Dear MDU Family, 

This evening Gov. Tony Evers addressed our state issuing Executive Order #94 that calls upon business leaders "to continue doing their part to keep workers, customers, and communities safe by expanding working from home options for workers, offering online or virtual services, and limiting the number of people in offices, facilities, and stores" - all things we are PROUD to say we have been doing since we re-opened in June. 

We have been following our Safer Studio™ Standards every step of the way through this season and continue to do so.  Our team members have work-from-home capabilities, we are fully tech-enabled with online and virtual options, and we have always limited the number of people in our offices, facility, and store.  

We have had over 10,000 visits to our studio since re-opening and only 4 isolated reported cases of COVID-19 - that's less than 1/100th of 1% occurrence.

Our strong focus on safety has made it possible to maintain a very low-risk environment while allowing our young people to benefit from exercise and friendship in a safety-focused environment as well as the associated positive benefits on social-emotional and mental well-being.

We are proud to continue to be a positive anchor in the lives of our local youth and we look forward to seeing and supporting your children in classes this week.  In the meantime, please join us in doing all you can to keep our community safe by wearing face coverings, keeping the recommended 6 ft distance from friends and classmates, washing your hands, and staying home if you are unwell.  For the safety of our community, if you are unable to or prefer not to wear a face covering, we strongly encourage you to attend our virtual class options. 

As always, your teachers and I thank you for your support.  

Sincerely, 

Miss Misty



Safer Studio Policy Archive
  • 923 12th Ave S, STE 103, Onalaska, WI 54650
  • 608.779.4642
  • info@mistysdance.com
  • 923 12th Ave S, STE 103, Onalaska, WI 54650
  • 608.779.4642
  • info@mistysdance.com

Dancing for a living

So your child wants to become a professional dancer

After a steady diet of “Dancing with the Stars”, “So You Think You Can Dance” and “World of Dance", many young dancers today aspire to do it professionally. They may love dance, they may work hard, and they may even be quite talented, but the truth is only 3 percent of people who go into dancing actually become professionals.

 

What’s the difference between the 3 percent and the other 97? The answer depends on whom you ask, but pretty consistently the pros will tell you that, aside from solid training, it comes down to these five characteristics: creativity, perseverance, stamina, passion and versatility.

 

Obviously, consistent training is critical. But equally important is having a realistic understanding of what it means to be professional. Only then can you determine whether you’ll have what it takes it truly takes to succeed.

Understand the life of a professional dancer

Learn the realities of a career in dance. If your child wants to pursue a professional career as a dancer, here are five difficult truths they’ll need to understand.

  • When starting out, auditioning, not dancing, will be their job.
  • Professional dancers train five to six days per week for six to eight hours a day.
  • The average professional dancer’s salary is $33,000 per year, so most dancers need a side job to pay their bills, not to mention the costs of training and dance classes.
  • The majority of professional opportunities are in New York City, particularly for Broadway or stage shows, and in Los Angeles for commercial work, though there are also pockets of opportunity in other cities such as Atlanta, Miami and Chicago.
  • The average retirement age for professional dancers is 35. It doesn’t take long before their bodies demand a different course.

Never too early to prepare for a dance career

If your child can accept those realities, here’s what they’ll need to do to prepare.

  • Solid, consistent and near-daily technique classes. Remember, professionals spend 40 hours a week dancing, many hours of which are continuously perfecting technique.
  • Training in a variety of dance styles. When the job market is competitive, the more versatile one’s skills, the more jobs they’ll qualify for.
  • Training with companies of interest. Summer intensives offer a wonderful opportunity for dancers to meet professional dancers and company owners. Not only do they get to learn from several different teaching styles, but they also grow their networking circles which can help lead to professional work down the road.
  • A mentor. Some dancers find mentors within their studios. Others find them through guest teachers at their studios or through those summer intensives we just discussed.

Many paths to professional dance careers

Because dancers retire at an early age, many feel they need to start their careers as soon as (and in rare cases before) they graduate from high school. They skip college, thinking that the four years it would take to earn a degree is four years off their careers. That attitude, however, is shifting.

 

It’s still not uncommon for dancers to head straight to the coast after earning their diplomas, but increasingly professional dancers will tell you that the extra technical training gained in college—or a full-time academy training program—is just one benefit to continuing their education. Many dancers find their time in college and certificate programs help them establish stronger professional connections, make better career decisions, mature as dancers and understand their bodies in ways that prevent future injuries.

 

Nevertheless, one size does not fit all. While university studies may be right for some dancers, others may already have the connections and know-how to go straight to work…auditioning, that is.

Consider life after dance

As you help your dancer determine which path may be best for them, take time to consider life after their time as a professional dancer is over. Do they anticipate wanting to try something completely different? Or do they anticipate wanting to maintain their connection to dance and grow into new areas within the industry? Physical therapy, photography, choreography and teaching are all options for the latter. Having some idea of what they want after dance can help inform some decisions now, particularly whether to continue some form of education or training right after high school or down the road.

 

Whichever path your dancer chooses, it helps moms and dads to know that even if your child becomes one of the 97 percent rather than the 3 percent, the lessons they learn through years of dance training and pursuing their dreams can apply successfully to any profession that follows.