Sure, Facebook and Twitter are fun, but did you know social networking sites can help you get a job? They are a gold mine of backstage info, not to mention networking potential. It’s all about how you take advantage of them.
- Follow your dream companies on Twitter. Tweets from dancers are a window on company life and a director’s taste. Also watch videos of your favorite companies on dancemedia.com. It’s an easy and fun way to absorb a wealth of information quickly. Then try to attend company performances, open classes and directors’ talks. You even may have the opportunity to introduce yourself to someone you’re following on Twitter at a company event—a great way to jump from cyber to real space.
- Check company and dancer Facebook pages and glean what you can about upcoming opportunities. Don’t wait for an audition to be posted. Sometimes it never is. Friend a company dancer with an accompanying message—succinct, sincere and polite—saying how much you respect their work. Once you know someone in the company, it’s easier to ask about future opportunities. Want them to see your work? You can also post your performance videos on dancemedia.com and let your contacts know that they are there.
- Spell it right. Just because you’re online doesn’t mean that grammar, spelling and punctuation fly out the window.
- Don’t post negative comments all over Facebook and Twitter. It may seem harmless in a frustrated moment, but what is published online stays there.
- Don’t embarrass yourself. Use common sense. Remember that boundaries still hold, even on the internet. Don’t go overboard in an attempt to make connections.
- Don’t advertise how you think an audition went on your online networks—whether you sailed through, or crashed and burned during tendus. The whole ballet world doesn’t need to know how it went. —Rebecca Ain