As a dance artist, you are essentially an independent contractor. To land jobs, it is necessary that you know how to build a personal dance brand and how to market yourself. One of the biggest ways to work on marketing yourself today is through social media. Developing your personal brand includes posting about topics that matter to you, highlighting your dance training and showcasing your performance and choreography.
Another element of building your personal brand is networking. Building connections and networking with other people can be one of the biggest ways you will build your resume as an artist. Referrals play a huge role in securing dance contracts. If choreographers know you personally or have had a positive experience working with you, you may have a better chance of booking a job rather than attending an open-call audition. There are many strategies for how to build a personal brand.
In This Article:
The Importance of Personal Branding
What is personal branding? Personal branding is an intentional strategy to promote yourself, your value and your skill set.1 One of the first steps you can take as a dance artist is to build your social media presence. You need to be consistent and intentional with posting on social media platforms. Some major social media platforms that can help you build your online presence include, but are not limited to, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. It is also important that you have a website with your own personal domain.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you create on social media, but it is important that you post about your creative talents and post about them often. To boost engagement on your profile and start reaching beyond your circle of people, you need to share posts, stories and reels frequently. Staying active is important because your social media presence serves as a type of resume.
Personal Branding Tips
You may be wondering, what do I post on my social media? You can post a variety of ideas, including:
- Recorded videos of you dancing (both professional and unprofessional)
- Training videos
- Master classes that you take from well-known industry professionals
- Industry events you attend
- Anything that you feel promotes your character and values
The more you post, the more it shows that you are actively training and growing within your art. Casting agents, choreographers and directors want to hire people who are actively working toward a professional dance career. Social media is a great way to showcase what you are currently working on or working toward, as well as showing what you’ve worked on in the past.
Building your brand may also look more aesthetic should you want to go the route of making everything look seamless. As your own boss, you are responsible for how you market yourself. To ensure everything on your profile looks uniform and cohesive to your style, you may want to investigate specific filters, color schemes or picture aesthetics to ensure your profile reflects you as an artist and individual. This also translates to your own personal website. Depending on the style and type of work you create, it may determine the outline, layout or color scheme of your professional website presence.
When creating your own website, it is important to include the following:
- Your name
- Professional title
- Links to social media accounts
- Highlight reel
- Choreography information and contact information
Without these things, someone who runs across your page may not receive a full understanding of who you are as an artist. You want them to be able to book you off your social platforms without even having to meet you or see you in person.
The Importance of Networking
Networking is engaging or interacting with others to develop professional or social contacts. We all know those people who seem to know everyone, and that is because they have built up their professional contact list through networking. To do this, it is crucial you develop a solid elevator pitch. This is going to be a clear and direct verbal presentation of your skill sets and talents as a dancer. Your elevator pitch can be used as a brief conversation starter or to promote your brand in hopes of landing a job. Some of the most important information to include in your elevator pitch are your experience and your future goals.
It is beneficial to think about some of the questions you may be asked at an industry event to better prepare yourself for meeting someone who could potentially change the direction of your career. Whatever you say, say it with confidence. How do you meet these people? A great way to meet people who have the connections you are searching for is by taking as many classes as you can and attending dance conventions, conferences and other industry events.
By dedicating time to networking and actively engaging, you position yourself for opportunities that could potentially lead to a breakthrough. You never know who may be able to provide you with a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so take a chance and go out and meet people. It is also important that you do so in a friendly and approachable manner. If you are interested in learning more about how to build a personal brand as a dancer, consider pursuing GCU’s bachelor’s degree in dance from the College of Arts and Media.
1Avery, J. & Greenwald, R. (2023). A New Approach to Building Your Personal Brand, Harvard Business Review. Retrieved on Nov. 10, 2023.
Approved by the director of dance of the College of Arts and Media on Dec. 13, 2023.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.