Make Your Own Website to Increase Your Networking System

Wouldn’t it be great if fellow dancers or potential employers could see your resumé, headshot and performance photos in one easy-to-access place? If you already surf the web to buy dance gear, check out local performances or learn about new classes, then you’re ready to create a website that’s all about you!

Your website should have the following components:

• headshot

• updated resumé

• list of upcoming performances

• performance photos

• your e-mail address (Note: For your safety, never post your phone number online unless it’s a separate business line.)

Here are four sites you can use to make your website—and DS tested them all out. We’ve included the links to our creations and the approximate time spent creating each:

• Blogger

blogger.com

This site lets you choose from a dozen different designs. If you’re interested in running a website for your performing group, Blogger allows multiple users to post on the site, so everyone from your group can add their headshots and resumés.

Total time: 45 minutes

Link: dancespiritmag.blogspot.com

• LiveJournal

livejournal.com

With 13 color schemes to choose from and cute mood indicators (such as smileys or kittens), LiveJournal provides a simple site where you can post news and information on an ongoing basis. You can also create a dance “community” with fellow dancers by linking to your friends’ pages.

Total time: 35 minutes

Link: livejournal.com/users/dancespiritmag

• FreeHomePage

freehomepage.com

The best part of this service is the professional-looking, easy-to-use resumé/portfolio template. To avoid the pop-up ads that come with the free service, upgrade to the Starter package for $7.95 per month.

Total time: 30 minutes

Link: dancespiritmag.freehomepage.com

• Geocities

geocities.yahoo.com

Free with a Yahoo e-mail account, the Geocities PageBuilder tool lets you create an “about me” page using one of 10 templates, although you can upgrade for $4.95 a month to access over 330 possible looks for your page. If you use the free service, Yahoo will put ads on your site.

Total time: 20 minutes

Link: geocities.com/dancespiritmag/danceresume

• Flickr

flickr.com

Useful for storing and sharing photos, Flickr can also be used in combination with Blogger and LiveJournal. These two services don’t allow you to post photos directly to their sites, but will display images that you upload to Flickr. Free and very user friendly, Flickr lets you check out other dancers’ photos by searching “dance.”

Total time: 15 minutes

Link: flickr.com/photos/62532698@N00

Don’t Forget…

•If you want your page to open quickly (which you do!), the photo files that you put on your site must be small. Some services won’t even let you upload very large images, so use the photo editor software (such as iPhoto, Adobe Photoshop album or Picasa) on your computer to size down your digital pictures to 150 kb or smaller. Be sure to save the file in “.jpg” format.

•Less is more: If you want your website to represent you as a professional dancer, keep it simple so that potential choreographers and other employers can easily and quickly get the info they need. Limit yourself to three great photos and 400 words on a page.

•Put your web address on your resumé so that casting directors can check out pictures of you in performance.

•Keep it current. You wouldn’t let your hip-hop technique get outdated, so why let your website go stale? If you’ve taken class with a new teacher or choreographed a piece for the first time, put the news on your page right away.

•Invest in a high-speed internet connection to upload pictures and update the site more quickly.

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