Going Pro

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default Going Pro

Post by Garry on Sun 06 Mar 2011, 10:52

Pro is an abbreviation of Professional. A Profession is a job requiring some degree of skill and training.

Usually being pro means you get paid too. It is your career, you expect to spend years of your life training and studying for it, then spend years working in the profession. As an adult, hopefully earning enough money to keep yourself and family well cared for, buy a home, car etc. Just like any real job.

On the MSO forum, Pro members are those who have/had a pro contract, as well as a good track record. The track record demonstrates each individual shufflers committment to being a pro.

Pro Dance is like Pro Sport. It is highly demanding physically and has a very narrow window of opportunity for a pro career. Like any pro athlete at elite levels, you can expect to be retired at 30 years of age. Going beyond that increases the risk of serious and permanent injury, not the career exit of choice for most pros.

At best you will have about 5 years from late teens to mid 20's where you will get any sort of regular prime work. Prime meaning well paid as well as career highlights.

So if you are between 14-17 years old now, this is when you prepare to go pro. You need to hit the ground running, because there are plenty who will take your place if you are not up to speed.

After your prime performance career, you stand a good chance of being unemployed in the dance industry...for the rest of your life. Unless you move into administrative roles or other related areas, choreography, teaching, coaching, dance productions, video, graphics, music composition etc.

While your performing days may be over, that experience is irreplacible...and valuable. Your professional performance experience will lift you above those without it, when it comes to the hard crunch of landing a job in the dance/entertainment industry.

This Pro Shuffle Blog will show you how to do it, and how to survive long enough to enjoy it.

Hope you find some advice that's helpful to your career.


Last edited by Garry on Sat 02 Jun 2012, 12:04; edited 1 time in total

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default Re: Going Pro

Post by Thefyllesmurfen on Tue 31 May 2011, 07:00

Hello, I'm going for pro but i must say that retire when you are 30, is kinda early im like 164cm high and 23 yearsold and verry light on my feet =P

I have also quit smokeing now so and can shuffle loonger then before. =D
but I know im not a pro now but for the last 2-3 mounth now i have been training every day 2 hours. since i just realised its the one thing in my life that i really enjoy doing all the time, dunno why, even at work i can't stand still anymore =P hehe.

By august my shuffel will be fit. So i got nuch more training to doo.
And this summer i will realise a video that i hope everyone here will enjoy =)

Anyway I see we need more people in this forum give me 3 days from to day and you will see 10% up! =D

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default Re: Going Pro

Post by Garry on Sat 02 Jun 2012, 12:07

Here's a good article about pro dance. Lightsy Darst from HuffPost discusses The Poorest Art: Dance
read full article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lightsey-darst/dancer-income-wages-lifestyle-_b_1556794.html?ref=arts

---------------------------
This is Penny. Every inch the ballerina, birdlike and elegant, she's also -- though you might not notice it at first -- hard as steel inside her cloud of tulle and sequins.

The base rate for ballet dancers in most markets is, Penny explains, $500 a week; the contract is usually per week even when year-round health insurance is included because the season does not run for a full year, but for 30 to 40 weeks. Cost of living increases and seniority, as well as rank in those companies which use the corps-soloist-principal system, might raise one above this base; men also often are paid more...

[GS- because there are less jobs for guys, about 1 male role for 20 female roles. To try and entice males to train for years and go into pro dance as a career at all, the occasional extra is compensation for the restrictions in career prospects, and the often short term nature of their employment - only hired as needed per production, rarely long term employment in the ballet corps and male soloist positions are generally reserved for visiting male box office stars. Males typically perform a subordinate support role for females in ballet, literally, acting as a crane to lift females into the air. Males are rarely if ever, the ballet star. It's a ballerina's world and guys are often dismissed as dime-a-dozen extras]

Penny reckons that, in a good year, her salary might amount to 18,000. Throw in some income from teaching, guesting as a Sugarplum in a regional Nutcracker, and unemployment for the summer (ballet dancers routinely go on unemployment in the summer), and you have perhaps 26,000 in Penny's most lucrative year. Penny is in her upper-30s; she has been a ballerina for 17 years.

"But," Penny says, seeing the expression on my face, "you must be in the same boat." I can understand why she would think so. All artists talk poor. But though most writers I know make little or nothing from their writing, they can trade on their MFAs and their literary cred for college teaching gigs. If they have jobs, they make at least 50,000; even as adjuncts, they can bring down Penny's max and then some. And you have to consider expenses: what do writers pay for -- a laptop every few years? Throw in daily coffee and you're still nowhere near a dancer's overhead. Penny's ballet classes, shoes, and some basic physical therapy are all covered by her company, but she must pay for dance clothes, classes over her 12 to 22 weeks off ($12 to $14 a class, minimum of three times a week), as well as any outside training her body needs -- yoga, Pilates, etc. -- at $15 to $50 a session. Rolfing, massage, and bodywork, which many dancers find essential, go higher; one popular local bodyworker charges $250 for a first session and $80 to $90 for follow-ups.

