By Asya Zlatina
Dancers typically start training and even enter the
professional world of dance when they are relatively
young, especially when compared to other professions.
We do what we do since BEFORE the college years, and
feel strong and invincible with little thought to how our
bodies will feel when we age. In this light, the most
important piece of advice I would give to any young
dancer in training to become a pro, is to pursue an
education. Your higher education and a degree from an
accredited school will be your lifeline for doing what you
love. It will help you transition when you eventually have
to move on from physical performance, and will give you
greater possibilities for an upward financial mobility that
you will not find in most dance companies.
There is not much money in dance, especially
concert dance, as compared to what other professionals
make for a normal standard of living. Your salary raise will
be limited despite the shifts of inflation and changes in
the economy. As a result, many pros end up balancing
several jobs, and at times can feel overwhelmed. But we
owe it to ourselves to set ourselves up for success,
as early as possible. Dancers are smart and dedicated,
disciplined and diligent.
These qualities help us excel at school and getting
scholarships when we need them. Pair that professional
dance experience with a supplemental career
There are many ways to stay in dance and get a
stable career out of it as well. Put your effort into making
sure you have a future with necessary health benefits and
a retirement plan. It is far away, but a certain part of life.
The romantic notion of being a starving artist is infuriating
to me and something I would love to see a change to in
my lifetime. A higher education in the right field can spur
this change. Having just completed my seventh season
with my current company, and my ninth professional
season overall, I already feel grateful to my mother for
introducing this idea to me. Regardless of how talented
you are, how many connections you have or how healthy
you feel, a higher education allows you more
opportunities for a good future.
Living in the present, we are the future of dance.
Our choices today will lay a foundation for the next
generations. Let’s build this road together for better
wages and more appreciation for our life’s work.
Dancer: Marine de Vachon
MakeUp: Shara Angelique Cofran
Born in Moscow, Russia and immigrated to the
United States in 1992. She trained throughout
the DC/Baltimore area and graduated in May
2008 from Goucher College with a BA in
Psychology and Dance. While at Goucher, she
had the privilege of working with talented
coaches and notable guest artists including Ann
Hutchinson Guest, Tiffany Mills, Michael Vernon
and Nilas Martins. Asya has performed at the
Kennedy Center (ClancyWorks Dance Company)
and the DiCapo in New York City (Nilas Martins
Dance Company). She has received additional
training under Roni Koresh, as well as ABT,
Alonzo King and Maurya Kerr, Robert Moses,
In 2013 she graduated from Drexel University
with an MS in Arts Administration. Asya joined
Koresh Dance Company in 2008.
Photographer : Juan Irrizary