An Action Plan for Artistic Identity and Career Development
by Bonnie Oda Homsey

This article presents career development concepts, tools, and exercises used in courses I teach to college dance majors. The focus is to introduce sustainable practices that withstand the inevitable internal and external influences shaping a dance career. Educators are encouraged to incorporate the applicable exercises into existing coursework to support their students’ transitions into the professional workforce.

I attended a dance conservatory program for college, but at that time there was no course in career development. Fortunately, many dance programs now offer this type of dedicated course or provide similar information within other courses. In this article, I introduce tools and exercises originated for use in the career development courses I teach, taking as a jumping-off point my what if attitude to surviving a forty-year career dotted with both highs and missteps. I encourage educators to select the applicable tools and exercises I discuss in this article to enhance students’ proficiencies in existing coursework such as dance production, senior project, directed or independent study, project-related dance courses, or even better, to institute a career development course.

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Bonnie Oda Homsey’s Career Development Offerings


  • Gibney Dance – free in person and online workshops, resources for emerging and mid-career artists.

  • Moderator for “Women in the Arts” roundtable hosted by The Juilliard School.

  • 2021 publication of “An Action Plan for Artistic Identity and Career Development” by National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).  Link is below.

  • Presentation of “Career Development Skills for the New Normal” at the 2021 NDEO annual conference.

  • Ann Reinking Scholarship, inaugural Chair of the Application and Adjudication Committee to support professional career advancement.

  • Guest lectures at Montclair University and University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • Service on The Actors Fund Western Council, to establish free youth programming at the Hollywood Arts Collective.