The Start of LADM 2018/19 Tour
This past weekend was my first city for the LA Dance Magic 2018-19 tour. Between all the rehearsals, classes, and jobs It was definitely a stepping stone in my career.
Houston Texas was the first stop of the tour and the introductory city for all the company members. I was excited and nervous to start the season as a Pro Track member because I work closer with the faculty and staff, and I attend every city of the tour. This was also my first time traveling on my own which added another layer of nerves. When I arrived to the hotel we had introductory meetings and rehearsals for dances that would be performed all season. It was uncomfortable feeling surrounded by new people, but everyone was in the same boat.
The next three days were full of rehearsals and set up. We as company members are responsible for setting up merchandise booths, working security in the ballroom, managing the dressing room, and handling competition scores. Being on the working side of a dance convention is very interesting because you learn how they operate. You see how the staff acts professional 24/7 and how every tiny detail of the convention has a purpose. The way the judging is set up is very specific and organized. You realize how important checking in with the dressing room makes competition run smoother. You witness the different personalities and styles of the teachers on a personal level.
In addition to learning and performing all these jobs, Pro Track members learn how to assist on a professional level. It’s not all that different than assisting a normal dance class, but there is something humbling about standing on stage during Jackie Sleight’s class while 100 beaming eyes watch you with determined hearts. When you’re standing on that stage, you feel an obvious pressure to ensure that the teacher looks as good as possible. You as the assistant reflect the person you’re assisting, and that goes for assisting classes at your studio and classes on convention. The kids who watch you will mimic everything you do, because that’s why you’re there.
Coming home after these amazing few days has really opened my eyes to the fact that dance is truly a job that you have to work for. Dance isn’t just about the dancing, it’s a business that serves the people around you. You should to be willing to perform behind-the-scenes jobs that may be super tedious with an authentic smile on your face. You may not see positive results for years and years, but hard work will payoff in the end. “Happy to be here, easy to work with.” – Jackie Sleight