Firstly, a MASSIVE thank you to Allworth Press for allowing me the opportunity to review this book. I really appreciate the opportunity. I am really excited because I have been in 4 Barnes and Noble and have yet to see this book on their shelves! Released in May of 2012, do not let the title fool you. Any performer can find the words of wisdom in this paperback useful!.
Secondly, THANK YOU to Mande Dagenais for writing this book!
Starting Your Career as a Dancer is written by award winning author Mande Dagenais, who has worked as a dancer and choreographer all over the world. Along with several interviews with many people in the industry, Mande draws from her experiences to deliver an informative, well written and important guide to everyone who wants to pursue a lifetime of performing.
I love this book. With 18 chapters ranging from goal-setting to attitude adjustments to injury recognition and prevention to career transitions, this book is filled with so much great information. I started reading and couldn’t put it down. It wasn’t only the informative sections that were great. What made me want to keep reading, even through the parts you often see in other career guide books, is her personal experiences. I love to hear other performers’ stories and the writing is so casual and it reads as though we are having a conversation. It just draws you in.
As a performer, one must never stop learning. Learning from corrections, learning from other people’s mistakes or corrections, and learning from other people’s experiences. This book is a whole lot of learning. Right from the get go, you can tell that Ms. Dagenais truly does have a love and passion for her chosen career. Her desire to share her knowledge and experience permeates throughout the book.
Now there are some books that talk about most facets of the business, but Mande breaks it down. Not just breaks it down, but she breaks it down!!
She brings up some really great points that I’ve never even considered, like a choreographer has copyright protection on their works unless the rights are given to someone else. She specifies a number of things that could or should be on your contract. She talks about the mental, physical, and nutritional needs and how they all tie into each other. And I think most importantly, she offers several examples of not only her but other performers who have shifted gears in their careers for a variety of reasons. It’s important to plan ahead and think what will you do when the time comes when you can’t get on that stage anymore. I know I personally don’t like to think about that, but this book has seriously opened my eyes to the many things I could and should be doing to better run my “business.”
So taking all this into account, I have already begun to take steps based on the suggestions she offers. Already I feel like I am making progress. I am so happy that I’ve gotten to read this book.
AND because of the great people at Allworth Press, you can get your hands on it too!!
Dancing is universal. You don’t have to be a professional, you don’t even have to take classes. For the rest of September, let me know about your dancing experience in the comments below. Just let me know why you love to dance and your most vivid memory of dancing. Winner will be selected at random on October 1.