Author: Rachel S. Moore

Publisher: Touchstone Press

ISBN: 978-1-5011-0595-1

Rachel Moore, author of The Artists Compass, was a dancer for the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) corps de ballet. (2016, inside back cover) Her family was adamant that she pursue a higher education while also following her dream to dance. She has a BA from Brown University and a Masters from University of Boston. Ms. Moore was a Phi Beta Kappa. Moore was director of the ABT and then became CEO. She was also Director for Boston’s Ballet Center for Dance Education, Executive Director for STEP; a classical music school for students of color in Boston, MA. She has held offices on the board for Americans for the Arts and the National Cultural Alliance, as well as, other not for profits. She is married and has two dogs and a cat. At this time she is an officer for the Dizzy Feet Foundation and STEP.

Whether you are a current or aspiring dancer or other artist there are many parallel lessons in this book that can benefit you and inspire your path. For instance, Moore suggests that you “Define your mission or purpose as an artist” (2016, p.10) She states that “Artists are mission or goal-driven.” On page 11 she poses questions that can help narrow that mission and goal status.

Something I had not previously considered is that the arts are also businesses. I had the misassumption that they, artists in dance, were entertainment or entertainers, but entertainment is business. Entertainment is a huge business across the world. Chapter 2 lays out how an artist might evaluate their skill level and determine what school is best for them based on that criteria. Moore also suggest that is this plan fails you have a back-up plan. (2016, p.32) There is information about how to secure intellectual property, building a website, and more. Sage advice includes; “Be authentic, Be honest, Be polite…”. (p.63-4)

Chapter 4 begins to invite the artist to consider who can aid them in this selection of career. There is a section on how to create a network to help launch your career, how to locate a strategist, building the network to broaden your possibilities, and where to network.

The biggest part of this dance equation is how to land a credible and long-term job. Chapter five addresses that. It’s titled “Where to look, What to ask, and How to Land the job.”. (2016, p.97) A critical part of this process is knowing that there will be occasions where you do not make the cut in your first selection and how to pick yourself up and move on to the next. Do not be discouraged. One step at a time!

I truly enjoyed reading this book and felt that even though I am not in the arts as a dancer there was good tips and information that can translate into any industry to help you find success.