Dancing for more than 15 years had been gratifying. I pay the dues with it, I was able to work alongside super talented people, I am able to travel and above all, it opened a way for me to tick off 'to be able to perform internationally' from my bucket list. But before you think the job is as easy as 1-2-3, you may need to know this:
1. ALL PROFESSIONAL DANCERS HAD UNDERGONE A SERIOUS KIND OF TRAINING.
Whether it's ballet, jazz, hip hop or pole dancing, before anybody is able to perform in front of an audience, he or she was trained and taught. Dancing is an art where the artist has to embody an intention on which a movement greatly depends on. You probably would not understand the weight of this statement if you're not a dancer. A series of movement weaved together cannot exist on its own. So much so with figuring out 'z' with the equation 'x+y'.
2. THERE'S NEVER A DAY DANCERS DON'T FEEL SORE.
A body of a dancer is stretched to its maximum daily. Surprisingly, it's actually what a dancer's body calls for because it is used to that kind of physical activity. Like any other job or profession, (1)pointing the feet as it goes off the floor, (2)smiling once you're on stage is a must and (3)making big movements as you dance is much better, are just but a few of the basic knowledge a dancer should possess. In addition, it constantly needs to be abreast of something new as well. So dancers always do a class whenever and however they can. They never stop learning and training that sometimes being sore means you are on your way to achieving something you've never done before. There are so many arising talented young ones that have a lot to offer, so the more experienced ones have to keep up.
3. YOU MAY NEVER NOTICE BUT DANCERS CAN TALK WHILE KEEPING UP WITH THAT STEADY SMILE.
Being in the show business brings out the smiley in a dancer. We are aware that an audience (with their cameras) can always sense an insincere smile so we go full out in presenting ourselves in character as we go on stage. And it's just innate to them to be at their best on stage. Undeniably, there are days that a performer needs to talk to a co-performer while a show is happening if, for example, safety is at stake. Being in the parade for 10 years had developed in me a caution button that automatically switches on when a guest suddenly crosses the streets. When that happens, I immediately give glances to a co-parade dancer to signal him/her to be safe but still professionally staying in character. Only performers themselves could sense this.
This is true for dancers who own bunions, burns, bruises and injuries. Being a dancer may be subject to a greater deal of wear and tear but they would never compromise a dance number or the show that they have prepared for just because of a minor blister. The adrenalin rush from their commitment with their craft surpasses all these pains. Sometimes, this includes even the pains of the heart.
5. DEDICATED DANCERS FIND REFUGE IN BEING CORRECTED BY THEIR MENTORS.
Being a dancer is humbling enough to take each weakness as a stepping stone to whatever there is that needs improvement. In a class, they appreciate being corrected than not getting noticed at all. Good artists know how to listen. They develop a great sense of selective hearing that they find refuge from a harsh comment finding a substantial benefit from it to help them in perfecting their moves.
6. DANCERS ARE MUSIC LOVERS FIRST.
For the record, the music changes everything about a product launching, a movie, an exercise routine, a wedding and so much more. It is a much-needed element where lots of money are poured in. Needless to say, when you see dancers moving to that music, it is a logical aesthetic expression of learning exuded into a movement by a human being's physique. It interprets the music effectively and it always turns out to be something beautiful.
7. DANCERS DO THEIR OWN makeup.
As we portray a certain character, we love putting up a look that would greatly fit for it. If we dance the hula, it may be just right to draw a thicker pout as how Polynesian lips are naturally beautiful this way. If the makeup needs a mole on it because it's a Marilyn Monroe era, so be it! As far as basics go of highlighting, concealing and baking, dancers are certified make up artists, no doubt!
8. NO MATTER WHICH BLOCKING YOU PUT A DANCER TO, THEY CHOOSE TO SHINE EVEN IF THEY'RE AT THE VERY UPSTAGE.
A dancer knows the importance of working with other artists on stage. May it be a vocalist, an actor or a co-dancer, they share the same pulse. They are all friends with the floor of the very stage they perform on and they superbly stay in sync or are supportive of each other's role.
9. DANCERS AUDITION.
If learning thru dancing cannot measure against academic learning, think again. It may be different in your point of view but let's look at this one with the principle that if a fish is always judged as to how it could fly, then it would always believe that it's useless. The skills of a dancer always go thru tests called 'auditions'. It is a continuous evaluation of a dancer's skills if they are intact and are still improving. In addition, they are also encouraged to stay healthy and in shape.
10. BEING A DANCER IS MUCH LESS PREFERRED AS A PROFESSION BUT IS THE MOST SOUGHT FOR FOR ENTERTAINMENT.
Now, this may be direct to the point. I am tired of people addressing performing artists, namely, professional dancers, instructors and choreographers to be a joke. Whenever I am asked of what I do, answering with "I dance" is shoved off and most of the time laughed at. Sadly, because I'm a Filipino, it comes with a stare from head to toe. Unless I mention that I work for a very prestigious and known company for being the happiest place on earth, they would never get interested in it.
Majority of our society dictates that there's no money in this line of job. But devoting a life in the arts should never be considered limiting. In this age where everything can be learned on the internet, creativity becomes the name of the game. And being a dancer gives birth to producers, directors, choreographers and actors where delivery of such service is individually different and is like no other. I think I have made justice to the talent fee that is just rightful to them as I say this.
For now, let me enjoy getting paid in doing what I love to do. Dance.
1. A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE - a post about appreciating an hour of yoga practice.
2. 8th INTERNATIONAL SIVA AFI COMPETITION, Champion: HOGAN TOOMALATAI - Have you heard of fire knife dancing? Check this out!
3. DANCING MAKES YOU SMARTER - You want to know the benefits of dancing to your mind and body? Read on.