Many dancers have successful careers without being active on social media. Getty Images.

I Hate Promoting Myself on Instagram. Will That Hurt My Job Chances?

It goes against my core values to promote myself on Instagram, since the quality of my dancing matters more to me than tricks. Yet some of my favorite companies hire dancers with large followings on their IG accounts. Should I bother to audition at these places? I have strong technique, but I'm not Gumby.

—Instagram Resistant, Boston, MA


Instagram accounts showing freakishly high extensions or other extreme moves have nothing to do with someone's ability to perform. At the same time, dancers with an outsized presence on social media are able to generate interest in their company, which can translate to ticket sales. Rather than just showcasing their flexibility, many performers' accounts offer an intriguing window into the life of a professional dancer, with rehearsal clips or posts from backstage.

Where does that leave you? It depends on whether you want to play the game. If so, capitalize on your strengths by posting photos and videos that showcase your technique and behind-the-scenes moments without straying from your value system. For inspiration, look for professional dancers whose popular accounts speak to you. But keep in mind that unless you become an Instagram celebrity, your online presence won't likely have much bearing on where you work. Many dancers have successful careers without being active on social media. It's ultimately how you dance that gets you hired.

Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at advicefordancers@dancemedia.com.

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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