I love traveling.
And I love dancing.
So traveling for dance is my favorite thing in the entire world.
The first time I ever went to Canada, was to assist a choreographer from Los Angeles on a Dance Convention in Vancouver for a weekend (pre corona virus).
I took his classes consistently in Los Angeles for a year, and since he had worked with every single artist that I’ve only been dreaming of working with, there were just so many things I wanted to learn from him.
If you wanna know about the industry, you should ask people in the industry
I’d been feeling a little stuck for a while, so one day I went up to him and asked how he started teaching at conventions. He told me, that back in the days he basically just went up to a choreographer he looked up to and said: “I want to assist you on conventions” and the choreographer said okay. So he started assisting him and later he started teaching himself.
I went home, thought about what he said, and came back to him the next day: “I want to assist you on your next convention”. He said: “In Canada? All right”.
So we went to Vancouver for the iDance Convention and taught classes all weekend. Observing how a teacher like him communicates, interacts and works on the go taught me so much. And being a part of the job by assisting and helping was completely new and something I’ll never forget.
It was such a great learning experience, and I loved everyone at the convention.
And I repeat: I have still to this day never met a rude Canadian (not even in the freezing weather! How do they do that!)
Exploring the Vancouver
Besides assisting I had some time on my own to explore the city. I got lost (like literally cause I didn’t have data), went to bookstores and got $1 books, wrote at a little coffee shop, listened to music while strolling around, talked to strangers in the hotel bar, hung out with the other convention teachers – and the very last night I got to connect with one of my old friends who lives in Vancouver and works for the Danish brand Rains! We got to shoot with his coworker in the cool Rains-outfits, had a couple of beers in a pub, slept for an hour and went to the airport to get back to LA.
Sometimes you don’t realize how much you needed to get out of your city, until you’re surrounded by nice Canadians in an Irish bar in Vancouver. And that’s a quote to live by.
Btw. Did you ever consider solo traveling? This post will for sure convince you to go!
If you’ve been debating on asking to assist, here are 6 things you gain from doing so!
- You learn to be proactive. Since you usually have to take a deep breath and walk up to a choreographer or teacher yourself, it low key takes some balls. Putting yourself in a situation where you can potentially get a straight up “no”, is scary. But that’s when that growth-thing happens, right?! Literally going out there and asking for what you want in the most polite but up-front way is such a great lesson to learn.
- You grow from the responsibility. When you are assisting someone whether it’s through dance or a traditional 9-5 job, you automatically get to be a part of something that requires you to level up and puts you under more pressure. And when we are given more responsibility, we are usually taking more responsibility. It’s the good kind of pressure!
- You learn that you’re valuable. You’re not just assisting for your own sake and for your own growth. Your help is making someones job easier. Even if it’s small things like being in charge of pressing play, making choreography, doing social media or handling e-mails. Whatever it is – know that this is not just for you, but that you are valuable, contributing and helping someone! That’s what it’s about, making a difference for others while learning.
- You expand your network. By being around industry people or people that have been in the game for longer than you have, you get to connect with people that can give you new insights and open your eyes up to things you’ve never thought about.
- You get to ask questions. Working closely with someone allows you to maybe ask some questions that you wouldn’t necessarily have asked in the middle of a big crowd.
- You get to show who you really are. The more time you spend with people, the more comfortable you get. The more comfortable you get the more safe you feel. And once you discover that it’s completely safe to be yourself, is where you bloom and really connect with people. Being 1-1 with someone is different than being in a room with 40 people and 40 different energies.
I hope you go out there and assist someone that you look up to, no matter what your job description is – I swear it will be worth it!
Had the best time in Vancouver!