Dancer Rule #1: Always Be On Time

December 28, 2012

We preach all the time about the things you “need to do if you want to make it as a professional dancer:” Be smart. Be kind. Be gracious. Be talented.

But perhaps the most important rule for going pro: Be on time!

Don’t show up to an audition late.

Don’t arrive to class late.

And my goodness, don’t even think about getting to a performance too close to curtain-up time.

Don’t just take it from me, though: Our January cover guy, Chaz Buzan, has been assisting Mia Michaels for years now. As he explains in the story, it hasn’t always been easy. But the roughest day he ever had as Mia’s right-hand-man was the day he was late.

A few years back, Chaz was supposed to assist Mia at a workshop in Minneapolis, MN, but he was running late to the airport and missed their flight. Chaz found another flight but arrived to the class already in progress an hour late, where the studio owner greeted him saying, “Mia’s not going to need you for class anymore.” After the class ended, Mia met Chaz at their hotel where he knew he was “gonna get it.” “She said, ‘You know how much I rely on you. You cannot miss assisting. I can’t show what the movement is supposed to look like—that’s your job.’ I paid the studio owner back my assistant fee [upon his own insistence, not Mia’s], developed a thick skin and have never missed a flight for anything since then.”

So write it down and set your alarms accordingly: Early is on time. On time is late. Late is…you’re fired.