Your Dance CV and Performance Portfolio
There is no one correct template for a dance CV. Performers, agents and customers all have different preferences. Make it clear, professional, informative and honest.
What’s the difference?
A CV tends to be shorter and more formal.
A Performance Portfolio tends to be fuller, include more background information and images of work you have done.
Do you know someone who is a dancer, actor, performer? Ask see examples of their CVs and portfolios for ideas and inspiration.
Look online at examples – you can search for performers with similar skill sets to see if there is a generally accepted format or style for your speciality.
It can help to have someone else write notes about you! It can be a struggle to come up with lists of our own positive attributes – other people are often great with describing our strengths.
Make it visual:
Include some photos. If it will be viewed on line make sure it can load quickly.
A head shot, a staged shot and a few relevant performance shots are a good combination.
Once you have photos in a document be sure to convert it to PDF before you send it on so that you know the formatting will stay the same.
Make it engaging and informative:
Include any training qualifications if you have them.
Include an accurate description of what you offer or what you are offering on this occasion. This could be styles for example in Burlesque are you comedy or glamour or can you do both. It could be different skills e.g performance, teaching, choreography.
Relevant testimonials / quotes you have from audience, agent or client recommending you from previous bookings and performances are a good way of showcasing your timeliness, professionalism and stage presence – keep them short.
It can be helpful to list a couple of examples of where you have performed. You can make this varied so it showcases the fact you are versatile and that your acts fit in different locations and venue types. Or it may be more appropriate to focus on types of venues that you are aiming to get more work in.
If appropriate an act description list (this can also be attached separately or be available online). This is for you to write a list of your Set Pieces. This is common practice in burlesque and aerial. In other dance forms instead of set acts this can be a list of how your act can be used e.g around table, background, meet and great, showcase, finale and a few examples of general themes.
Finish it off:
Provide contact details – the usual advice applies – make sure the email address is suitable, if you include a link to your website make sure it’s up to date and working, if you include a phone number ensure there’s an appropriate, professional voice mail message.
Check it all.
Get someone else to check it.
Print it out and see how it looks ‘off screen’
In reality you may find you create a selection of CVs and Portfolios each one focusing on a different aspect or prepared for specific clients. If you build up your own comprehensive portfolio, creating shorter, more specific CVs will be easier.
Remember to keep it all relevant to the audience / market you are creating it for. If the brief for the submission of a CV is one page keep it that long (and don’t make it size 8 font).
Looking to get some photos for your portfolio – check out our upcoming events: