What is it like to work as a freelance dancer?

The life of a freelance dancer is a very unique one. It is one of very few occupations that allow one to straddle two widely varied lifestyles, one of luxurious travel and one of poverty and hustling. On one hand, freelance dancers are paid to travel to sometimes fascinating destinations and get treated like royalty. While on the other hand, time in between jobs can be lengthy and destitute and work can be a challenge to find. It is a hard life that is not necessarily easy to maintain, but with lots of hard work and great marketing skills a freelance dancer can lead a very fulfilling lifestyle that few people get the opportunity to experience.

So...Who are freelance dancers? Freelance dancers are artists that come from an array of places during their career. Some are at the beginning of their careers and were not offered a contract with a company, but would still like to dance professionally. Others are seasoned professionals that have spent a period of time with a company and have decided that they don't want the full-time commitment that these companies require. There are also artists that dance seasonally with a company, but their company doesn't offer enough work to meet all of the dancer's artistic and financial needs throughout the year. Sometimes, dancers even freelance to raise their profile as an artist and to give them opportunities that aren't presented to them in their current company.

What do freelance dancers do? The work that freelance dancers do is only limited by the work that a dancer is willing to perform. There are a variety of opportunities that a dancer can make for themselves. For instance, I have danced for pick-up companies that do not have a regular roster of dancers and that hire me for only one production. I have also danced in festivals and galas that consist of only professional dancers. I recently danced in a festival where professionals were brought in to partner the top level students in the school. At the moment, I am dancing with a full-time professional ballet company that needed a few extra men to dance in their production of Swan Lake. Some dancers prefer only to perform in shows where they are the leading characters, while others will dance in anything they are offered. I know some dancers who even perform in art installations or as models. There are also opportunities for dancers to use guestings as an opportunity to have an extended audition for a company. From school shows to company performances, freelance dancers can have many opportunities to grow as artists.

The life of a freelance dancer can be quite varied and is dependent  upon the willingness and availability of the artist. I will be using this blog to offer insight and guidance to artists that aspire to be freelance dancers, as well as to give people a view into my life. I hope that you will follow me and see what an interesting and rewarding career freelance dancing can be.

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