Why should I be versatile?
If dance is something you would like to pursue as a career, be versatile. Your future is going to be hard and consist of many auditions. You may have a specific company in mind, or an area that sparks your interest, but choreographers want malleable dancers. Don’t put yourself in a box. This industry is small and you want to make yourself open to all of its possibilities. You will have to do many small jobs in order to build a strong resume and solid connections. By breaking out into many genres, you will meet more people and more doors will open. Being versatile will give you an edge in auditions. The judges will see that you can hold your own in multiple styles, when other may not possess this ability. For example, say you plan on auditioning for a hip-hop role; the first cut could be ballet or even tap. This extends to when you do book a job. If you are easy to work with, the choreographer will be more inclined to remember you and increase your chances of being hired back. Many times choreographers are not positive on what they want in the final product and may try various accents, timing, and so on. Adapting is key. Also, the willingness to learn is an amazing skill to acquire. As dancers, the future is not perfectly laid out, you have to go and get it. It is always a great idea to challenge yourself and break out of your comfort zone. You never know what could happen. Plenty of dancers believe they want to pursue a specific style, but once they try a few others, they discover another part of themselves they did not know existed.
Jenny Rose Kineavy is a TOCD alumni who graduated in 2015. She currently attends the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she is working to obtain a BFA in Dance alongside a Minor Degree in Creative Writing.