Longevity in a dance career takes more than just skill, it takes grit! Read on for Alexie Agdeppa's advice as a seasoned professional dancer.

Being in the dance industry for 30+ years I've learned so much. One thing I learned and I think dancers have to realize is that working in the dance industry it's not always the most talented or the best dancer that will book the job, and just being the best won't always take you far. I wasn't the best at my dance studio growing up, there were a lot of dancers who were better than me, and who are better than me now. Being able to have a long career in the industry is about showing up to training, class, rehearsal, the job at your absolute best, consistently. I don't mean the best dancer/technician/mover, I mean the best YOU, the most hardworking, the most willing to be courageous, gracious, and open-minded. It's about perseverance and not taking it personally if you don't book a job, because you'll definitely take more rejections than "you're booked" especially in the beginning of your career. It is about having the heart to not only dance, but enjoy the process of auditioning, training, continuing to learn and grow, the love to evolve over and over again.

If I could give aspiring dancers some advice, it would be to be your own #1 fan. Being your own fan will contribute to your perseverance, being your own #1 fan will give you confidence, that confidence will allow you to continue to step outside your comfort zone, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Take classes you're not the best in, because it'll give you that versatility. And in order to continue to work with different choreographers over different medias, that versatility and open-mindedness will help take you to each new level of your artistry.