Tricia Miranda's Top 10 Ways to Own Your Career

(photo by Lee Cherry, courtesy Miranda)

Commercial superstar Tricia Miranda is everywhere. Her viral class videos dominate our YouTube feed, her choreography was seen by millions of people during Missy Elliott’s Super Bowl 50 performance and she recently completed work on her own MTV show, “Going Off.” If there’s anyone who can give advice on how to be a consummate professional, it’s Miranda. Wondering about the kinds of details that define a career and make you unforgettable? Here are Miranda’s words of wisdom.

1. Create a choreographic signature. “You may want to copy what’s already been done, because that’s what’s hot, or getting a lot of views. But roll with your unique style. It might take longer than copying, but that’s what makes you memorable.”

2. Know your worth. “We want to make a living doing what we love. But don’t take a job just because it’s a paycheck. Respect yourself as an artist and figure out what you feel OK with.”

3. Love the skin you’re in. “When you’re insecure, people can sense it and no one wants to hire that. Being comfortable with yourself is huge in our industry. When you’re not chosen at an audition, it’s not a personal attack. You’re already enough.”

4. Allow things to happen organically. “I’m a strong believer in taking your time. Walking into an audition or class with confidence is great. But choreographers see right through it when you’re in their face.”

5. There’s a difference between “current” and “trendy.” “It’s important to stay current, because dance styles are rapidly evolving. But if you only perform or choreograph popular moves, you’re limiting yourself.”

6. Pull your weight. “A lot of dancers like to blame their agent for not getting them gigs. But it’s a relationship in which both parties have to do work. Set up regular meetings with your agent. Tell him or her what your goals are and what kinds of jobs you want.”

7. Polish your look. “Commercial dancers don’t have to have any particular look anymore. Find what’s natural for you and amp it up—pull the choreographer’s focus. Invest in your hair, wardrobe and makeup. Choreographers and artists want people on their team who look like stars.”

8. Delegate, delegate, delegate. “No one person can do every single job. Pull in people who are trustworthy, work extremely hard and know what you want.”

9. Make connections. “Networking and creating relationships is super-important. If you’re uncomfortable running up to choreographers or teachers, start by just going to a ton of classes.”

10. Being human > being perfect. “Validation and recognition on social media shouldn’t give you a sense of entitlement. If you’re not getting called out in class, it’s no reason to feel embarrassed. Let your fans see you as someone who’s still learning. It’s healthy and important to mess up.”

Dance News
Photo by Jayme Thornton

Harper Watters is a ballet dancer for today's generation. A social media maestro and a charismatic performer, the Houston Ballet soloist is equally at home in front of the camera hosting his hit YouTube series, "The Pre Show"; interacting with fans on his crazy-popular Instagram account; or showing off his beautiful classical technique onstage. It's a multifaceted identity that's proven to be invaluable to his career—and it's taking him to places he never even dreamed of.

Keep reading... Show less

Leap! National Dance Competition offers dancers of all skill levels an opportunity to showcase their talents in an event where the focus is on fun and competing is just a bonus!

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer

Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
The School at Jacob's Pillow's contemporary program auditions (photo by Karli Cadel, courtesy Jacob's Pillow)

Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.

Keep reading... Show less
Screenshot via YouTube

Look out, 'cause here they come!

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News

When we think of a dancer who's broken barriers, American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland tends to be the name that comes to mind. And though Copeland has been a crucial advocate for equality in the world of ballet, Raven Wilkinson—a mentor of Copeland's—is considered one of the original pioneers of the movement.

In 1955, Wilkinson became the first African American to dance with the renowned Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Her fortitude in the face of bigotry and hate cemented her legacy. Now, with the release of the new children's book Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson, a new generation of dancers will be inspired by her tale of overcoming obstacles to achieve a dream.

The book details Wilkinson's life, from her experience as a young dancer training in Harlem, to her run-ins with the Ku Klux Klan while on tour with Ballet Russe, to her later ballet career in Europe. "There were times where my heart really hurt because of the situations I had to deal with," she says. "But I always had faith that I was made to be a dancer and that I was gonna dance."

Dance Spirit spoke with Wilkinson to discuss the new book and get her take on racial equality within the ballet world.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Leah Morrison in Trisha Brown's If You Couldn't See Me, in which the soloist never faces the audience (photo by Julia Cervantes, courtesy Trisha Brown Dance Company)

Postmodern pioneer Trisha Brown redefined how dance is seen and felt. A founding member of Judson Dance Theater, Brown frequently collaborated with other experimental artists like Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, and Steve Paxton.

She embraced pedestrian movement, pairing everyday gesture with rhythm and fluidity. "It's liquid," says Wendy Perron, who danced with Brown in the '60s and '70s. "Like a river with many tributaries, water coming out of a faucet, or being on a raft and seeing the water move away in different directions." Brown also pushed beyond stages with choreography in fields, museums—even on the sides of buildings.

Keep reading... Show less
Blankenbuehler (far left) with the rest of the "Hamilton" creative team scontent-iad3-1.cdninstagram.com

So book your tickets to Tulsa already, people!

Keep reading... Show less
Your Body
Amanda LaCount showing off her skills (screenshot via YouTube)

There's a common misconception that a dancer's body has to be thin. But the truth is that talent knows no body type, and the number on the scale never determines an artist's capabilities. Here are some extraordinary dancers fighting the stereotype of what a dancer "should" look like.

Keep reading... Show less
Watch This
Angela Sterling, courtesy PNB

Mark your calendars, bunheads! On Monday, January 29th, at 2:45 PM (EST)/11:45 AM (PST), Pacific Northwest Ballet will be streaming a live rehearsal of Act II of Kent Stowell's Swan Lake.

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Want to Be on Our Cover?

covermodelsearch-image

Video

Sponsored

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Sponsored