Love it or loath it, Social Media is here to stay. The importance of having a presence online allows your art to be seen, by Choreographers, Directors, Dancers and your Audience. If you want to be a commercial dancer, you need to think about the important basic fundamentals such as your Branding and how you conduct yourself on social media. Who do you want to attract as an audience? Who will see your Instagram and other social media posts, how are you targeting them?

Plenty of commercial dancers have gained work via their posts on Instagram and other social media sites.

Dance is everywhere, from TV programs such as So You Think You Can Dance, Music Videos, Movies and Live Concerts with artists such as Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez. However, before we even get to this stage, you need to build your foundations.

Timothy Tristan – Photo: Jenn Hoffman

I spoke with Los Angeles based choreographer/dancer Timothy Tristan. From humble beginnings as a child, he grew up and was taught by his mother to have an appreciation and understanding of musicality.

We spoke about his journey as a dancer into the world of commercial dance. From a young age, Timothy started out learning from his Mother and then had technical dance education from the age of 11. He next went to a Performing Arts Middle School as a teenager.  This is where Timothy learned Film Making and Dance, and it was whilst in Middle School, the opportunity started with commercial dance on the TV Show, 90210.

Timothy spoke about the importance of becoming a commercial dancer and to diversify in your training. Classical ballet will provide the technique; but you will also require the mix of breakin’, hip hop, jazz dance and taking gymnastic classes will help with refining those acrobatic tricks.

I asked Timothy about his experience and what it takes to become a professional dancer.

There is no blue print to being a successful dancer, but if you want to make a living, out of being a professional dancer, you have to have a plan. What kind of commercial dancer? Do you love jazz dance or do you love hip hop dance…you can be capable of doing both.”

Timothy talked about the importance of the dancer needing to think about their branding. He explained the image of your success sits on you and what you do. You should think about what you want to achieve and where do you want to work. Once you know the direction you want to take in commercial dance, learn your craft and master your brand.

Timothy Tristan – Photo: Emily Iva 2015

Timothy continued by explaining, learn from “all of the people that are doing it for a living. Take the same classes as the dancers that are in the music videos.”

Timothy reiterated the importance of going to workshops, master classes with those who are involved in the productions/choreography of the music videos/commercials. These are the professionals that are doing it all the time. It allows you the opportunity to building a rapport with other dancers and choreographers.

Timothy said dancers can overlook their own personal well-being, besides taking classes, it is important in the world of entertainment to take care of your emotional health, take time out for you, especially for your longevity as a successful commercial dancer.

When you as a dancer are working on a music video, part of being a successful career person you must maintain a healthy and good attitude. Being able to listen, work and take directions, as you are working with a multitude of personalities.

To learn more about Timothy Tristan, please see his web page for contact details and classes, click here.

Featured image: Timothy Tristan – Photo by Emily Iva