amateur vs professional

Sometimes in this industry, we question our worth. Sometimes? Scratch that. Always.

We are always questioning our worth, our value, our impact on the world. What can I offer? What can I give? What can I teach you that is really going to help you?

One of the most important things I think a dancer needs to know is how to be the best version of themselves. What I mean by that is, being confident enough, strong enough, and brave enough, to be you, every single day. In an industry where so many things are external based, and so much of our energy is focused on comparison (who's in who's class video, who made it into what company, who's moving where, etc) people can easily lose a sense of who they are because they're so focused on everyone else. You need to make it a conscious decision, every day, to be the best version of you.

the amateur: This dancer is good at what they do. They are good enough at what they do. They have the right look. They are friends with the right people. They've made all the right steps to get them where they are today. They may train, but probably mostly within the same genre, taking class only from their friends. And they may work. They may even work a lot. But the most important thing to acknowledge is, all of their choices are external based. They are in this company because they want to be noticed by 'so and so'. They take this class because they know this other person will be there. They want to be in this video because they want to be famous. They dye their hair blonde because they think blondes book more work. Everything is external.

But this is a very extroverted industry. Some people would say this person is brilliant.

Unfortunately, I am not some people.

the professional: This dancer may also have the right look, the right friends, and have taken the right steps just like the others. They may do all the same things, but their intention behind everything is different. Everything they do is for their own personal growth and benefit. They take a class because they want to learn how the instructor creates, how their mind works. They want to get to know this person because their career fascinates them, and they know they can learn from them. You have to sing at your next audition? Ok well, let's learn how to sing. Not just the required sixteen bars needed for the audition. Let's learn how to sing properly, because that would be being the best version of yourself.

This type of dancer is constantly growing, training, and learning. They are consistently evolving into their personal highest potential. See how the two thing tie together? They are committed to perfecting their craft, not for the job, praise, or attention from someone else, but they just really want to be good at what they do.

There is room for both types of dancers in this industry. And they will both work. But you have to make a choice. At the end of the day, who do you want to be?

Be honest with yourself.

I used to be that first dancer. I made very external based decisions. Not because I wanted to be famous, but because I needed acceptance. I needed that person, or that job, that validation, to know what I was good. I didn't know who I was, and I unconsciously sought out other people hoping that they could tell me. So let me save you that trouble right now. None of your friends, or instructors, can tell you who you are, where you should be, or what you should be doing. I can't tell you. Your teacher can't tell you. Your mom can't tell you. Everyone will have an opinion, but you have to figure it out on your own. How do you do that? By making a conscious decision, every single day, to be yourself.

Share your thoughts with us on our online community at @houseofjazzcompany or email us at!

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