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How can I focus on being a professional dancer ?

I am a sophomore, that is 16 years old that lives in New York, I want to focus on being a professional dancer for myself , but I get distracted by other things which takes away my time , how can I focus on being a professional dance and focus on other activities

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Subject: Career question for you


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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Nya !

It is so wonderful that you have talent for dance and I know that being 16 is also very exciting and filled with activities that keep one busy. You are just experiencing regular life and it seems as though you're starting to become more serious about being a professional dancer. I would like to share some advice with you because you are totally capable of bringing it to the next level. I too was preoccupied with other things and when I was 16, that's when I became serious about my future career and it felt natural to do so at that age.

I'm not saying to cut yourself off totally from your current life, rather make the changes that will bring you closer to everything Dance. It may mean breaking away from some groups or activities and replacing them with things connected to dance performance. Start building your performance background now. Because you live in one of the ultimate cities for a Dance career, you have some free opportunities that you can take advantage of and you'll meet many new people. I have left links below for websites with the following opportunities/classes for your age group near you: American Youth Dance Theatre, Peridance, Broadway Dance Center, New York City Parks, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. They all offer Dance in person and Online. I would suggest going in person so you can interact with others and get immediate feedback on your performance.

Set aside time each day for practice and warmups. I have left two links below for Pantomime because this would be a great way to warm up and exercise in a fun way and keep in tune with movement. Mime is barely done these days, but it helped me back when I was a theatre major for movement on stage, being in tune with movement and I was able to even get a professional gig as a mime and taught it as well. Lets bring mime back, LOL. That being said, you will need to spend time learning all forms of dance: tap, jazz, hip hop, modern dance, ballet, and cultural. You should decide which genre is your forte and it's just a matter of feeling comfortable being versatile so you can get more work as a dancer.

Introduce new things into your schedule. Begin association with fellow dancers. Read about dance and search You Tube for various forms of dance instruction until you find an in-person class. Schedule it in your appointment book/program. You will see that you will begin to have time for dance and make it a priority. The reason you may be distracted is because you are not around other dancers or the dance world so you do not get the encouragement or ambiance of dance. I speak first hand about that. You need to be around it to be motivated and inspired. As an actor, I was distracted, too until I fully immersed myself in theatre. It's very normal but we all have to start at some point.

You're not going to have to give up important things. You'll still have your friends, family and activities you like to do. Start out slow and see how it goes.

I hope that this has been helpful with motivation and inspiration that will advance your love for dance. Never give up. You can do it ! Enjoy each step of the way !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

Thank you comment icon Thank you, Michelle for the advice. Nya
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Nya ! Michelle M.
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Savyata’s Answer

Example Path to Becoming a Professional Dancer

Early Training: Start dance classes in various styles during childhood.
High School: Join a performing arts high school or participate in school dance programs.
College: Pursue a degree in dance or attend intensive dance programs.
Performance Experience: Gain experience through local performances, competitions, and community theater.
Auditions: Regularly attend auditions and build a professional network.
Physical and Mental Fitness: Maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay resilient.
Continuous Learning: Keep improving your skills through ongoing classes and workshops.
Portfolio and Resume: Create a professional resume and portfolio to showcase your talent.
Career Path: Pursue specific career opportunities in dance companies, commercial dance, theater, teaching, or freelancing.

By following these steps and staying dedicated to your craft, you can achieve your goal of becoming a professional dancer.