By Ria Vahi
Internships are a gateway into the professional world. Through an internship, you can get insight into what your professional life could look like. In the dance field, it is particularly important to find interests that exist beyond the realm of performance and choreography. Additionally, it is equally important to build connections and network with other artists to create an environment that will allow you to grow and enhance your artistry and professional goals. One of the best ways to do that is by applying for internships (and especially paid internships, if possible, so you get some financial benefit as well).
The thing about internships is that you can go in without any prior knowledge or training. All you need is the will to learn and grow. And a company will see that, if you present yourself in a way that shows your passion to succeed in the field. Doing an internship during your undergraduate degree will teach you new skills that would be very useful during your professional career after graduation. Time management, multi-tasking, and organisational skills are just some of the skills you will learn along the way. You can choose an internship based on what your interests are. Once you enrol into a BFA program, you will learn a lot of concepts that will spark your interest to explore the different fields of the dance world. Moreover, if you're struggling to find what captures your interest, an internship is all the more essential, as it will provide you with the time to experiment and explore what works best to push you towards your artistic goals. Below are some pointers detailing how an internship, especially during your first year, will be extra beneficial to you and your artistic career:
- It gives you a glimpse of what your ‘dance’ life might be like after you graduate with a degree in dance. Having an idea of your life after your graduation can provide you with clarity. It can make you more clear about what you want to achieve as a dancer. This can help you formulate a plan for your future. Plus, isn’t it better to know what you will do as soon as you graduate instead of taking more time to figure that out? Taking your time is not a bad thing. But if you have a way to know where you want to end up, it will only make you so much more efficient! Having an idea of the kind of work you would like to do after you graduate will give you more time to explore the creative side of your brain!
- It opens up more opportunities for you as an artist and as a dancer. You might love to perform and teach. But thinking about being a part of other positions that a company offers and needs in order to function, can give your career a boost. Positions like an Arts Administrator, Operations Manager, Financial Manager, Education Manager, and Marketing Media Manager are just a few opportunities that a company offers. Additionally, under each of these positions are sub positions like apprenticeship, internship, assistantship etc, providing you with more opportunities to learn and grow. There are many more that would fit your interests and needs. They give you an outlet to show that you can be a dancer as well as have a regular job within your field of interest. These opportunities can provide you with a decent survival job with flexible hours. They keep your brain working, and you’ll be able to think and move more creatively.
- Doing an internship can help you discover different parts of yourself that you didn’t know even existed! It makes you a more independent and disciplined person, which will come in handy once you graduate, since you would need to build your career with the tools you obtained during your education. The internships and jobs during your education will lead you to build a career that is sustainable and holistic in your approach to being an artist.
- It helps in increasing your network and connections. You will meet so many new people that will show you a different part of the dance world and make you more aware of this field. Not to forget, these people will inspire you the most. Plus, it’s all about making connections and expanding your network these days. That’s how you stay up to date with what’s happening in the dance community. You might meet another artist who can help you in an upcoming project, or can show you their work which can lead you to find inspiration for your future works.
Lastly, while doing an internship, you will be encouraged to manage your time in a way that will allow you to take classes, attend performances, network with a myriad range of artists, and build a template for your professional life. Moreover, if you’re in a different geological location, it’s even more fun to do an internship as you get to explore a new dance culture while also exploring the new place. Plus, it might also help spark some inspiration for new work!