I'm in my last year of (non-conservatory) college, and just a month ago I discovered that dance stage management is my calling (pun somewhat intended). I thrive in tech, I'm a natural/instinctive caller who can call a good show with minimal prep, I love cue-dense shows, I have quite a bit of musical training and can read music (including complex orchestral scores) easily, etc. All in all I think I stand out more among my peers as a dance stage manager than as a traditional theatre stage manager, and from what I've heard the career/lifestyle is an amazing fit for me -- my love for teching/calling shows is why I can't bring myself to even consider a career other than stage management, and dance seems to make great use of that love/passion.
I'm ridiculously excited about this realization and am feeling much more optimistic about my future upon graduation! Except...I don't know how to pursue a career in dance stage management. There's not much of a dance scene at my college, so I likely won't get much dance on my resume before graduation (although I do currently have a handful of movement-heavy projects on my resume). I don't know where to look for dance SM jobs -- offstagejobs, leagueofchicagotheatres, and playbill don't seem to have much. I'd be interested in applying to season-long/year-long apprenticeships in order to stock up on dance experience and get the dance education I haven't even thought about getting throughout college, but I honestly just don't know what's out there. I've spent the past few years preparing to go out into the world of traditional theatre, and although I'm excited and confident about switching my focus to the world of dance, I'm also feeling a little bit out of my depth since this is such a new plan for me. I do have one connection in the Chicago dance community (a friend who's a successful LD just a few years out of college), and I'll be shadowing a dance festival's tech this weekend and presumably learning more then, but that's really the only resource I have, and graduation is fast approaching...
Where do I look for jobs? Where do I look for apprenticeships? When I apply for things, how do I make up for the fact that I'm relatively new to this career path and don't have straightforward dance on my resume? Is it a major problem that I don't actually know very much about dance (don't tend to go to dance performances (although I'm trying to change that), don't really know technical dance terms), and if so what can I do to fix that? Any advice pertaining to entering the world of dance stage management would be very, very welcome -- especially if said advice comes in the form of apprenticeships that I should look into!
(In case it's relevant/helpful information -- I'm currently attending school in Chicago, but am originally from NYC and have spent the last few summers working there, so most of my traditional theatre connections are actually in NYC.)
Thanks so much!