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Oct 13, 2021

This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra speaks with Sonja McCord, Chief Executive Officer at The Sonja McCord X. Sonja — who is based in New York City — has had opportunities to perform with a myriad of top dance companies and boasts 15+ years of agency and in-house marketing experience. Now, Sonja combines both careers at her company, where she coaches dancers to amplify their brand, monetize their art, increase visibility, and put their best foot forward from a marketing perspective.

Sonja, whose path to her current destination has been far from linear, is a firm believer in having the right mindset when pursuing goals. And, to Sonja, a key component of pursuing dreams is a willingness to say “yes” to whatever the universe throws at you, all to reach the perfect finish line. On the podcast, Sonja talks about the importance of saying “yes,” while sprinkling in some extremely valuable tips on marketing yourself well, choosing the right field of study, and so much more.


Moving Quotes:

"Saying 'yes' to yourself allows you to really focus 100 percent without guilt and shame. And that mindset shift alone can make or break a dancer."

"I empower my students to go 100 percent. I always ask my students, 'What if you said "yes" to your career and to giving 100 percent to your goals? Where do you think you'd be a year from now?' It's really a lightbulb moment for dancers. It's exciting to see them transform over six weeks, once they allow themselves to say 'yes.'"

"If a casting director or artistic director or choreographer landed on your Instagram page, what information would they need to know about you in order to book you as a dancer?"

"Your Instagram bio is really important. You'd be surprised how many dancers don't put 'dancer' or 'artist' in their bio. When someone comes to your page, they need to know right away what you do and what you're trying to do."

"The thing that I loved the most about dancing was that feeling of being on stage and being free and not having a single bit of fear in my heart. Just being able to go out there and give it my best and shine. I hope I'm able to carry that through for the rest of my life."

"When it comes to dancers, whether you're in class, in auditions, or in rehearsals, the only person you're competing with is yourself. That's getting better and better at your craft. That's being focused. That's being the best version of yourself."

"Visualization comes back to identifying moments in your life that changed the trajectory of your life and seeing how you responded to it."

"When you expand your horizons and start learning other fields, it actually makes you appreciate dance all the more."


Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:

3:31: Sonja describes The Sonja McCord X and its work empowering dancers and building brands.

6:25: Sonja explains the power of saying “yes” — to embracing every opportunity and being willing to truly pursue one’s dreams.

8:01: McCord discusses the role that visualization plays in achieving one’s goals and gives her own definition of visualization.

10:58: McCord describes an upcoming workshop that revolves around building an online brand.

14:02: Sonja, a seasoned marketer, gives a couple of tips for dancers on building a solid online presence and marketing yourself well.

20:29: Sonja, who received a major in finance, explains how she came to choose a degree so seemingly unrelated to her current calling.

22:21: Sonja shares some tips on how dancers should be investing in themselves, both in terms of money and time.

25:17: McCord, who has danced at a variety of high profile dance companies, discusses how each of these companies taught her important career skills.

27:56: McCord shares some valuable lessons that she learned while participating in pageants.

30:19: Sonja gives some advice for any students who are weighing the pros and cons of foregoing university to pursue dance versus studying dance at university.


Bullet List of Resources – 

Sonja McCord

The Sonja McCord X