I like to think of networking as making connections. Hopefully that concept helps – and also – I’ve come up with some easy networking tips for dancers below.
Throughout this crazy year I’ve been thinking about how to genuinely connect with others. It’s usually on my mind anyway because I live a remote lifestyle and don’t always get to hang out with family or friends because of travel. It can be hard!
Networking can be specifically tough for dancers
I’ve talked to lots of colleagues in the dance field about networking. It can be especially tough for us artists. Getting comfortable telling your story and talking about yourself can take time. My goal is to make it easy for you. Bonus: if you need help talking about yourself, check out this post. Or, need help with your artist statement, go here.
First, I want to share a short story. It may not seem related to my networking tips but stick with me….
Don’t let fear paralyze you
One night the Caribbean Student Association at my upstate New York college was having a get together on campus. As I grew up in the Caribbean and I had a couple friends there, I was thinking of going. I ended up walking by with a small group of women from my dorm (all white). So, I said we should all stop in. Genuinely, I thought they would be interested and instead I got met with wide eyes and“we can’t go in there ….there’s black people” … and other comments like this. I grew up outside of mainland United States but I was shocked. Those comments were a small but sharp glimpse at how fearful white people are of any situation that confronts their privilege.
Fear can rule our lives. It stops us from progress and it prevents us from reaching our full potential. I hope you keep that in mind as you move forward in this world. Through personal and professional lives, you will need to constantly confront your fears if you want to be a better person.
Talking to strangers or professional colleagues can make many of us feel frozen. What do we say? How do we make a real connection without sounding snobby or silly? What if I say something ridiculous? All thoughts I know I’ve had! Hopefully, a few of these tips will help you take the first step…
5 Easy Networking Tips for Dancers
- Slide into the DM. Praise people for their work, posts, or creativity. The more outreach the better. It can be a simple note, but it will help people remember you.
- Look for internships or volunteer work with companies you admire. And if you don’t see anything listed, reach out anyway to introduce yourself. Look for contact information on websites…LinkedIn is great too (actually, that’s exactly what it’s for!).
- Reach out for an “info call” with someone who is actively in a career you’re interested in pursuing. See above about finding contact info. When you reach out to them, tell them what you admire about their work and why you’re interested in this career. Then ask if they have a few minutes to talk to you. Be prepared with questions for them!
- Attend an online workshop or webinar. Make a new connection in the chat or reach out to the webinar host to say thank you and introduce yourself.
- Promote other people’s work. We all win when we lift each other up. We especially win when we lift up others that need help.
Photo Credit: Toufic Mobarak