CriticalDance Forum

All I want, is dance!
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Author:  iulia [ Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:07 am ]
Post subject:  All I want, is dance!

Hello and thanks for reading this. I am a (almost)professional musician who for the last two years is completely convinced that I'm doing the wrong thing. That music is part of what I want to do but by no means all. That when I'm truly an artist, when I'm truly free and happy is when I dance. And that is all I can think about.

Dear friends!!! Do you know any good schools in London that you could recommend? I am particularly interested in modern ballet, but I'm old, 21, and I think that it's probably too late to get really good at this age. But is there anything for people like me? People who can dance a bit, but more than anything just want to dedicate their life to it? I know I can do it, I know I can give up everything for it.
Please,help me if you know anything where I can learn.

Author:  salzberg [ Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: All I want, is dance!

Welcome to criticaldance, julia. You're correct in that starting at such a decrepit, ancient old age, you'll probably not become a pro, but you'll still get a lot of personal fulfillment out of your dancing.

I'm going to move your post to our "Students' Questions" forum, where you're more likely to get the answers you seek. Click on the link at the top left, to get there.

Author:  citibob [ Tue Mar 29, 2005 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: All I want, is dance!

What has convinced you you're doing the wrong thing? What instrument do you play? How far have you developed a professional music career, and what does that look like these days?

Dancing can certainly make you feel free and happy. But after a point, as a professional, it can also be so demanding. There is no free or happy feeling when you're rehearsing after midnight the day before opening night of a show. There is no free and happy feeling when you drag yourself into class at 9AM on 5 hours of sleep. And after 28 Nutcracker shows, the free and happy feeling is when you realize that it's all over and you can stay home next weekend. Dance does have a certain fulfilling aspect to it, but it's also the hardest thing I've ever done. And dance careers are MUCH shorter and harder than music careers.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: All I want, is dance!

Hi Julia and welcome to CriticalDance. It's great to hear that dance means so much to you and gives you such a high. But, as citibob points out, a professional career in dance is very difficult for someone starting in their 20s.

You use the word "dance" which covers a wide range of techniques. The first thing to say is that, given that women ballet dancers usually join a company at age around 18 after up to 10 years of intensive training, there is, in my view, no prospect of you gaining employment in a ballet company.

Contemporary dancers tend to start their careers later, usually after a degree level course at a dance conservatoire. But, as you can see from this recent discussion, this is also a tough route to follow:;f=7;t=001787

The good news is that there are Beginners' level courses in contemporary dance. All of those below will have good evening classes and will give you a chance to develop the art form you love. When you have been taking class for a few months, you can discuss with your teachers whether a career in dance, either as a performer or a teacher could be a possibility:

<small>[ 30 March 2005, 12:01 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  iulia [ Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: All I want, is dance!

Thank you all very much for replying,especially Stuart :)
Of course I realize that I'm not going to be on the stage of Covent Garden or Bolshoy, but that's not my ambition.
I play the violin, and am graduating from a prestigious music college in a year's time.
In reply to citibob: I know that violin isn't as near physically challenging and exausting as dancing, but I do know what it means to have 7 hour rehearsles in the orchestra and practise after that for at least 4 hours(not that we do that every day though :)
Stuart, thank you so much for the list of sites. That's what I was thinking myself, I have to start from the beginning and then time will show.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: All I want, is dance!

Good luck Julia and let us know about your experiences in the dance class you select.

<small>[ 02 April 2005, 09:15 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  citibob [ Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: All I want, is dance!


I've actually been thinking of what to say all these days. I understand what it means to be involved in a career path that is not right for you. BOY do I understand. I don't have any quick and easy answers about what you might do about that.

Life in an orchestra is not for you. (But neither is life in a ballet company. Everything you describe about orchestra life is the same in ballet companies). It is my belief that AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, it is good to use the skills you have to get what you want (whatever you decide that is). You have skills at the violin, and not in dance. Are you sure you've explored what there is to expore in music? Would you like to play in a chamber orchestra? What about a quartet? Do you enjoy teaching? Have you considered a move into non-classical genres, maybe join a band? In what ways might you work with dancers as a musician? Of course, everyone knows that playing "Eine Kleine Nacht Musik" at weddings is profitable but a drag.

I don't know how you might react to these ideas. If you absolutely don't want to do any of them (from an artistic point of view), then there's no point in heading in those directions. But you might also be saying, "hey, none of those are a way to make a living. Orchestra work is the only stable job and it's a lousy life I don't want." That may be true, but it's no less true if you become a dancer. Dancers are paid even worse and work harder. And you're HIGHLY unlikely to EVER get the kind of dance job that pays steady. You might not like it, even if you could get it, since it's a lot like orchestra work.

Therefore, you might think about how you wish to make a living. Is there anything outside of music or dance that you wish to pursue? If you can get the "living" thing nailed down and make a steady income and still have time for your art, you actually still have a lot of possibilities for a fulfilling life as a dancer (or musician, if you choose). But don't ever expect to make a living in dance. If you can't get the living thing settled, your life as a performing artist will eventually be derailed and you may never achieve what you had hoped for.

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