What all this means is that Penny pays out everything she takes in. She has no savings and no debt; she's learned to live "close to the bone." That edge you see in her dance? Her steel is real.

And Penny is one of the lucky ones, actually on contract. According to John Munger, former director of research for Dance/USA, surveys of several markets showed that at most 6 percent of serious dancemakers (including companies and independent choreographers) offered salaries; the rest paid in a variety of ways -- set honoraria, per hour rates, or box office cuts. These independent contractor payments might go as high as $12 per hour for rehearsal and $50 for each performance, or as low as a few hundred dollars lump sum for a project lasting a year or more. "Most serious dancers make less than $25,000 a year from dancing," Munger says. Many make less, and many make their primary living outside dance. Average number of jobs that serious dancers reported in a survey in Washington D.C.: four.


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default Re: Going Pro

Post by Garry on Sun 10 Jun 2012, 13:07

urrghh, I've just read the 3rd installment of Lightsy Darst from HuffPost discussing The Poorest Art: Dance

It's really disappointing in it's aggressive sexism saying Dancers are only female and choreographers are always male and will dump you .... This is the rant of a woman who needs some therapy to cope with her ageing and change of career.

She's confusing what happens to all performers of high physical workloads when they age past 30, the body falls apart, the high impact career takes it's toll and you need to stop your pro career.

It's just a normal career cycle, like pro sport, it's no secret and certainly is not the exclusive domain of the poor pretty ballerina who has past her prime and is bathing in self pity. And the fading career is certainly not the fault of men, because they are male. The writer Lightsy is simply sexist and degrades male dancers by refusing to even consider that they exist.

It's a bad read with a woman who has clearly been dumped by some guy she was madly in love with and is now taking out her hurt on all males in dance.

This is nothing new to me, the ratio of males straight or gay involved in dance (Ballet and art dance) compared to females is about 1 male to 20 females. Males are treated like dirt and are regularly made the whipping boys for all the ballerina's having a hard day.

If you are a guy thinking of a career in dance (Ballet and art dance) - check out the bitchyness in the article link below, this is just what they could publish, wait until you are caught in rehearsal room and this is the sort of rant you'll hear everyday, because you can be sure that in a room full of 20 female dancers, at least one of them will be having a bad day with boyfriend trouble and if you are male you'll cop the abuse because of the all-men-are-bastards attitude. I've seen my-boyfriend-dumped-me art dance works that include hammering nails through a silicon penis, lots of nails ... that's why I prefer shuffling Smile

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lightsey-darst/dance-income-money_b_1562734.html?ref=arts
Here's some quotes:

Dancers past the age of wisdom husband-shop. Sugar-mommas and sugar-daddies: if no one knows how that choreographer pays the bills, it's a safe bet he doesn't. Or maybe you're desperate to have a child: look in the audience, not around the dressing room, for your sperm donor. A company director, finally divorcing her moneybags husband, is drawing her salary for the first time; everyone at her company scrambles


I almost kept that last quotation to myself. I have a secret fear that if I convince you of the poverty of dance, it won't matter, because you'll picture the sacrificial woman, the woman who can't afford to be well, who dresses in secondhand silk, the woman who passes up children for her art -- and no one minds her. We're so used to that archetype that we think the sacrifice actually helps her make art.

-------------------------------
yea, like your not milking the poor-little-me pitch already GS.

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default Re: Going Pro

Post by Garry on Sat 19 Jan 2013, 09:54

ACID THROWN IN BOLSHOI BALLET DANCERS FACE.

If you think pro Shuffling’s tough, take look at pro Ballet

Ballet does not like creativity. It is a strict form, more based on martial arts than dance for pleasure.

The original moves around the Italian Renaissance period are more like poses, these were exercises intended to improve balance and movement control for swordsmanship, (now fencing).

For instance when you see a ballet dancer lifting and sweeping their arm up into the air, the original included a sword held in the hand. The same as martial arts would train you to perform poses as the first position ready to strike an opponent.

Ballet demands that a dancer perform these set moves with absolute accuracy and perfection like a military drill. Ballet seeks uniformity and rigid structure, as any military organization would.

When you tell 50,000 troops to turn left, you expect them to know where left is.

Which brings us to the staging of ballet, as a theatre performance, even 5 ballet dancers wielding swords about on a small theatre stage would quickly end any production with injuries.

