In a way, you can think of dancing on tour as a paid (work) vacation! You get the opportunity to travel the country (or even the world) while dancing for different audiences every night. But performing on tour is very different from other dance gigs. Here’s why:
You spend A LOT of time traveling. Whether by car, bus, or plane, you’ll be traveling for many, many hours as a dancer on tour. Oh, and jet lag is real! Make sure you’ve packed a neck pillow, eye mask, snacks, and headphones to cope with long travel days.
It can feel like a non-stop field trip. On tour, you live, work, and travel with the same group of people. Leave the drama at home and make an effort to foster a positive, inclusive, and fun atmosphere among your cast and crew—they’ll be your second family during your time on the road.
It’s harder to be healthy. Depending on what city you’re in (and for how long), you might not have access to healthy restaurants or a local gym. It’s important to keep nutritious snacks on hand and to get fresh produce and lean protein in your diet when you can. To combat all your hours of traveling, devise your own simple hotel room workout to get your sweat on and stay strong for your show.
Each venue is unique. Not only will you be performing on different stages while on tour, but the stage crew and backstage layouts will also be new in each city. Take the time to do a walk-through so you’re comfortable with the entire theatre space before you take the stage.
Take time to be a tourist. Life on the road can be draining with your intense performance and travel schedule. Schedule time to explore the city you’re in by visiting a museum, eating at a local restaurant, or simply walking around downtown. Performing on tour is an amazing opportunity to visit exciting and unfamiliar places.
Being a dancer on tour is a lifestyle unlike any other. It can be exhausting, unpredictable, and stressful at times. But it can also be one of the most memorable and fulfilling experiences of your career. Bottom line: take care of yourself, stay positive, and make the most of the adventure!