With a varied background in the arts as a presenter, arts manager, and administrator, Kim Konikow brings rich perspectives into our “Business of Dance” course. I was interested in joining the class dialogue. So, I interviewed two of Konikow’s students. Here’s what Chelsea and Maddie had to say:

CHELSEA’s Interview

1. What is your greatest fear in terms of running a business/arts management/arts administration? How is this class teaching you to address that fear? I am afraid that I won’t get to work with a company that is the perfect fit, but this class is teaching me many networking methods.

2. Why should dancers take a course like “Business of Dance”? This class teaches the logistics of going into the dance profession. Dancers should know everything that this course covers; like where to move, what banking forms to use, and how to make connections.

3. How are artists and traditional marketers like-minded? We are all trying to make a living and a happy life.

4. What is one mind-blowing thing that you’ve learned so far? It’s possible to do what I love with my life! It’s not easy but I am more familiar with the steps required to get there than I was before taking this class.

5. How will you apply this course to your “real” life? The final project for this course is to work on something that I want to do/create in real life–so that’s how (at least in the immediate future). I also am working on improving my resume and website.

6. Anything else? I don’t consider myself a “business-minded” person, but I do like to make connections with people who have similar ideals and goals, and that is my new view of business in the field of dance.

MADDIE’s Interview

1. Why should dancers take a course like “Business of Dance”? I think it’s incredibly important for a dancer to take a course like Business of Dance if they have any interest in becoming a professional dancer. It’s a really difficult time right now for artists and especially dancers, so knowing how to conduct yourself as a professional and be smart in the field is one of the things that could set you apart from other dancers. I think that it is a career that should be approached just like any other job–with the same level of seriousness, professionalism, and preparation. Knowing how to express your art is extremely important but knowing how to manage yourself and your career logistics at this level is also extremely important in this day and age. We all want to live out our passions, be happy, and have enough money to get ourselves by. This class is teaching me how to do just that.

2.What is one mind-blowing thing that you’ve learned so far? One mind-blowing thing I’ve learned so far is that deciding to have a family can affect your career as a performer. I’ve always seen myself as eventually being a mom and having a family, but didn’t think at all about how this would work in tandem with the lifestyle of a professional dancer. There are sacrifices and choices to be made, but it’s exhilarating to think about dance in a way this candid and real. Every faculty member that has come to share with us has been very honest, which is something I greatly respect and appreciate, because that kind of honesty is exactly what we all need as we pursue this path of an artist.

3. How will you apply this course to your “real” life? Going into my junior year at the Ohio State University, I feel that this class is really important for me at this particular phase in my life. I’m realizing that it’s time to switch my mindset from “Someday I’ll be a dancer!” to acknowledging that hopefully it’s about to be my reality and learning how I can best prepare for this drastic transition into the tough yet rewarding world of being a professional dancer. I’m learning skills such as managing my finances once out of college, networking, choosing a city to live in post-grad, marketing, fundraising, and formatting a resume that is both clear and representative of me and my personality. These are skills I can start to think about and implement now while still in school in order to be more comfortable with by the time I’m out on my own.

Description of Course: “The practical aspects of the dance profession are examined in this seminar. This includes career options, creating an ‘image’ in print and online, growing dance audiences, financial administration and raising funds creatively, among many other topics. Guests from the Festival faculty will join us with informative presentations based on personal experience. A resume (yours) will be created or reviewed and you will participate in the creation of a hands-on plan to assist in your own future dance project. By the end of the course, participants will be better prepared to perform the business tasks expected of dance professionals and have a more holistic understanding of the field and personal dance community.”

This post was written by Ashley Yergens. Ashley is the BDF Social Media Intern for the 2014 summer.

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