Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

Dear Katie: How Do I Know if I'm Good Enough to Dance Professionally?

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.comfor a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

How do I know if I'm good enough to be a professional dancer? I'm one of the strongest dancers in my class, and my teachers like me. But I live in a pretty small town, so it's hard to tell how realistic my dance dreams are.


Dear Amanda,

Many current professional dancers came from tiny towns! But, yes, it can be hard to judge your progress if you're around the same dancers day in and day out. My advice would be to take advantage of any nearby master classes, and to audition for as many summer programs as you can. Both will help you figure out where you stand in the larger dance world.

In master classes, evaluate the level of talent around you, and think about where you fall in the pack. Can you pick up combinations quickly? Do you feel completely lost when going across the floor? Are the other dancers above or below your technical level? Auditions will show you the same things—and there's the added element of the result: If you're getting into well-regarded programs, that's a sign that your training is on track. Audition judges and master-class teachers are also seeing your technique with fresh eyes, so they can give you feedback that will help you improve more rapidly.

For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.

Latest Posts

Photo by Brooke Fera

Enter the World of the Knicks City Dancers with 2 of Their Newest Rookies

Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search