Should Dancers Have a Plan B?

    With less than a week left before I graduate college and go off into the real world, the amount of people that ask me what I am going to do next is unbelievable. I have to admit, I am often finding myself asking the same question to my peers. When I tell them I am a dancer more often than not, I get the follow up question; “Well what are you going to do when that doesn’t work out?”, “What’s your plan B?”, “What else are you going to do?” This makes a person wonder, should I have a plan B? What if I don’t? Am I going to fail in life? Do dancers need to have a plan B? Should they? Should I be scarred that I don’t?

     These are questions that dancers hear way too often. People who don’t dance typically think that dancing can’t be a full time job. They think dancing can’t be a career. Dancers often get discouraged and are forced to go into their plan B because nobody supports them and believes in them. For me, dancing has always been apart of me. It has always been who I am. It defines me, without it I have no idea who I would be. Yes, I do have a backup if for whatever reason my dancing career fails. However, I never plan on actually using it. For me there is no second option, it is only there as a comfort. My plan B also happens to be something I love to do and maybe will do on the side one day. It can also be incorporated into the dancing world. If you truly love something and believe in yourself and what you are doing, then go and make it happen! Don’t allow people to tell you to have a plan B. Yes, dancing is a hard career. Yes, you never will know exactly when that next paycheck is coming. If you love what you are doing, won’t it be worth it? Yes, it will be!

     Dancers should be able to follow their dreams without having to worry about failing. It is okay to have another part time job so that there is a steady income. You want to be able to support yourself and pay your bills. Just don’t give up on that dream. Will you become that principal dancer in the major dance company? Maybe not, but that shouldn’t discourage you. If anything let it motivate you, you have something to reach for. As 16 year old, South African dancer, Leroy Mokgatle says, “Don’t ever make a plan B for your life. If you do, it’s as if you’re saying ‘it’s okay if this doesn’t work out’. For me there is no plan B”.