On November 8th 2017 a new book, Pocket Guide for Dancers, was launched. It is available as an eBook and printed book written by UK dancer and choreographer, Taira Foo. Using her experience in the industry of almost two decades, Foo delves into all the subjects she wishes someone had guided her on when she started out in the dance industry as a teenager.
From building one’s image in an era where so much is digital, Pocket Guide for Dancers takes its readers, on a journey that covers online marketing; how to make connections; preparing for auditions; to handling rejection, in a way that is beneficial to one’s health and self-esteem.
A lot of research went into the pocket guide, Foo’s first book, as she wanted to put as much information at the tips of each dancer.
Foo commented, "I decided to write this book as I felt there were so many dancers needing support and guidance in their chosen careers. I believe that there is a need to support our dancers mentally as well as physically, because of the nature of our industry."
"I have seen too many dancers give up at the first hurdle because they have not been given the tools and methods that are needed in order to deal with the constant rejection we face."
“I believe if dancers were given just a few coping mechanisms into how to deal with the inevitable no’s and the self-doubt that follows, then they could build a happier and more fulfilling career."
"The fall out rate is so big that there is obviously something that is not working and this needs to be addressed. I want dancers to feel that they are able to walk in an out of an audition with minimum effect on themselves as an individual and that their confidence does not feel the consequences of a big fat NO."
"I want to empower dancers with tools that will help them to rise rather than fall, so they learn from auditions, this in turn develops them as artists as the wonderful performers that they are and to help them understand that it is only a matter of time as long as they are taking the right action and are engaging in the right mindset before they reach their goals."
The guide offers ways to change and strengthen the dancer’s ideas about auditioning, to look at rejection in another way so that it develops them as artists and as humans. But ultimately to help dancers believe in their journey and that they are good enough and deserving of the profession they have chosen.
The guide goes on to look at ways to help dancers physically. Taira went on to say "In our careers we will all face some sort of injury. Before researching this book I knew little about the services that were available to dancers such as The National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science (NIDMS).If you get injured during training ,rehearsal or performance, NIDMS provides 3 NHS dance injury clinics, this was unknown to me and I am sure many other dancers too.”
The guide looks at ways you can stay healthy while on a budget, including, how to live a balanced life, mindfulness & staying fit.
In closing Taira said, " I wanted this guide to be a friend you can keep by your side, in your bag or in your pocket on those days you feel like giving up. It is your support and help when needed to make a life in this most wonderful of industries.
I hope it helps all those that need it."