Staying Organized and Marketing Yourself as a Dance Professional

Hi everybody!

As you all know, I am trying to break into the dance industry as a professional performer and as a respected dance educator. I’ve been learning as I go, and it has been so hectic trying to stay organized on top of all of my responsibilities as a dancer in two companies, and a teacher at four different studios. I will share with you the ways I’ve found to be most effective in keeping my life together! ❤  These tips are focused for dancers, but are helpful for any young professionals trying to break into their own industries!

1. KEEP A BINDER, AGENDA PLANNER, & JOURNAL ON HAND ALL OF THE TIME

This one is a biggie. I cannot tell you how helpful each of these resources are. My binder separates my paperwork for all of my studios. It organizes my class rosters by day and time, separates costume pictures for recital dances, and allows me to keep track of employee agreements and contracts. Furthermore, the binder allows me to keep a portfolio of different class combinations, barre for each level of ballet I teach, and choreography. The agenda planner obviously helps me keep track of commitments, auditions, teaching, private lessons, and rehearsals.

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My journal helps me keep track of all of my ideas for my classes, for my blog, and allows me to create to-do lists. With all of your paperwork organized, you will not only thank yourself for keeping your life in order, but you will appear organized to your employers and directors, and appear as though you take your job seriously (which you should), which is a win for both parties.

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2. KEEP COPIES OF YOUR PERFORMANCE BILLS, RESUME, AND HEADSHOT

I cannot stress ENOUGH how important this is. If you don’t keep track of your performances or choreography showcases, how can you prove to future employers or directors these events actually happened? Also, keeping copies helps you create a precise CV/resume – performance bills usually have choreographer names spelled correctly, and include the name of the piece you danced in, the music, and the names of the other dancers you performed with. This information is pertinent for networking with other dance professionals and creators in the field, and pertinent for updating you’re own CV.

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Keeping extra copies of your headshot and resume is helpful if you have a lot of back-to-back auditions or workshops you’re attending. Sometimes workshop teachers will ask for participants’ headshots and resumes, and having extra copies readily available will only be beneficial to you and to the hiring directors! You never know who you’re going to meet!

3. MAKE BUSINESS CARDS MARKETING YOURSELF AS A PROFESSIONAL

Okay, a lot of dancers (especially emerging professionals) don’t believe they need business cards since dance is not necessarily an “office job”. However, that is actually false! Dance is a business, and a small fraternity at that. I decided earlier in the summer to make business cards for myself and for my blog/Etsy shop. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have them on hand since I was securing a lot of studio jobs and auditions.

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Low and behold, at the dance festival I performed in (see First Professional Performances – I Can’t Believe This Is Real Life), one guy from another company who performed in the show gave me his card and asked me for mine!! Luckily, I had them on hand to distribute! Again, YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU WILL MEET! Whether or not these dancers are in the same dance genre as you, networking is so important, and you never know how these people could influence your career later down the line.

4. MAKE A FREE WEBSITE PORTFOLIO DOCUMENTING YOUR DANCE EXPERIENCE

The internet and WordPress are a great way to advertise yourself for free! I use WordPress.com for my blog, and for my professional dance website. Check it out at juliakathryn.dance. You can use one of the readily made templates, and customize it to your liking. You can include a copy of your resume, your dance reel, dance photography, highlight important workshops or dance experiences, and more!

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Furthermore, you can buy a web domain and link it to your free website, so when people search for your site, you have a professional domain to go with it. I bought a few domains and linked them to my free WordPress website from GoDaddy.com. This online portfolio you can link in the signature of your emails, put on your business cards and resume, and you can put it on your social media to direct followers to your professional work.

This concludes my top tips for staying organized and marketing yourself as a dance professional. All of these resources are also cost effective – my planner was $5 from Wal-Mart, the journal was a gift so it was free, the binder I already had with dividers from college, the website is free, my business cards cost about $10 for 100 of my dancer ones, and $15 for my blog ones (because they are square and printed front and back), costing me bout $25 before tax and shipping. My website domains with discounts for a year of ownership was $41 for three domains. An 8inx10in headshot print out costs about $3 from Walgreens.

I hope you enjoyed my top tips! I didn’t realize how important the business side of the dance world was until I graduated college, but these resources have helped me land a lot of jobs in the last six months!! 🙂 I hope they continue to do me well in the months ahead, as I try to break further into this industry as a young professional.

What are your favorite ways to market yourself? Have you tried any of these resources? Let me know if this was helpful!

xoxo

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Ipsy August “Good Vibes Only” Glambag 2017

Hello beautiful readers!

finally decided to bring back my monthly Ipsy unbagging. I mean, I love Ipsy so much – I’ve been a customer for abouth a year and 5 months now! ❤ This month’s theme was actually amazing. With all of the celestial happenings in the universe this month (i.e. the solar exclipse, meteor showers, Mercury in retrograde, etc.), I think this “good vibes only” theme was perfect for this month. There were three bag designs available to Ipsy subscribers, and I actually received the one I wanted. My bag says “Wild & Free” *Cue Snoop Dog!*, and I mean, late summers adventures and nights are all about being “Wild & Free” (within reason, of course haha).

