Someone asked me today for some tips on how to market themselves as a dancer and instructor. My reply was simply to do this in a truthful and honest way.
Be clear about the extent of your training, your influences, why you dance, what this dance means to you. How you teach, what you think your students will learn, where you take inspiration, and how you convey this to your students. My friend Elspeth believes that teachers get the students who are right for them and vice versa. I think that an honest approach will only quicken this process, helping the right match to be made.
It saddens me too often to see and hear the exaggerated claims of other dancers in this domain. The claim of authenticity from one who learnt their craft on their home soil. Or those that seek to demeanour the work of other dancers, even as far as discrediting their own teachers' work - to whom they owe heavy dues for bringing the dancer inside, out. To talk about that tiny tots ballet class attended once, as the equivalent of a lifetime of intensive training. To spin tales of being taught by the top dancers of the world when referring to a single workshop shared with 50 other women.
Time will tell, but these are the rules that I'm trying to live by with Habiba Dance. My organisation is now only a year old and the website, the videos, the words, the opinion presented here, they are all a part of myself, my own work and what I stand for.
Image Beth Rankin under Creative Commons.