There are a lot of decisions to make during audition season—and many factors to consider about each potential job beyond whether the dance style is a good fit. Even if you’re sure a choreographer or company is perfect for you, it’s smart to do some additional research before the audition. Going in prepared can help you land on your feet.
Relocating can be par for the course in any career, but in as unpredictable a field as dance, it is especially common. And while packing up is always a large undertaking, there are some specific realities unique to dancers, as well as considerations to keep in mind when moving—from professional and personal needs to finances, timing, and more.
In 2019, Lauren Lovette seemed to have it all—she was a star principal at New York City Ballet and was Vail Dance Festival’s artist in residence. But inside, she was ill at ease. “I never really enjoyed performing,” says Lovette, now 32. Intrigued by choreography, she had created her first piece, For Clara, three years earlier for NYCB’s 2016 Fall Fashion Gala.
Like dance, figure skating blends both athleticism and creativity: Skaters perfect highly technical maneuvers like triple Axels and upright spins, often while weaving a narrative into their programs. To develop the lines, control, and artistry needed to execute a winning program, many competitive skaters rely upon the skills of dance coaches and choreographers.
Because being a movement director requires a deep understanding of how the body moves, dancers, choreographers, and teachers are uniquely set up for success in the field. Three experienced movement directors share their insights on how they got started, what’s involved in the role, and the challenges they face.
For ballet dancers looking to bridge the gap between school and company life, a pre-professional or trainee program is a logical step. These programs offer technique class alongside the chance to learn repertory and experience a professional dancer’s rehearsal schedule—occasionally with the promise of joining the main company by the end.
What does it take to become an arts multi-hyphenate? A healthy amount of initiative, a willingness to train and work in new ways, and an understanding of how the same skills honed in the studio can be valuable in other fields.
Thinking of starting an artist residency? Cheney, Teresa Fellion, of Middlebrook Arts Research + Residency Center in Jefferson, New York, and Mari Meade, of Moulin/Belle in southwestern France, share their experiences—and what they’ve learned along the way.