By Stephanie Wolf of Dance Informa.
You did it! You booked that first gig or company spot and now you’re anxiously waiting for rehearsals to begin.
But before you go bounding into the studio on day one, here are some common faux pas newbies make on their first job — ones you don’t want to make as well.
#1. Being over eager
Know your role with the company and try not to be the go-to person for everything. Being over eager to please and taking on too many extra tasks will only cause your dancing to suffer — and above anything else, you are there to dance.
#2. ‘Forgetting’ to get it in writing
Though more relevant for freelancers than full-time company dancers, always always always get your new boss or director to put the terms of the agreement in writing. This protects both you and your employer. And read through your contract thoroughly. It may seem tedious at first, but it will be worth your time.
#3. Nabbing the first barre spot you lay eyes on
Dancers tend to be territorial, especially of their barre spots. So remember this on the first day as you’re scoping out where to stand for your plies and tendus. You don’t want to start off on the wrong foot by Bogarting the senior dancer’s spot at the ballet barre.
#4. Mismanagement of finances
Going from zero to paycheck — no matter how meager the dollar amount is — can be exciting. Just remember that feeling of wealth is all relative and make sure you have enough cash for when the bills come in. And while it may seem dull, it might even be wise to map out a spending plan.
#5. Not enough fuel in the tank
Nothing prepares you for full rehearsal days except full rehearsal days. So try to stock your dance bag with plenty of high-energy, nutritious snacks to keep you on your toes all day long.
#6. Thinking they are invincible
Even if age is on your side, your muscles don’t like having to go from cold to dancing full out. Be sure to stash plenty of warmies in your tote or locker, and keep the blood flowing with gentle warm ups during extended rehearsal breaks. Injuries are nondiscriminatory.