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I was not a huge fan of the last two summer glambag designs, so this one was super refreshing and pretty! ❤ I will totally throw this one in my backpack or pocketbook to hold makeup or items I need!

Enough about the bag itself. Let’s see what I received!

  • First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay
  • theBalm Cosmetics theBalm Voyage vol. 2 Eyeshadow in Kuwakaribisha
  • MAKEUP FOREVER EXCESSIVE LASH Arresting Volume Mascara
  • Hikari Cosmetics Shimmer Bronzer in Flush
  • Paula Dorf Cosmetics Mini Universal Brow Pencil in Taupe
  • IPSY POINT REDEMPTION – Full-sized Pixi by Petra Mattelustre Lipstick in Honey Bare

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Last month, I received an eyeshadow pan in my Ipsy bag that was this really dark, sort of ugly brown/gold, and I was happy I received Kuwakaribisha from theBalm because it is a light, champagne gold color that will be gorgeous all over the lid, or as a highlight for the inner corner and browbone. The other option theBalm had this month was a similar ugly brown/gold, so I am happy my glambag review last month (that mentioned I disliked the eyeshadow color) worked and they chose a better color for me!

The Hikari bronzer/blush looks beautiful!! I cannot wait to use it later today and see how it looks on the skin.  As you can see, the pan has two pink tones, and two sparkly bronzer tones, so I am looking forward to how it looks on my olive skin.

I am curious about the Paula Dorf eyebrow pencil because I’ve never heard of her brand before. When I swatched the eyebrow pencil, it looks more brown than it does taupe (taupe is the color that best matches my eyebrows), but the texture and formula felt nice, and I will definitely try it out to see how I like it.

Finally, the Pixi by Petra point redemption is so exciting because I love the formula of their Mattelustre Lipsticks. The color is subtle, and natural, and I love the packaging. A lot of the Pixi by Petra packaging reminds me of retro beauty packaging from the 50s and 60s, so it speaks to my old soul. Plus their cruelty-free, so what is not to love?

I swatched all of the products on my arm, so you can see what I am talking about.

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From top to bottom – Honey Bare Lipstick, Kuwakaribisha Eyeshadow, Hikari Bronzer, and Paula Dorf Eyebrow pencil.

What did you receive in your Ipsy bag this month? Did you like your products, and your bag design? Let me know!!

September marks the beginning of Ipsy’s fall glambags, and usually their fall bags are AMAZING. As much as I don’t want summer to end, fall beauty trends and colors are my FAVORITE. Can’t wait for next month!!

xoxo

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Aerie Chill Play Move Review and Photos!

Hello everybody!

As you all know – I am a HUGE fan of Aerie. Aerie is a ladies loungewear, activewear, underwear store, and is a sister store to American Eagle Outfitters. About a week ago, I took advantage of a rewards member discount, and purchased two sports bras, a tank top, and a sweater! I loved the pink sports bra I bought because it matched a pair of leggings I bought from Aerie back in the spring time. My best friend and I were already planning to have a photoshoot day, so once my order came in, I knew I wanted to take some pictures in my new Aerie apparel. I also needed new headshots and action shots for auditions, so we grabbed our cameras and took some dance photos!

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The sports bra I am wearing in these images which is one of their Chill, Play, Move bras in the color ballet pinkI am also wearing their highwaisted Chill, Play, Move leggings which are a grey and pink floral print. Can you tell I love them!? The bra is so comfortable, and it offers a lot of support for the girls (if you know what I mean). The leggings are great too, and hold me in while giving me full range of motion!

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If you have not checked out Aerie’s apparel, you should definitely give them a chance! They always have great deals on their website, and most of the time they offer free shipping. The best part about Aerie is that they do not retouch their models, and they have models of all body types and ethnics in their marketing. The company campaign is #aerieREAL and being proud to show the world the REAL you! I love my body and am proud of who I am, and I am happy to know one of my favorite retailers supports all body types and different kinds of women wearing their brand!

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If you like my makeup in these photos, I did my makeup myself and used the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette on my eyes. I also used the Cailyn Cosmetics Pure Lust Extreme Lust Tint + Velvet in the shade Practicable (seriously it is a favorite of mine!!) on my lips.

What are your favorite activewear brands? Do you like Aerie? What do you love about them? Let me know! ❤

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

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Battle of the Mascaras – I Need YOUR Help!

Hi beautiful readers!

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, and I think now is the perfect time to try my experiment since I am prepping for a big dance concert. I am going to have a mascara battle royale – or a mascara battle – to see which drug store waterproof mascara is the best mascara to wear to rehearsal and the gym!

