Creating the Perfect Dance Resume

Creating the Perfect Dance Resume

Ok, so you’ve been in training for several years and now you’re good…really good.  You’ve either graduated with your dance degree or you’ve decided to go out into the professional field to start your dancing career.  Question is: What the heck do you do now??  How do you approach this new world?  You want to get the best artistic opportunity for the best pay at this point.  You want to find a company that doesn’t compromise your artistic intelligence.  You want to soar and to grow.

In order to make yourself visible to your choice dance companies, you must be able to show them you are a good fit.  There will absolutely be an audition process you’ll have to nail.  The only way around this is a video audition.  So hopefully you have your best dancing on video tape for these reasons.  Another thing you’ll need is a great resume! A resume shows your future employers your experience, training and qualifications.  Many dancers tend to take resume building lightly.  They figure their audition will say it all.  That right there is a mistake!  You have no idea just how many dancers will be at this audition, and they all may be excellent dancers.  Sometimes employers weed out prospects, just by looking at the resume if all the dancers are good.

To start building your resume you’ll need to collect all the information in regards to your training and experience.  Start by writing out all the schools you’ve attended.  List the dates you trained, the notable instructors you danced under (if they are a notable mention then list why), and the awards or merits you may have received.  If you attended a university or a community college do list any degrees you received and the years it took you to attain them.  List all honors.  Do include academic progress as well as a side note.  Any thing that shows dedication and excellence is important to include.

Now, write down your experience.  Which productions were you in?  Which dance roles did you get?  Did you attend any competitions, intensives, master classes or workshops??  List everything you’ve done on stage even if it is not dance related.  The more time you’ve had on stage, the more you’ve developed as a performer.  It all counts.  List every thing you’ve choreographed as well or had any part in, even if it was costuming alone.  List if any of these productions were in the paper, or received any positive recognition.

Next, list all the dance styles you are developed in and how many years you have trained in each.  List if you are developed on pointe as well.  This must be listed as a note to your ballet instruction.  You will list how many years you were in ballet training total, and then how many years you were in pointe training total.

After writing all this out (with names, dates, locations and mentions), then write out some personal information about yourself.  In the dance world, physicality does matter, So for this reason, you should list your name, contact information, age, height & weight.  If you are not including pictures (which I highly recommend you do), then do include your hair color and length.  This may be important to ballet companies. Write a small paragraph about yourself and your view on the dance world.  Make a statement about your work ethics, your love of dance, your ambition and the confidence you have in your abilities.  This confidence should be mentioned in such a way that you don’t come off as arrogant.

Once you’ve compiled all this information, find a good resume template and get to work!  List everything neatly and make sure it is only one page total (you can use the front and back of the page if necessary)!  Employers have to look at so many resumes that one page is plenty. If you’re not including a picture on your resume, try to include a separate dance oriented professional looking body shot.  Don’t use a font that is too fancy.  You want your employers to see that you are organized and ready for dance, not computer graphics!

You can use any template you feel is the best for you, but make sure it is well written and to the point!  As soon as you have this resume built and perfected, print out at least 20 copies for your dance employment endeavors.   After all the training and efforts, you wouldn’t want a simple piece of paper to ruin your chances at a great opportunity.  So give your resume the time and attention it deserves. After all, it highlights the asset you will be to your future dance employers!

photo credit: 56858900@N03/6855538268 via photopin