“There was simply from this quite early age the awareness that the only thing I wanted was to dance”- Rudolf Nureyev
I think it is important to know a little about your dance students beyond their dance abilities and personality in the classroom. When I take attendance, I usually like to ask my students to tell me something about themselves, sometimes it’s their favorite color, if they have brothers and sisters, or their favorite subject in school. Last week I asked one of my groups of 8-11 year olds what they thought they might like to do when they are grown up. Here’s what they said
1. Most popular answer- a Veterinarian (I wanted to be this in 3rd grade too- somewhere the translation between ,’hey, I love animals’ and ‘hey, I’ll have to figure out why they are sick and dying’ gets lost int he shuffle
2. Marine Biologist- this was considered a ‘cool job’ when i was that age too. I’m pretty sure I told someone once that I wanted to be a marine biologist. I would indeed look great in a wetsuit and flippers
3. A teacher- this ranged from ‘dance teacher’ to ‘kindergarten teacher’ to teacher in Uganda (I don’t know why that country especially appeals)
4. A babysitter- what lofty ambitions!
5. A fashion designer
6. an Actress
7. A writer- (she couldn’t tell me exactly WHAT she wanted to write. Fingers crossed she wants to be a blogger and can take over this ol’ site)
8. I want to be FAMOUS!- (very tempted to warn her parents)
9. a Dancer- not as popular a choice as you’d think amongst a classroom full of dance students (smart!)
10. A nurse
I would never want to sway anyone away from wanting to pursue a career dance but I think everyone should be warned about the life most dancers live- which is one of many many side jobs as well. I remember being shocked my first year out of college, realizing how little- or nothing- you often make as a dancer, realizing how one job was not enough, and how lucky I was to have found a good place to dance where the struggle seemed worth it.
No one wants to work hard to train in dance only to not find a job, to find ones where the effort doesn’t equal a reward (of either financial or spiritual nature), or worse…to become this: