I’m always excited for April and May – this is the time of year we start getting texts and emails from our clients about the contracts they are being offered and news about where they have landed for the following year! Nothing makes us more happy than to hear our dancers having success. So let’s take a moment to cheer and then get down to business again!
I have asked our social media and marketing person (also lovely person and dancer!), Robyn, to put together some information and research on the topic of contracts. It’s always a good idea to know what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line.
Audition season is both an exciting experience and an occupational hazard that produces stress and nerves. It takes up dancers’ energy, time, and money for months before the waiting game for the all-too-few company positions begins. But it is one of the realities of the profession, and a contract is the next step that most of us crave or have craved in our careers as dancers.
A contract represents security, formality, and most importantly, employment. It is an attainable yet competitive goal, often one that seems impossible at times. Just getting the job feels like climbing up the tallest mountain. And because of the competition, we are frequently eager to accept anything that comes our way. But if the offer presents itself, there are a multitude of factors to consider.
Have a look at these couple of key points from the newest article on the Dancer Portal:
No matter what company it is for, our initial instinct as hungry dancers is to say “yes!”
It is one of the most sought after milestones in the profession, and it is also a huge hurdle to overcome. There is immediate validation for the tireless hours and investment of energy and money to making a career in the professional dance world feasible. Self-doubt and our ongoing pursuit of perfection seem to crawl back into the crevices of our self-conscious, easing our stress and encouraging our aspirations. And in many cases, you will ultimately say “yes!” to the offer you are given.
BUT, dancers should understand how important it is to know what the standard etiquette for signing a contract is, what language is used, what to expect, and what should wave any red flags. To do so, it’s important to understand what a contract entails and what questions you should consider when a company has offered you one.
- Come up with a list of questions to ask such as…
- Does the company offer health insurance?
- How many pointe shoes are provided to the dancers?
- What support is there regarding harassment, body image, unhealthy company culture, etc?
- Use your resources and know your rights
- Understand the language used in the contract