There is absolutely no shame in working a side job at any point or time in your life. Of course the main goal is to do what makes you happy every single day, but if a side job can provide some sort of financial security so you can go follow your dreams, then what’s the problem?
Whether you’re a dancer, actor, singer, performer or a freelancer of any kind – this is for you. I know it looks like everyone is living their best Kardashian-life on Instagram, but the real world looks differently.
Have I worked a side job? Of course! Plenty! Up until I moved to the States in 2018 I’ve had lots of different jobs outside of dance.
Since you’re here, I’m pretty sure you’ll like these two post too
“Ever wondered how much professional dancers make” read here
“How to save money as a dancer – 24 easy ways!” read here
The dance jobs I’ve worked
I mean, if you want my resumé, I’ll definitely send it to you (my showreel is here!), but generally, I’ve worked on jobs like X factor Denmark, Denmark Got Talent, toured in China with different artists, China’s Next Topmodel (relax NOT as a model as a dancer… as if anyone was in doubt), I’m running my own Online Program for Danish dancers here , I’m signed to an Agency in LA which I am so flipping grateful for that I’ve done lots of fun job through!
.I haven’t booked a job with your favorite A-list celebrity (yet lol), but I’ve worked consistently for many many years around the whole world, and it’s a never-ending journey I’m extremely happy about. But. Even if you book a huge dance job – you’ll still go back to unemployment when that job ends. Cue side hustles!
(Read 16 things I wish I knew about freelancing before I started here!)
The list of side jobs I’ve worked in my life!
I had my first job as a dance teacher in 2013 I think, but next to teaching and working as a dancer, these are the “regular” jobs I’ve worked in my life:
- Movie Theatre
My VERY first job that I was working while I was 16 and still in school.
- Ice Cream shop
My best friend at the time and I saved up money in order to move to Copenhagen for a 1-year Hip Hop Program by selling Ice Cream every single day in a forest during the summer break after graduating.
- Kindergarden & Daycare
We moved to Copenhagen and started the 1-year program, and absolutely couldn’t stand it for so many reasons that you can read about here. Basically we paid $10,000 each and didn’t get our money back, but I now had to come up wtih additional $5,000 for another program. Therefore I started worked in a Kindergarden on the side.
- Exam guard
When I lived in Copenhagen I was hired to walk around at exams and basically just make sure that the students weren’t cheating. Never felt that powerful in my entire life. Just kidding, but it was the easiest job. You literally just stand there for 3-5 hours and give the students the: “I’m watching you” side eye.
This is a GREAT one for any artist! Babysitting jobs are usually very flexible, which is necessary if you’re looking for some extra cash. Also it’s not physically exhausting, so your body can rest.
- The Milk Factory
N-E-V-E-R A-G-A-I-N. I came back from China and had to save up $10k for my American Artist visa, and the fastest way to do that was by working 12 hour night shifts in a Milk Factory. Yea. I’ve never worked that hard in my entire life. Lots of tears, looots of tears, let me tell you.
- Clothing store
While saving up for my American Visa I also worked in a clothing store in Aarhus here in Denmark for a few months. I didn’t know anything about fashion so it was definitely scary in the beginning, but you know … fake it til you .. learn it. I think I ended up being alright at it!
There are lots of pages online where you can sign up and get hired to literally just clean people’s houses. I did that for a hot second as well. It’s not that hard, I mean yes it’s cleaning and who likes cleaning, but you can listen to your favorite podcast while doing it. And hey – it burns calories!
Did I LOVE standing in the smallest bar in this small city where I grew up in a tight gold dress and sell alcohol to drunk men? No, I really, really, really didn’t. And I’m not much of a night-person, but you gotta do, what you gotta do. This was money for the VISA as well. It was easy though, but WOW people are annoying when they’re drunk.
- IIHF: World Championship in Hockey
This was a fun one! And a random one. I don’t remember how I got this job back in 2018, but again: I was saving up for my VISA and this job ended up being really fun! We worked 10-hour days in the big arena, but the job requirements were pretty simple: just stand in the VIP lounge and sky boxes and deal with the cool people (who I obviously didn’t know who were since I know absolutely NOTHING about hockey), but we had the BEST time. Working at sporting events are just always fun and good energy.
- Writing content for studios
I still to this day do this on the side! I write lots of content, flyers, e-mails, social media posts etc. for dance studios and 3 different competitions and dance tournaments. It’s fun, it’s relatively easy since I have a lot of experience with the things I write about!
- The Danish Market Analysis
During the pandemic the entertainment industry has been bleeding and I moved back to Denmark. While I was living in Denmark I still had to pay rent for the apartment in LA though, so I had to find a way to be able to do that. I haven’t been on unemployment ever in my life.
At this job I was sitting in an office and mainly just calling journalists, politicians, tech people and lots of CEO’s/CFO’S (and the rest of the cool buizz-people) and do 1 hour interviews about data security and tech companies like Google, Facebook etc. Actually, I really liked that job, it was cool since it was so relevant!
A reminder: It’s cool to work a side job
This is not something I am saying to boost your ego (or my own ego), I am being dead serious.
- How is it NOT cool to want something so bad that you’re willing to work a job you don’t love to make it work?
- How is it NOT cool to have financial freedom?
- How is NOT cool to better your financial situation so you can invest more in your art and passion? (Buy more classes, sign up for casting sites, invest in good quality headshots, invest in a private class etc.)
- How is it NOT cool to not rely on your parents or partner, but make your own money?
You see what I am saying?
Working these 12 different “non-dance jobs” have seriously taught me at least as much about myself, who I am and what I want in life as dance has. It has taught me discipline, not to give up, “if there’s a will there’s a way” and honestly it’s made me appreciate dance so much more. You don’t take things for granted if you really worked hard for it.
All the money I’ve ever made through my dance jobs or through my side jobs has always been re-invested into dance, traveling for dance, classes, education..
Trust me, if I didn’t care about dance as much, I would never have worked 12 hour night shifts in a milk factory. Ever, ever, ever. If you have a dream – please go out there and do the things you need to do to make it happen. Your future self will thank you for the side job you work x 1000.
PS: If social media is your thing and you want SoMe as a side job, read “10 tips for dancers wanting to build a better social media presence” with dance coach Sheina Raskin here!
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