Your Dance Résumé

Picture of the printed version of Your Dance Resume -- click to buy a copy A Guide to the Audition

By Eric Wolfram

In the memory of Peter Iaria

Notice of Copyright

Dancers don’t like to read. They respond to images of beauty, not to words; and I’m not going to argue that point because the proof is in the bookstores. The dance section, if there is one, is a shelf half-filled with books that never made the New York Times best-seller list. The few exceptions are the books written by celebrities, which appeal to the non-dancing public – people who like to read stories about the twisted lives of dancers on their graves, or the biographies of choreographic geniuses like Mark Morris. The dance books sold to actual dancers are filled with pictures, not words.

Dancers don’t write much either. In twelve years of professional experience, I never met a dancer who was asked to write anything. Furthermore, dancers start young. Their adolescent focus is on training and rehearsals which end at 10:30 p.m.; not on grammar teachers who, bless their souls, tend to ramble on about predicates and indirect objects. Dancers ignore writing and words. This truism would be laughable if it were not so serious. So how is a dancer supposed to write a good résumé. We used the following method.

The day before an audition, we’d ask someone to borrow their résumé, and then we’d copy it. The result depended on the quality of the résumé we copied. Others would have their fathers, who never seem understand that heights and weights are important to an artistic director, write their résumés. The results tend to be corporate forms, highlighting college training (a big no-no) and instead of the most important roles that the dancers performed. I knew there had to be a better way.

So where does a dancer go when it comes time to audition? My answer is here, or to a copy of a book called Your Dance Resume, which contains fine sample résumés. I hope that this will help dancers who don’t have another dancer’s résumé to borrow. Text from my book on the web for free. My brother pointed out that the circle of people who dance and the circle of people with computer rarely meet, which at the time, was another unfortunate truism. So why did I publish my book on the web anyway? Because I felt like it, that’s why.

Table of Contents

I- Acknowledgments
All the wonderful people who helped me along the way.
II- About the Author
Who am I?
  1. Introduction to Self-Marketing for Dancers
    One way of looking at a résumé and why you need one.
  2. Doing the Research
    This is so important, it's hard to overstate how much you have to read this section.
  3. Résumé Basics
    What is on a dancer's résumé, and what is not.
  4. Advanced Résumé
    Types of résumés
  5. Your Writing Style
    A short message about writing.
  6. The Three Magic Words and Their Hundred and Fifty-Five Little Helpers.
    Some tricks from the mind of Merle Hubbard—professional agent and manager.
    and some cool words that I picked.
  7. The Elements of a Résumé
    How to organize your résumé.
  8. Your Cover Letter
    An easy way to write a cover letter that gets noticed.
  9. Photos and Video
    Tricks on getting good photos.
  10. Image and Design
    Putting it all together in one nice package.
  11. Securing an Audition
    Getting a personal audition and staying away from the cattle-calls.
  12. Fear and the Audition
    Overcome the fears of rejection, failure, and success.
  13. Last Thoughts on Your Audition
    Read this before you go.
  14. How to Order Your Dance Resume.
    How to get a copy of this book for your library, school, or personal book shelf.

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