Magazine article Dance Spirit

THE Network

Magazine article Dance Spirit

THE Network

Article excerpt

College is all about investing in your education, but it's also the perfect time to meet a ton of people. The intense nature of a college dance program means you might have the chance to collaborate with anyone from visiting choreographers to MFA candidates to alumni- and those people can help lay the groundwork for your professional career. Dance Spirit asked two pros how they built lasting professional relationships that started in college.

USE THE RESOURCES ON OFFER

Many colleges provide built-in opportunities to network with peers at other schools (like during American College Dance Association conferences), and some have robust alumni programs to help put dancers in touch with each other. Taking advantage of those resources can help give you a leg up when you start seeking professional jobs.

Nashville-based New Dialect company member Rebecca Steinberg, for example, participated in the New York Professional Outreach Program when she was an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. NYPOP allowed her to visit NYC and connect with UMass alumni who had already started their careers. "I felt like I had an active web I could effortlessly slide into once I moved to the city," she says.

PURSUE THE OPTIONS THAT APPEAL TO YOU

When you really click with a choreographer, make it clear you'd like to keep collaborating by expressing how much you appreciate their work and asking about future projects or auditions. Once you've built a relationship, you can ask them directly about opportunities.

Isabelle Collazo, an alumna of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, took a straightforward approach to her networking. …

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