Were you the consummate bun crafter, 20 second fast changer, a skillful pancaker, or a pointe shoe whisperer? Were you the dancer who never forgot a combination and always knew the counts? Whether you stopped dancing 20 years ago-- or just yesterday, there are creative ways to continue to use your experience, in dance. These suggestions aren't for crafting a career (although it is possible with #7). These are simply great ideas for reconnecting with the dance community. Read along for 7 excellent ways to jump in!
1. Attend performances! Enable the next generation to produce quality shows and have appreciative, well-educated audiences. This is one of the easiest and most helpful ways to stay involved. And by all means, bring a friend!
2. Volunteer. Offer your skills to an organization and ask how you can help. This assistance may look different depending on the type of organization- from professional to recreational. But, it could include ushering, sewing costumes, fundraising, or even technical support such as website and social media consultation.
4. Be an artist’s tool. Work with an emerging choreographer. While you may no longer want to perform or train full-time, you may still be interested in the creative process. Keep your body in good shape and allow a choreographer to use you to create new work! Just make sure you are clear about the level of commitment you are willing to invest and what the choreographer can expect from you.
5. Donate. Do you recall the amount of money you and your parents invested in your training and supplies? If you’ve been in this field, you know that dance is not funded by tuition or performances alone. Don’t feel inadequate if you don’t have a large amount of money to give. A small monthly donation or even a one-time annual donation is helpful. If you are able, consider being an “angel” as one school called it. An “angel,” or sponsor can be anonymous or known to the student. They take a financial interest in a student by providing a needed pair of shoes, tuition assistance, or scholarship towards advanced study. Even professional companies like American Ballet Theatre allow donors to sponsor a dancer for the season.
6. Serve on a Board of Directors. Make an even greater impact on a company and your community through commitment to advancing an organization’s mission and goals. Want to learn about what it means to be part of a board? Find out the basics here.
7. Teach. This is definitely not for everyone. But, if you have a knack for teaching and were fortunate to receive quality training during your journey, pass it on to the next generation! There are part-time opportunities in community outreach, houses of worship, recreational schools and beyond. Share your knowledge with others.
Now that you have some ideas, call an old dance friend and get started! Comment below with your ideas for staying involved after your final bow.