The Next Generation of Dancers
< Insight and Inspiration
The internet is firmly a part of society and indeed the dance studio. It’s a new challenge that’s being faced by the next generation of dancers who have grown up having an online presence.
30th April 2018
Four years into running DCD’s Schools and Conservatoires Programme, it’s still fascinating to see the new issues and questions that young dancers bring up in the sessions.
Research shows that the earlier dancers give thought to their life and career post performance, the more successful and positive the transition, and the more fulfilling their lives might be – this is why we run workshops for dance students in their final years of training in schools and conservatoires across the UK.
We recently made our first ever first to The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, delivering sessions to students in each of the three years of study on the BA in Modern Ballet course which is delivered in partnership with DCD Partner Company, Scottish Ballet.
As well as building knowledge of the incredible range of transferable skills that dancers have, and the students’ individual personal qualities, the workshops also give the opportunity to hear about life as a professional dancer and beyond from some of DCD’s supported dancers, in this case Mikah Smillie, Eve Mutso and Araminta Wraith.
One particularly fascinating discussion came around the level of importance of social media presence and profile in getting work as a dancer. Long gone are the days when dancers barely engaged with technology. The internet is now firmly a part of society and indeed the dance studio. It’s a new challenge that’s being faced by the next generation of dancers who have grown up having an online presence, and all the pros and cons that come with that.
The conclusion of the discussion seemed to be that, although social media presence can be useful to increase a dancer’s profile and that of their company, it’s unlikely that they would get work simply through that – and so there’s no substitute for a great audition! Nor for the human contact and personal networks that are naturally built through a career. One piece of advice that almost always comes up from professional dancers to students is: “always be nice, because people want to work with nice people.” Advice that rings trues both during and after a performance career.
Some things never change.
Photo credit: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Ellen is DCD Dancer Support and Programmes Officer.