How To Build A Network In The Dance Community

Dance Culture

How To Build A Network In The Dance Community

Michelle Shim
January 23, 2024
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Everyone needs friends! Especially the non-imaginary kinds. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 5,000 Instagram followers or 10,000 friends on Facebook. Social media won’t hang out with you when you’re bored at home, or listen to you complain about a bad day at work, or even take you to a fun dance class when you’re feeling down in the dumps. The dance world is like a marathon- fast-paced and filled with motivated individuals. You need friends to help you get to the finish line!!

1. Join a local dance group!

Just do it. It’s efficient and easy. Put that shadowing introvert on the back burner and get on it! This gets you to spend countless hours in rehearsals and post-rehearsal hangouts with a group of TOTAL strangers. Doesn’t that sound like fun?! Then you can meet even MORE strangers outside the team! Double the fun. You’re bound to find at least ONE friend who’s as weirdly awkward and quirky as you. Remember, a group of dancers is made up of other weirdly awkward and quirky people! You’ll never feel out of place ;)

2. Don’t have time for a team? Studio baby it is!

Discovering a local dance studio can hold many windows of opportunity for you! Don’t just go to class, avoid eye contact, and leave! If you’re the type to never know what to talk about with complete strangers, class is a great start to a conversation!

Let’s say you get to dance class 10 minutes early. You and other awaiting students watching the previous class start to exchange some ‘oohs,’ ‘aahs,’ and maybe even some ‘you betta werk’s.  Being in the natural habitat of dancers makes room for great conversations because of your automatic common interests: A passion for dance and a desire to learn! Try it! Guaranteed a new quirky friend.

3. Start a dance project.

What do I mean by ‘project?’ Idk. That’s up to you! You can go about it in various ways. The best thing about starting your own ‘project’ is that you have artistic freedom and you can choose specifically who to spend your extra time with. You can keep low key by getting together with just 2-4 friends for a weekly freestyle session, or challenge yourself by putting together a choreographed set to perform at the next dance showcase, or even make some noise on YouTube by starting up a series of your own dance videos.

I’ve established some pretty dope friends through all of the above! By being an artist and a leader, you’re not only narrowing down the overwhelming dance community that sometimes makes you want to bite your nails, but you’re also constructing fun opportunities for others just by experimenting with the art of dance. Test your art with other people! Like my dad always said, you never know until you try.  

4. Hang out..side the dance life!

Okay. So a lot of these friendships are formulated from within the dance lifestyle. But don’t forget about life outside of it! I mean, you could make rehearsals and freestyle sessions your social life, but there’s so much more to life than just dance, right?! You could strengthen these friendships by going on some hiking excursions or random trips to lunch. I know I love me some cool hipster coffee shops. Our social life can be heavily dependent on the ever-changing culture of dance, so in order to distinguish the authentic friendships, you have to get to know your neighbor in non-dance situations too! Who knows? Maybe you’ll find that “Naruto” fanatic you’ve always been searching for.

5. Take initiative.

Last, but definitely not the least. All these tips have one thing in common- YOU. As much as it can be hard to get to know new people, you have to initiate conversations, you have to put yourself out there, and only you can control how these situations benefit you. Friendships are a two-way street and the traffic emerges from a beautiful exchange of interests, goals, and values! So don’t always expect them to come to you. They’re just as shy!

Do you have any tips that worked for you when building your network of dancer friends? Comment below and share with us!Perhaps you have a different goal, besides building a network, that you'd like to achieve. Get some help on setting and reaching those. A "project" you can take on is making a video. Don't know where to start? Here are more specific tips for creating dance videos!