Some might wonder, how is it possible for artists to tackle multiple sectors simultaneously given that almost every category requires a high demand of expertise itself? That’s true, but never forget that the performing arts is also highly collaborative. At some point, you will work with at least one other background dancer (if you have listened to Ep. 1-3, you will know what I mean) if not multi-tasking yourself already. Such is the versatility of us in the deeply deprived world of performing arts, that it ought to be a mistake if you do not decide to fulfill your potential by acting upon it!
And because of this high interconnectivity and social interactivity, an interest in one sector of the performing arts will inevitably lead you to another. For instance, if you’ve been investing your time and effort in researching dance pedagogy, you might as well indulge in dance science readings that help nurture dancers' physiological and psychological wellbeing; or gain awareness regarding prevailing discrimination issues and actively engage in policy making for a safer environment; at the same time updating yourself with the latest technology to enhance your teaching methodologies...the list goes on and on in a never ending network of relations and possibilities!
Like a series of cascades, this linkage will unfold by itself if you pay attention to what you are truly passionate about and allow curiosity to spill through. Writing here in The Background Dancer, is also a new practice of journalism for me aside from my creative pursuit as a dancer.
So with all that being said, I can’t wait to learn more about more offstage sectors in future episodes, and I hope the same goes for you!
Why does transition matter? (2:23)
Enthusiastic dancers could easily fixate onto their dance identity due to the high commitment necessary of the art form, thus deeming other career options redundant and less likely to emerge as a potential life after dance.
However, any individual should be supported holistically and not defined to a single pigeon hole. In introducing the idea of transition, we dancers should realize professional success can be achieved beyond just the studio and performance stage.
Developing new domains of knowledge helps in opening up new possibilities, at the same time help dancers acquire an increased sense of control as they are then able to acknowledge their multi-faceted potential.
But what exactly are those alternative forms of knowledge?
Category List of Offstage Sectors (13:49)
Art management: Theatre Production, Curation, Governance & Funding
Entrepreneurship: Finance & Economy, Social Enterprise, Philanthropy
Education: Pedagogy, Academic Research, Dance Technique, Dance History
Technology: Stage Equipment & Design, Documentation, Studio & Theatre Architecture, Digital Software
Politics: Systematic Discrimination, Organizational Politics
Wellness: Nutrition, Somatics, Art Therapy
Journalism: Information Dissemination, In-depth Interviews
Fashion: Cultural Trends, Dance jargon
Choreography: Tools & Techniques
Cross-discipline Perspectives: Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, History
Listen to the full episode here