So swords were abandoned and the focus became more the entertainment value of the moves. The moves are really these basic poses, the cliché shots you see of ballet dancers with toes strictly pointing the direction the pose dictates and the eyes looking where they should. Typically in sword fights you would maintain eye contact with your opponent at all times. Your arms and legs would move using muscle memory from hours of daily training for years, like in shuffling.

Generally these were poses you could see in any grand renaissance sculpture or even a fountain with a fish (female dancer) being held by a naked boy and the fish spurts out water.

These were noble, grand and formal status poses. The pose an aristocrat would strike in a formal portrait. This was perfection standing up. The epitome of strict order, much the same attitude as the emerging European colonial powers and the dance was seen as a metaphor for the strict class structures.

Only those considered the perfect body shape were permitted to dance in the royal courts, usually of European appearance. So if you looked Chinese, they’d send you to the kitchen to cook, not dance.

Ballet became more female based as a theatrical and Royal Court form. People got tired of seeing the same old poses all the time for 200-300 years. So they needed something more to look at to stop them falling asleep and snoring in the theatre. The women wore very short skirts and flashed their knickers and crotch to the audience as ‘art’ just as the guys wore extremely tight leggings and flashed their groin bulge (penis and testicles) to the audience in a number of formal poses as art. (yeah sure hehe)

This wasn’t crass like a burlesque or strip show of course, so they said, this was art on a higher level that common peasants could never understand. Very few of the court or theater audience could understand it either, but there was a perve factor to suit both male and female audience of any sexual preference and so the dance form continued, despite strict religious and social laws about piety and public modesty.

If one stared at women or men like this in public you’d be arrested, but staring at it on stage it was art.

The same as all those naked statues and sculpture, just upmarket porn for the shy folk really. Especially as strict puritan Christianity started to spread across Europe as well, frowning on the lesser base animalistic pleasure of the flesh as they saw it, common among classical Italian and Greek cultures. They liked the glory of Roman and Greek empires, but didn't like Italian or Greek people, they preferred more clothing and less exuberance in life. They preferred the gentile life.

For shufflers, you won’t really recognize much that you would consider dance in ballet, other than the little bits between the poses. That is about the only place you are allowed any creative freedom, the transition moves between poses.

Usually these transition moves were dismissed as frivolous or decorative adornments to the strict poses.

Think of it like a gymnastic competition. You are required to perform set moves, jumps spins, etc within say a 3 min time frame. You must perform the set moves EXACTLY and PERFECTLY no variation from the set, but you can add transition bits in-between to include some of your own personality, but it’s not supposed to out shine the set moves. The set moves are what you are judged on, the in-between are just time fillers in a competition, unless the comp specifically allows creative moves to be added to the routine.

The problem with creative moves is how do you judge them ? According to whose tastes and what genre or stylistic creative context ?

That’s the sticking point with Ballet today. For the past century or so ballet has had an evil twin called contemporary dance. Equally skills based and demanding in it’s repertoires, but NOT ballet !, in the traditional sense, but dance none the less, and to modern audiences, a whole lot more enjoyable to look at and far more fulfilling to dance.

But to suggest that contemporary dance (past 100 years) is somehow equal to ballet goes against all the tradition of Ballet as perfection, just like the social orders of the times 1500-1900. To say there is something equal to ballet is heresy and a direct challenge to the social order of Empire.

Just try telling Queen Victoria of England, that she has any equal. Try telling Napoleon that, or any Crown head of Europe that not only do they have not just an equal, but from the lower classes and they’re better, and you’d find yourself dead. Because to these social structures, there IS NO EQUAL to the top, and they’d go to war to prove they were the top, and their dance was Ballet.

To suggest that ballet needs to improve itself compared to contemporary attitudes, is to suggest that it’s not perfect. And that for ballet circles is the deal breaker, even today.

You are not permitted to ‘improve’ ballet because perfection needs no improvement. Come to a country with rich and noble traditions such as Russia and the Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow Russia founded in 1776 and you will see those divisions fought out in real life, behind the scenes and in public today, as with Sergei Filin artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre's ballet troupe, in hospital in the pic below.



http://www.news.com.au/world/bolshoi-ballets-artistic-director-sergei-filin-attacked-with-acid-in-moscow/story-fndir2ev-1226557102666

THE artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre's ballet troupe was splashed with acid and may lose his eyesight in an attack that appears to be linked to struggles for influence at one of the world's most famous ballet companies.

Sergei Filin, a 42-year-old former ballet star, was approached late last night by an unknown man who threw the acid at his face as he got out of his car outside his home in central Moscow, city police spokesman Arkady Bashirov said.

