If you’re moving to the West Coast to pursue dance professionally, you for sure want to get signed to one of the dance agencies in Los Angeles.
It’s not the most important thing in the whole world when you just get here, just start training, meet people and build relationships. But further down the line, you definitely want to get signed, so you can attend the big, fun and nerve-racking auditions you’ve been dreaming of!
The top 6 dance agencies in Los Angeles are:
How to get signed to the dance agencies in Los Angeles
There are lots of ways you can get signed to an agency, and there’s not one way that’s considered as being “better” or more “right” than the other. Here are the three most common ways:
Most dance agencies in Los Angeles throw big auditions once or twice a year, where hundreds and hundreds of dancers show up. I recommend following the agencies I listed above on social media, so you know when the auditions are.
What happens at an agency audition?
You’ll most likely do a short routine across the floor or a simple walk in a heel if you’re a woman, whereafter the agents ask approximately 40% of the room to stay. Sometimes more people get cut, sometimes less. If they ask you to stay, you usually learn a choreography from one of the agency’s choreographers that you’ll perform in front of the agents and a camera.
Often they don’t do more cuts after that, they just tape you, take your headshot and resumé, and if they want to sign with you, they’ll call you within a couple of weeks after they’ve watched everyone’s tapes.
If you’ve taken lots of classes from an industry teacher or been working with a choreographer who really likes you, thinks you work hard and see a lot of potential in you, that could be a way to get signed too.
There’s been lots of times where a teacher or a choreographer mention dancers to their agents, or write a reccommendation letter that you can send together with your resumé and headshot if you apply online.
Some agencies (like Go2talent) only take self submissions, so a referral is a great way to get in.
If you click on any agency’s webpages you’ll find, that they all offer an option to “submit yourself”. If you do self submit, make sure you spend time and effort on making a high quality reel, headshot and resumé, so you look professional when they open your submission.
They get so many e-mails, so obviously it’s not guaranteed that you’ll even hear back, but I’ve defintiely know tons of dancers who get signed that way. Just make sure that what you’re submitting is high quality, since that’s their first – and only – impression of you.
Which agency should I choose?
If you just moved to Los Angeles or you are dreaming of moving to Los Angeles, I’d say that it really doesn’t matter which one of the agencies I mentioned above that you’re represented by. In the beginning. You just want to get signed so you can get into that audition room.
But to state the obvious: agents are people too (say whaaat!!). And obviously it’s different who you vibe really well with, connect with and have good relationships with in your normal life. The same applies here. It’s important to your career that you have a good relationship with your agent, so if you don’t vibe well and you for a longer period of time never get a casting call (and it’s not because of a global pandemic), I’d first of all talk to them, but if nothing changes, then maybe try to find another agency down the line.
The agent you click really well with, is not necessarily who your friend clicks well with and vice versa. That’s completely normal, and also the reason why we all don’t go for the same boyfriends. It’s good.
But if you want, you can try to look at who your favorite dancers and choreographers are signed to though – if they’re all signed to a the same agency, maybe that’s where you want to audition first.
Why am I just not getting signed?
No matter if you’re an actor, singer, dancer, painter or another kind of artist, you have to remember that nothing is personal. It really just isn’t – unless you’ve threw your drink in an agents face on purpose when you were drunk at carnival the other nigh… then it might be personal. OTHERWISE: it’s not.
Obviously, the reason you’re not signed could be because of your skill level, let’s not leave that out, but honestly, if you get cut after walking 10 feet in a heel at an agency audition, I wouldn’t be too hard on myself. Most likely you’ve been cut because they already represent lots of dancers who look exactly like you right now. Often they’re looking for a specific type, and that’s just life. You can’t prepare for that. Like, what are you gonna do. Dye your hair green and hope that’s what they’re looking for?
Just be yourself and own how you look. Trust me, especially these days, all types can be, will be and are being represented. Your type too.
Trust that you’ll get signed when the time is right. Until then, there are just SO many other ways you can book dance jobs in the meantime, that I’ll talk about in another post.
How can I prepare to get signed?
Honestly, there’s so much you can do!
First and formost there’s basic stuff like getting really good quality headshots taken (Lindsay Rosenberg took mine! Check her webpage out here or her IG right here). You can also work on getting a great show reel/dance reel together now you’re sitting at home anyway, and update your resumé with all your training and experience.
Dance-wise, I wouldn’t put too much pressure on getting really good with the purpose of getting signed, I would work on getting really good with the purpose of .. getting really good and get ready for the jobs you want to book! So my little list of how you can prepare is no different than how to work on becoming a better dancer in general.
9 Things You Can Do To Prepare
- Take lots of classes
- Get used to picking up choreography really fast
- Learn from industry teachers and choreographers who’ve worked on the jobs you’re dreaming of.
- Go out in small groups by the end of class to learn how to dance under pressure and in front of a camera
- Practice your freestyle
- Train in different styles
- If you’re a woman – get into heels training! Like… yesterday!
- Get as much stage/performance experience as you can. Even if it’s your friend’s concept video or a show at choreographers carnival (and btw. the agents will be there too!), it’s all great experience.
- Most importantly: get to know your community, talk to other dancers and choreographers, be nice to people, be yourself and work hard. Building good and genuine relationships will take you really far, maybe even further than an agent will. And most importantly, it will make your journey so much more fun in general if you’re surrounded by people who inspires you and motivates you!
Trust your timing
Again: just trust the timing of your life. You’ll get signed to one of the dance agencies in Los Angeles when the timing is right, just don’t give up.
Some people get signed right away, while others get signed after years and years. It doesn’t make you a “good” or a “bad” dancer if you have an agent or not. I’ve heard of amazing dancers who book everything now, who didn’t get signed until 8 years after they arrived to LA, while other dancers go on a world tour after just a year in the city. Everyone’s journey is beautiful and unique, and yours is no different.
If you feel like chatting