We had a chat with one of Springs’ teachers, Claire Talbot. Ever since she graduated from The Place in 2006, she has enjoyed a varied and exciting dance career. Whether that be teaching for Richard Alston, RAD, Danceexchange, and the Birmingham Royal Ballet or dancing extensively with the Royal Opera House. We asked her what does it really take to work in the dance industry?
- You must LOVE what you do, only out of that can you find the motivation for hard work and PERSISTENCE! Persistence is key!
- You need to be a character that doesn't get offended by knock-backs. It’s likely that you’ll get a lot of those. Don’t give up too easily. It will take a while to build a career.
- You must be good at building relationships with both the organisations that you work for, and with the peers that you dance with. Repeat jobs don’t just come from being a talented dancer and teacher. Working well with others and leaving a positive impression of you, as a person, is so important. I have been offered a considerable amount of work because my friends and peers have recommended me for jobs - and vice a versa!
- It is super important that you are good with your budgeting. Prioritising where you are spending money is a must regarding everyday living, especially if you are going to be supporting yourself financially after graduation.
- Looking after your health both mentally and physically is obviously very important. Rest well. Eat well. Have fun.
- Professionalism – take pride in your art, take pride in your time keeping and take pride in the way you present yourself. Always turn up to a job or an audition with hair well groomed, nails varnish free and trimmed and avoid jewellery. This may seem a bit pinikity but it’s all part of being a pro.
- Don’t put yourself in a box artistically; other people can do that for you sometimes. They may say, “Oh you are this kind of dancer/type of choreographer aren’t you?” Avoid believing this; don’t stop trying new things and keep an open mind on where your journey might take you next.
- Take risks, have courage and dream big – you really don’t have that much to lose!