Theater officials said the man was masked.

The theater's general director, Anatoly Iksanov, said he believed the attack was linked to Filin's work.

"He is a man of principle and never compromised," Mr Iksanov said on Channel One state television. "If he believed that this or that dancer was not ready or was unable to perform this or that part, he would turn them down."

Filin knew that someone was trying to threaten him or undermine his position at the theatre, Mr Iksanov said. He said Filin's car tires had been slashed earlier this week and he was targeted in early January by hackers who posted his professional correspondence online.

"He said 'I have a feeling that I am on the front lines,'" Mr Iksanov quoted Filin as telling him before the attack.

Filin, who danced for the Bolshoi from 1989 until 2007, was appointed artistic director of the Bolshoi's ballet company in March 2011. Before returning to the Bolshoi, he served as artistic director at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre, Moscow's second ballet company.

Bolshoi spokeswoman Katerina Novikova, who visited Filin in the hospital last night, told The Associated Press that his condition is stable but he could lose his sight.

"We never imagined that a war for roles - not for real estate or for oil - could reach this level of crime," Ms Novikova said on Channel One.

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default Re: Going Pro

Post by Garry on Thu 28 Nov 2013, 12:35

Despite all my grumbling  ( which I enjoy a tad too much 😊 )  Going pro isn't all that bad though, especially when you get older. Like I'm 58, everything works except my back, and I've just had the best of times since hitting 40 in 1995. I've never really had a mid life crisis, I had the 1990's instead, loved it so much I filmed it 😊.

And since the 90's I've only improved with my art, I'm really feeling boldly confident with it. Confident enough to pick fights with our stuck in the mud local art establishment and give them hell Twisted Evil 

I can do this because I have the luxury of achievement behind me. I don't need to spend my time trying to reach this level of experience and skill, I've just got to adjust my life objectives to enjoy being here, and creating more new stuff while I'm here. Fortunately I've found ways to keep working until I leave this earth - for the Moon I hope Smile , but with a good view of the moon from earth short of that.

This works really well if you can forget the money and focus on the art, Way easier said than done Smile , but achievable. With Global Shuffle oldskool we went for what ever was achievable in quality, seeing as broadcast gear cost the price of an average suburban home. Now I use my HTC HD Phone, excellent and write the music on computer and we share files all around the world online.

In fact the only GS1 non oldskool member I've ever met in person is Millie (Miljano Soekha) and that's when he came to Melbourne and I filmed it for GS1, the rest we did online. With 4MR we even stumbled through translations from Russian to English and back, then had to figure out our film terminology which were often 19th cent French or Italian words for film craft, translated to modern English then into Russian and back to English, and Sasha from 4MR being a graduate with honours from the Russian Film Academy using Russian film craft terms and me with none of the above.

Hehe.  I Loved every frustrating moment of it, such a wonderful experience, such a liberating mode of film making too. Very much to me like working in a jazz or rock band, you share for the benefit of the whole, and often surprise yourself with what's possible in film making, using just the cash you have in your pocket.

For me as a music writer, I have unheard of freedom to create and collaborate with others to create unique original art music works for film, we have total creative control in the Global Shuffle movies, now that's heaven, both the process of working with other creatives and the finished product, and we own all the shares and all the rights, money direct to the artists, how sweet it is Very Happy .

From a Producers side I have the big budget CybaFaeries www.cybafaeries.com  project under way with a range of fine art robots to finish building, and also collaborating with writers to create the CybaFaeries narrative. 

So really, I'm still having the time of my life like 20+ years ago, and still trying to find enough hours in the day to live it all 😊

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default Re: Going Pro

Post by Garry on Mon 02 Dec 2013, 14:04

I do feel sorry for actors and dancers in their lack of control they have over their career momentum.

Unless they are the producer/director of a project, they can't do much more than wait for the call to say, you've got the part.

Music writers for instance have great luxury in writing their new work at their pleasure. I can drag out an old recording of mine from 1977, dust it off a bit and stick it over the end titles of Global Shuffle, and the recording is as fresh as the days I recorded it at AAV Armstrong Studio's in South Melbourne.

A dancer or actor can't sit around for 40 years waiting for a role in a production. Dancers have a limited enough shelf life as it is. If either an actor or singer their voice is their meal ticket, it changes with age, often it improves but eventually they wear out.

And when you have to wait and wait, and wonder if your career has peaked already, and people are just being polite not returning phone calls, your momentum starts grinding down, and your desire to move forward goes into the 'why bother' basket. Tough career. Not my choice, I do have a certain amount of respect, but geez, ya really have to want it real bad Very Happy

The solution, get control. How ? LEARN 😉

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