Friday the 13th of April, I was standing on the Performing Arts Theater stage at Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas. Before me were 150 beautiful faces, all contestants for ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’ These were dancers who had gotten a free ticket to Las Vegas after making the cut for the show in Dallas, Brooklyn, Salt Lake, and other cities. It was 8:45 in the morning and the dancers were there for the next round of cuts, each hoping to make it to Los Angeles and be on National TV.
Nigel Lythgoe, Executive Producer and Judge for the TV Show and the Rolex Honoree last October at the CTFD Gala at City Center, introduced myself and Paulette Fried. Both of us are CTFD Client Services Consultants who conduct CTFD’s National Outreach Project workshops throughout the U.S.
We spoke to the contestants about CTFD’s absolutely free, strictly confidential and personalized career counseling services, Online Resources and Grant Program. Their eyes were wide to hear there was something for them, to use even now, as they look to ‘transition’ to a higher level in their current dance careers! Dancers cheered as we talked about CTFD’s mission to partner with them for success. We continued with CTFD’s mission, to empower them to identify their individual paths and career possibilities and to equip them with the skills and information to excel in a variety of disciplines. Our orientation ended with resounding applause!
Afterwards, we watched some amazing dancing as the ‘cutting’ began. As I left the theater dancers out in the lobby warming up approached me and shook my hand! They thanked me and CTFD for being there for them. Many had heard of us. One male dancer from Armenia looked at me with such appreciation. He is a ballroom dancer and was so grateful he could participate in the program, no restrictions on dance style or country of origin with CTFD!
During the rest of the ‘unlucky’ Friday the 13th, Paulette and I brought lots of fortunate news to Dance Majors at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and the Nevada Ballet Theater dancers. Sharing the CTFD philosophy of ‘It’s All Plan A,’ and ‘The Whole Artist Approach,’ the dancers felt the organization understands their passion for dance and the fragility of the body and the arts and entertainment economy. They now know that they do not have to wait until the end of their dance career to use our services. Dancers can contact CTFD now to find satisfying ways to create income and plan for the future while pursuing dance work.
If you are reading this, call the CTFD office nearest you, (we are in NY, LA and Chicago), make an appointment to speak to a CTFD career counselor and begin the journey of taking charge of choreographing your future!
Suzie Jary, LCSW, TEP
CTFD Client Services Consulant
National Outreach Project