Go hire a dancer!


Almost a month ago (and happily/sadly I have been so busy that I haven’t posted this until now) I attended a workshop put on by a great organization called Career Transition for Dancers.  The organization helps dancers who are either retiring or are looking down the road at retirement figure out what they want to do with their life post-dance. It is a great organization who have help a lot of dancers as they transition out of being performers into other aspects of the arts world or on to careers outside of the arts.

The workshop was not so helpful for me, unfortunately.  I already have my Plan B and I didn’t meet the requirements for their grants.  oh well.  However, there was one handout among the entire folder of papers they gave us (information overload) that really stood out.  The paper is entitled “Dancers are a Valuable Resource in the World of Work” (created by Suzi Jary, L.C.S.W.,C.P.,P.A.T) I have been in the working world since 2003 (am I giving away my age?) and I have never really given a thought as to whether or not the fact that I was a dancer was a great reason to hire.  However, in talking to a professor from a law school once and telling him that I was a former dancer he really emphasized that I needed to have that in my law school application as that is a great asset. Then, this paper lands in my hands and my interest is aroused, my attention is grabbed.

Dancers don’t get paid much.  We live paycheck to paycheck, if we are lucky.  When we say that we sacrifice for our art, you wouldn’t believe what we give up. So, for all of you employers out there, here are the reasons that you should hire a dancer and by giving them a job you are supporting the arts:

  1. Ability to work as part of a team or independently
  2. Disciplined and dedicated
  3. Ability to take direction
  4. Persistent and able to work under pressure
  5. Trained to think on their feet and adapt quickly to change
  6. Intelligent and hard-working
  7. Vitality, energy and physical stamina
  8. Engaging physical presence
  9. Strive for excellence
  10. Keen motivation to improve and hone their skills
  11. Individuals who are successful in one career are more likely to be successful in another
  12. Learning skills of focus and concentration
  13. Listening and observing skills
  14. Strong sense of commitment and responsibility

So, the next time a resume come across your desk from a dancer, don’t be so quick to toss it aside.  They may be your next best employee.  Go hire a dancer!

(quoted from the handout created by Suzie Jary)

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3 Comments

Filed under Career, dance

3 responses to “Go hire a dancer!

  1. notsoliteral

    I think that branding or positioning yourself to have any decided advantage in the job search is a great idea. Especially with what you noted above, being able to answer the “what did I learn?” question regarding something you did for many years is a great bit of self-assessment.

  2. adaptive skills. thanks! i will always stick it to my mind. thanks really. i hope you success in the future.

  3. Sam

    Very cool, thanks for sharing this. This would definitely be a great thing to bring up in an interview, or to use as a basis for a cover letter. These qualities and your dancing experience distinguish you, and that’s great.

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