For Dance Parents: How to Support Your Dancer through Their Career Pursuit

So your son or daughter wants to become a professional dancer?  You probably hoped that they'd choose a profession that offered more stability, or at least one that you understood.  Yet, here you are with an aspiring dancer on your hands.

I'm sure you're like most parents who just want their child to be healthy and happy, but as you know, life has taught us that the pursuit of happiness isn't always that simple.

Dance can be incredibly fulfilling but also a quite challenging career to build.  Whether you're feeling a bit nervous for your dancer or have complete confidence that they'll make it big, here are a few things you can do to help support them on the journey ahead.

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1.  Help Them Prepare

If you're reading this post, then you've got the first one in the bag.  Since building a dance career is essentially building a freelance business, preparation is key, and it involves more than taking dance classes.

You can help your dancer prepare their professional materials, like headshots, resume, bio, website, and or social profiles.  These are things they'll need to market themselves as professional dancers.  You can also help with researching where to live, whether or not a college or grad program is best for them, job boards, agents, and more.  

There's plenty to learn when it comes to becoming a professional dancer, and you can show your support by helping your dancer get his or her ducks in a row.

2.  Help Them with Professional Skills

If you're anything like my mother was when I first told her I wanted to pursue a dance career, then you may be concerned that you don't know how to help facilitate that dream or that you don't know anyone else who can.  That's perfectly fine.  

You can help your dancer with professional skills with which you are familiar.  You can share with them best practices for networking or teach them the importance of having a great work ethic.  You can talk to them about communication skills and timeliness.  You can also relay the importance of follow up.  Each of these skills will take your dancer far on their dance career pursuit as well.

3.  Help Them Manage Money

Our relationship with money generally starts young and at home.  You've probably already begun to teach your son or daughter about money in some form before now.  However, it's worth mentioning it here again.

One of the downfalls of professional dance life is money, which includes consistency, quantity, value, and more.  You can help your dancer by making sure they know how to budget.  Teach them the importance of saving money, and show them how to be smart with what they have.

While you're at it, send them money or food or BOTH! (Dancers, thank me later.)

4.  Help Them Persevere

Even though it's in your nature as a parent to want to protect your child as much as possible, no one is immune to experiencing trials.  The good news is that those trials help us become better, stronger, wiser versions of ourselves, right?

So when your dancer needs it, be the great parent that you are, and wipe away their tears (because there WILL be tears).  Pick them up when they fall, and help nurse them back to health should they get injured.  Most importantly, help them persevere by reminding them that anything worth having is worth fighting for.

The mere fact that you've read this post shows how much you care about your dancer and that you want them to succeed.  Believing is one-third of the battle, which you've done.  Being taught is another third, which you're doing now.  All that's left is for your dancer to BEGIN.

- Believe, Be Taught, Begin at - 

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