I am always looking for a good mascara to wear when I workout because I don’t wear a lot of makeup when I am training, and mascara is usually the only beauty product I apply before a good sweat. A few weeks ago on my Facebook page I asked my followers what mascara they believed was the best mascara to workout in! I only received a few comments – one of which mentioned the Maybelline Lash Stiletto Waterproof formula. I myself am partial to the L’Oreal Voluminous Original Waterproof Mascara.

Nonetheless, I need you all to comment your favorite drugstore mascara you like to wear to the gym or to rehearsal – anywhere you sweat a lot – so I can choose which mascaras are going to battle! There will be a few criteria I will base my judgements on!

  1. Application/Formula – How does the mascara apply? How mant coats do I need to get my desired length/volume/etc.? How does it smell? Is the formula wet, dry, clumpy, smooth, etc.?
  2. Wearability – How does the mascara hold up through my workout? Does it smear or smudge? Flakes? Does it drip into my eyes and burn them while I sweat?
  3. Removal – How easily does the formula remove with vaseline? Is it gentle on my lashes when removing? Is there residue left behind on my lashes at the base or tip?

Using these three criteria as my grading rubric, I will choose between 3-5 different mascaras to test out! This not only will give me the chance to wear them during different dance and fitness classes, but it will also encourage me to get my ass in the gym more often to test the different formulas!

Please feel free to leave comments below! I really want to know your favorites!

Thank you for all of your help in advance!

Xoxo

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The Inspiration Behind my Blog and Etsy Shop

Hello beautiful internet people!

I wanted to tell you all a story this evening about the inspiration behind Julia’s Leaps of Faith! There are so many reasons why I started my blog, but the blog it is today is completely different than the blog it began as, and the direction my blog is headed now has a definite backstory I think is important to share! There are two influences that helped me shape Julia’s Leaps of Faith into what it is today, so here we go!

As a child/teenager, I danced a lot at my local studio. I was taking seven classes a week, and to be honest I was no where near my peers in the amount of classes they were enrolled in. Truth is – dance lessons are super expensive, especially for parents of three who are paying for three childrens’ extracurricular activities, sports, and living expenses. I could not afford to dance as much as my peers, but in order to continue dancing as much as I was, I partook in a workstudy program at my studio. I student-taught/assisted classes each week, and I was given an hourly stipend to cut the costs of my monthly tuition (to help my parents pay the bills!).

This definitely helped my parents afford my dance lessons, and all the while I was able to assist my favorite teacher, Miss Sarah, in her ballet classes. Thursdays were the best because I helped Miss Sarah teach for two hours in the evening, and then I took two hours of her advanced class at night. Plus, I would buy us both Dunkin Donuts coffee every week, and in the fall we would delight over our obsession with Dunkin pumpkin coffee (hot with milk and sweetner on the side). See, Miss Sarah was a professional ballerina and always came to class with her hair in a PERFECT French Twist slicked back and pinned, her eyeshadow was flawlessly done, and the colors of her eyeshadow complimented her leotard and ballet skirt, and it complimented her earrings (she wore the prettiest earrings!).

I always admired her eyeshadow and earrings, and I knew when I was the lead dance teacher in the future I was going to try to compose myself in the way Miss Sarah did so gracefully! Miss Sarah also was the only teacher who never waivered in her belief in me to suceed and achieve in dance, and in all of my other endeavors. She is a big reason I am where I am today as a dancer/performer. As you can see, I only have very fond memories of this teacher, and she clearly left a positive impact on me!

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Always leaping!

The same year I began student teaching with Miss Sarah, I also began dancing in my high school’s musical productions! It was the first musical I ever danced in, and I began experimenting with makeup A LOT. I never wore a lot of makeup – a little mascara and blush, but I didn’t wear eyeliner or eyeshadow. But since I was going to be performing on stage as a character, I needed to improve my makeup skills. I bought a Maybelline and a Wet n’ Wild eyeshadow trio, and I began my experimentation! I also tried to mimic the winged liner I saw all of the other dancers wearing!

Thus, this experience catalyzed my obsession with makeup and eyeshadow, and I have not stopped experimenting with makeup or beauty products since. I was 15 when this all began, and now as a 22 year old woman I am so thankful dance and makeup go hand-in-hand, and that I can merge my two favorite obsessions together! ❤

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Talk about a throwback… Here is 15 year old me experimenting with layering white eyeliner on top of my winged black liquid liner. This picture was taken in 2011 (check out my auburn hair!)

I started making makeup because I wanted to have my own makeup collection available to performers and people everywhere who need cruelty-free and quality makeup, whether they need to perform on stage or at their workplace! Doing your makeup makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you shine! I want people to shine and feel as beautiful as they can because they deserve to! And who knows, you may be the person who inspires another young kid to go pursue their dreams and work hard, and to have kick-ass eye makeup while doing it (like Miss Sarah did for me)!

If you would like to purchase any of the makeup I make, or purchase a custom palette, visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/juliasleapsoffaith! The link will direct you to my page.

Xoxo lots of love and positive energy

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