Professional rejection

Even professional dancers at the top of their game can be rejected. Whilst they may appear to hold their heads high, it is a truly hard moment of any career, and dancers can sometimes find it hard to spring back following this. As painful as the experience may be, it is possible to rebuild your career after being rejected or fired. The key is to part ways like a professional, regain confidence and have greater success next time.

It is important for dancers to keep their cool if this happens. It is normal to experience pain, shock and denial, but the news needs processing properly and it is advisable to save questions for once the dust has settled on the matter. Employers are usually happy to help the dancer understand what wasn’t working. If a dancer is honest, they may also identify these determining factors, and will therefore be able to bounce back better.

Part of moving on is identifying what went wrong, and where the responsibility lies for this. The dancer may feel as though they have failed, however there will likely be factors outside their control that have also contributed to the rejection of the dancer. It may be that the job was just not right for the dancer, and if they are not professionally compatible with their employer it will often look like the dancer is not a right fit, or even failing in the eyes of the director.

A new job or opportunity is then a good time to evaluate dance and a wider dance career. So often it is the pursuit of perfection that is actually limits dancers, so being able to relax in between work should translate to dance and their performance. Some dancers may then find it is easier to rebuild their confidence, as the more they develop a sense of the artist they are, the less they will rely on external validation, either from their employers or themselves. The loss of job and work can be a huge transition period, but much of the struggle can be rerouted as something positive.