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In Rehearsal, Dance Full Out

Unless the choreographer says otherwise.

Never assume you can mark a piece in rehearsal. Even if the choreographer only wants to see a 16 count phrase. You do it full out. Otherwise, you’re basically a stand-in for the real dancer. You’re completely dispensible.

Being dispensible is never something a dancer should aspire to.

As a dancer, you want to maintain yourself as being so invaluable that it would be ridiculous for anyone other than you to be dancing in the piece.

How do you make yourself so invaluable? By being alert, attentive, and by being a blank canvas on which the choreographer can create. In order for the choreographer to create, your job as a dancer is to execute every movement asked of you in a way demonstrated by the choreographer.

If the choreographer creates a movement phrase full out, and you mark it, the choreographer will interpret that to be any or all of the following:

  • 1. You don’t know the movement
  • 2. You don’t understand the sequence
  • 3. You’re tired
  • 4. You don’t care about the piece
  • 5. You have an injury
  • 6. You’re not that serious about being a dancer

When you mark a piece or even a short sequence within a piece, you are practicing bad habits. You are teaching your body how to execute the dance improperly. You are not growing or gaining strength either physically or mentally. You’re cheating yourself, the choreographer, and any other dancers that may be in the piece.

In Rehearsal, Dance Full Out

If you don’t know the movement or don’t understand the sequence, learn it. Immediately. Do not attempt to mark through the steps you don’t know – it’s not what was choreographed.

If you’re tired, like, so tired you might injure yourself if you push too hard, please let the choreographer know before rehearsal starts. But, you know, tiredness comes with the territory of being a dancer. You are going to be tired. You are going to get pushed beyond what you think you’re capable of. If you continually arrive tired to a rehearsal, you are completely dispensible.

If you have an injury, please inform the choreographer. It’s not a good idea to dance with an injury.

If you don’t care about the piece, or you’re not that serious about dance, what the heck are you doing in rehearsal anyway? Go find what you love and do that instead! Dance is a passion-driven career, and if your heart isn’t in it, you’re completely dispensible.