Warning to choreographers: hard work ahead. Yet, those who sign up to make dances are usually aware of the ongoing rigor involved on this path. For some artists, the mere question of how to gain traction draws silence, sighs, and even laughs, reflecting the challenging and individualized trajectory of choreographers. Illuminating current possibilities, a handful of voices from across the country share what has proved relevant to making progress and gaining momentum for creating new works in today’s challenging dance climate. Drawing from experiences of dance professionals and artists operating in solo, project-based, and company structures, Part 1 mines the personal qualities, practices, and DIY ethos of choreographers, and Part 2 (coming Thursday) addresses the role of artistic self production in the mix of platforms for delivering dance.