Introduction to Self-Marketing for Dancers

Whatever you can do,
or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and
magic in it.

GOETHE

What is a dance résumé?

Your dance résumé is your own personal advertisement. It is the centerpiece of your audition package, which includes a cover letter, photos and perhaps a video, reviews if you have them, and references.

Your résumé is intended to sell your services to the artistic director of a dance company or to a choreographer. Itís neither an autobiography nor a methodical listing of every role you have ever performed. Itís a carefully selected and formulated document that distills and highlights your accomplishments and experience to serve your current dance goals.

In researching this web page, a questionnaire was sent to the artistic directors of some of the most respected dance companies of the world. Almost all of the directors agreed that the résumés they receive are poorly done—sloppy, amateurish, confusing, too full of details or too skimpy—and sometimes all at once. Their message is clear: you can set yourself apart from the competition by presenting yourself professionally on paper.

There isnít one correct way to write a résumé, only better ways. This guide is designed to help you write a résumé that is a true reflection of yourself and the services you wish to contribute to the world of dance.

Do Your Best

Whenever you do anything, you should try hard to do it right. This is particularly true when writing a résumé. A résumé should be perfect—itís as simple as that. Your first impression on the artistic director depends upon it.

Your résumé package makes a personal statement about you. If your résumé is casual, sloppy, and confused, it suggests that your dancing will be too. It implies that you arenít motivated to do your best, or that you donít care about the impression you make. It can cost you a job.

In contrast, a focused, clean, well-written résumé sends a completely different message to your potential employer. It shows that you respect yourself and the director, and are a professional. It can land you a job.

If youíre going about this in a rush, slow down. Take the time you need to do the job properly. Like dancing, writing a résumé simply requires the commitment to do your best and the persistence to keep going until youíve succeeded.

Reach for the stars and they can be yours. Imagine a successful audition, the beginning of a wonderful future. Dream of what you will become as youíre molded into the finest of dancers. Then present yourself on paper in a way that not only reflects your excellence in dance but your spirit, desires, and professionalism.

Your résumé is no place for modesty, so get out of that frame of mind right now if youíre in it. It's alright to be vain on your résumé, this is where you should shine as brightly as you can.

Fall down seven times, get up eight.
JAPANESE PROVERB


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