I was honored a few months back to be asked to be a part of an advance your bellydance podcast. The hostess Zana, asked me to discuss something that is related to my blog- tips for aspiring pros. And it was so well received on her show that I decided to turn it into a blogpost as well! So below you will find my 5 best tips for aspiring professional bellydancers.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Far too many times I have had dancers come to me with no idea of how a restaurant gig works or how to start. They don’t ask their teacher or anyone. They just try to start and sometimes yes, they succeed but they could have saved a lot of heartache simply by asking.
2. Have a mentor. This person doesn’t have to be a dancer, anyone whom you trust to guide you will do. This person can help you by offering not only advice but non-partial advice. Their goal is for you to succeed and to keep your focus on the big picture.
A mentor can be a hard person to find. Our art is such a part of our heart and souls that it can be difficult to open that up to someone else. It doesn’t have to be another dancer. The important thing in a mentor is that trust. You can take your time and find the right person. There are instructors who advertise their mentoring programs on their site and some do not. For that, I refer you to question 1- don’t be afraid to ask.
3. Never stop learning. A post I wrote recently about bad advice to give dancers let me know that there are those that are told once you go pro, you can stop taking classes. This is so not true. Once you go pro, you should continue to hone and refine your craft.
4. Take non-dance classes. Oh all of the time I would have saved if I had started learning photoshop earlier! Take classes on media, marketing, and these don’t have to be paid classes. Spend a day watching YouTube videos and testing things out. You might not turn into the best graphic designer out there but start somewhere. This will help save you some money when you’re starting out. If you choose to do have someone else do your graphics in the future, great. But it’s nice to be able to make a little flyer for your classes on your own.
My favorite place to find these types of classes is a local community college. It’s not expensive and it’s local. they offer both online and in person classes. I don’t make it as much as I’d like but local art schools as well. they have graphic design programs. I have had fun searching online and finding free or tester classes to take as well.
5. Don’t take everything personally. It’s easier said than done. There is a lot more rejection in our line of work than we would like to let on. Sometimes you won’t get the gig. It may have to do with price, your style or it may have nothing to do with you at all! Sometimes the audience won’t pay attention. Again, it doesn’t have anything to do with you. Get out there, do your best and take solace in that you gave it your all.
So there you have it everyone those are my 5 best tips for aspiring professional bellydancers. If you’d like to hear the interview and some more details on my tips, feel free to check out the podcast: HERE. She’s also got some great episodes in general with tips and tricks you should check out!