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If You Want to Be Like Britney ...


Is there a particular agent you would recommend for a 16-year-old wanting to do hip-hop/Britney Spears-type dancing? Are some of the agents more experienced or well known in that area? I've seen the list on Answers 4 Dancers, but could you maybe narrow it down to about two or three for me? Also, would you recommend sending references from current dance teachers when I send my video and information?


Every agent in town specializes in music videos. (It's the hottest part of the dance market!) When you're a newcomer, it's wise to send pictures and resumes to ALL of them. As Papa used to say, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

You asked about sending references from dance teachers to agents. It depends. If your teacher knows the agent (and thinks the agent will remember him or her), by all means mention in your cover letter that teacher so-and-so suggested you contact the agent. A personal touch like that is always useful. If there's no personal relationship, list your teachers on your resume under a "Training" column. Agents are interested in your training.

About including written references: It's unlikely that agents have enough time to read references. Reviewing your cover letter, picture and resume is about the best you can hope for. Keep it simple.

Regarding your resume: Be honest. Don't exaggerate performing credits. Agents understand that newcomers arrive without substantial industry credits. Training and special skills interest them. Add workshops and master classes you've taken with well-known teachers. They count.

Good luck, Shelley.


I just went to your Web site and I found it very helpful. I'm only 13, but I absolutely LOVE dancing! Ever since I took my first dance class in third grade, I haven't been able to stop dancing. My problem is that I stopped taking classes for a while and I'm afraid that it's too late to start again. I'm in a jazz pom class right now and I'm loving it. Should I take more classes to make up for the lost time? All the other dancers I know have been dancing for like their whole lives and they are so good. Also, what is an ideal dancer's body? I'm 5 feet 8 and weigh around 155 pounds. I know I have to lose some weight, but what is the ideal body type?


Yep. If you want to maximize your potential, training counts. Want some advice? Take some positive action by ... going to class, ceasing to feel "less than" other dancers, telling yourself at least once a day, "It's never too late," and putting a Post-it on your mirror saying, "I love the body I was given and I will make it look as good as it can be."

No one has the ideal dancer's body. We work with what we were given and we dance anyway. Come to think of it, you said you were 5 feet 8, and you're only 13. You'll probably grow another inch or two! How lucky can you get? Recently, an agent at the Bobby Ball Agency held an audition specifically looking for taller female dancers. That means BBA doesn't have enough tall female dancers on its client list to keep up with the demand. Not bad, eh?


I'm desperate. How can I find out what dancers are wearing when they audition for music videos? Please write soon. I need to know.


Good question. Last month I interviewed Carmit Bachar (Ricky Martin's "Livin' la Vida Loca" girl) and talked about why she gets booked on so many music videos. The first words out of her mouth were about the importance of "the look" she presents at auditions. Here's a fragment. (The entire interview can be read in the January/February issue of Dance & Fitness Magazine):

Carmit: I know I have to market myself. There's more to booking the job than dancing your heart out.

Grover: What do you mean by "market" yourself?

C: I make extra efforts to look the part as much as possible.

G: For each job you go for?

C: Absolutely! That's been one of my trademarks.

G: How do you find out about the look that's needed?

C: My agents tell me. I go in looking ready to do the video, camera-ready!

G: Give me an example.

C: For instance, Michael Jackson. I was called in by Vincent Paterson for "Blood on the Dance Floor." It was to have a Latin feel, some sort of mambo. I arrived wearing a little salsa dress, fishnets, heels, and my hair was up in a kind of bun with a flower. I was "camera-ready." I showed up with the whole outfit. It's not that producers can't see what they like or the potential in somebody, but what I do helps them to see their vision more.

G: If they see it, they get comfortable ...

C: Exactly. "This girl's ready to hit exactly what I need ..."

Carmit goes on, describing how she always has extra accessories available to make adjustments in her look. She pays attention to what's catching their attention. As the audition progresses, she tunes in to what's going on and acts accordingly.

So, Michelle, this is my way of saying there is no one way to dress for music video auditions. The pros take it one audition at a time, and they rely on their agent's instructions. If you want to check out the "uniformity" shared by young pre-professionals, arrange to attend a dance agent's audition. The hip-hop segment will get you up to speed.

Got questions that won't go away? Want answers from a pro? You can reach Grover Dale directly through
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Title Annotation:questions and answers about becoming a dancer, getting an agent
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Feb 1, 2001
Previous Article:An African Heritage Reclaimed, Step by Step.
Next Article:Dancing With Misha ... and Riding the Wave.

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