unionized, which means good pay, and clear guidelines for rehearsal and performance schedules and conditions.

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Popular
An SFB ballet master spills on the most common mistakes she sees. Here, SFB in Sleeping Beauty, Photo by Erik Tomasson.

When conveying a story onstage, portraying a character convincingly is just as important as nailing the steps. But that's often easier said than done. We talked to Anita Paciotti, ballet master at San Francisco Ballet, about the biggest acting mistakes she sees dancers making:

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The Creative Process
Screenshot via Instagram @theiterationproject

As most creativity/productivity/goal-achieving advice columns will tell you, accountability is key to success—it helps you show up and do the hard work on the days when you really, really don't want to. But what if you're, say, a choreographer who doesn't live in a major dance center and therefore don't have that built-in community support?

Cue The Iteration Project, an online platform that delivers weekly prompts and shares responses from artists working in any medium, anywhere, and its recently announced TIP Partner Program.

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Career Advice
Many dramaturgs help the creative team do research. Photo by Becca Tapert/Unsplash

Clare Croft, a dance dramaturg and assistant professor of dance at University of Michigan, answers all our questions on what dramaturgs actually do, and how to best take advantage of one.

The Bottom Line: More choreographers should probably be using them.

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Career Advice
Who's ready for summer? Photo via Unsplash

At the end of a long season, sometimes a dancer just needs to hit the reset button. A new summer program is offering pros a chance to do just that in the Rocky Mountains this summer. For free.

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