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 Post subject: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:01 pm
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Location: Southern California
I'm fifteen, and have been dancing on and off since I was six, so I'm not exactly a late starter, but my technique isn't up to the point where most girls are at my age (when in professional training), but I'm trying to make a career out of it anyway.

I know about how hard it is to make a professional career, that few get chosen, that you can always dance just for the joy of it, etc. I was just wondering if anyone had any specific examples of dancers that had made it professionally (in a company) after starting late.

Thank you for your response.

Ml,
Anya

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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:42 pm 
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Location: UK
I'm 15 and am late starting dancing but I want to make is as a professional dancer. Just wanted to let you know, that I'm in kinda the same situation as you and would love to know about any professional/famous dancers who started late.
It's always encouragin' to hear about people in the same boat as you even if the situations not exactly the same.

Never give up and you'll get to the top!

thanks
x x x

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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Hi Anya and welcome to CriticalDance. It's a good question and a number of people will be interested in the answers. Anya, do you have a style of dance that you are particularly interested in?

Just one point for those responding: given the fact that there are more people training to become dancers than ever before, may I suggest that we focus on examples from the recent past. So, ideally, examples from the past 5 years, but with a limit of, say, 10 years ago for dancers entering the profession. Further back than that and I'm not sure that the examples are relevant for today.

<small>[ 26 August 2004, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:54 pm 
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Location: Vancouver BC
Megan Walker-Straight: started dance in university in her early twenties, danced for quite a few years with the Cunningham company, now teaches technique at Simon Fraser University - an amazing dancer and teacher, and probably the most personal drive and willpower to succeed out of anyone I have ever met. I am not sure when she danced for Cunningham (and a few other companies whose names I can't remember just now) - but it was probably not more than 10-15 yrs ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:59 pm 
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Stuart, I've been taking ballet off and on intensively. I know, it hardly bodes well for me, but no reason not to try, right?

Ml,
Anya

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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 11:14 am 
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Joined: Sat May 24, 2003 11:01 pm
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Location: Birmingham Uni / UWM Milwaukee
I can't remember the name of the dancer but i remember reading a profile of a male dancer for Random Dance (a British modern dance company) and it said that he only started learning at age 19 1/2. just looked, Fred Gehrig is his name. i've never actually seen him dance so i can't say how good he is, but Random Dance works look very demanding, so he must be very good. sorry this isn't a ballet example!

<small>[ 27 August 2004, 01:33 PM: Message edited by: Alex R ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 7:51 am 
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Location: SF CA
Hello Anya, I have been searching the Internet for some examples for you but I have had no luck finding any professional dancers who are dancing in a company now that started to dance late.

I did read a discussion that Maria Tallchief had online with a dancer who was 15 who asked if she was too old. Miss Tallchief said that it would be best to have started training at an earlier age (7-8) if they were seeking to become a professional dancer.


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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:10 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Here is another contemporary dance, male example.

From the Rambert website:

*************************

<img src="http://www.rambert.org.uk/uploads/images/web_res/art_983.jpg?1" alt="" />

Thomasin Gülgeç

Born in Oxford, Thomasin trained at the Rambert School and was a member of Swindon Youth Dance Company.
In 2001, he won the Cecchetti Fewster award for most promising male dancer.
Thomasin joined Rambert under the Apprentice Dancers scheme in February 2003.

*************************

Stuart adds: Thomasin started dancing when he was around 16, I believe, and found success at Swindon Dance, which provided him with the technique and experience to get into the Rambert School. Earlier this year he knocked everyone's socks off at Sadler's Wells in a short solo from "Six-Pack".

<small>[ 28 August 2004, 10:14 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:27 pm 
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I was just browsing through Gaynor Minden's site, www.dancer.com, and in the FAQ, in section three, question three, they mention that Melissa Hayden was fifteen when she began training. Is this true? That would certainly be a high-profile late-starter.

Ml,
Anya

P.S. Just edited to make the link work.

<small>[ 28 August 2004, 03:31 PM: Message edited by: Anya ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:38 pm 
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It is true I am pretty sure, but that was 66 years ago and things and requirements have changed. What was considered fantasitic in the 30's might just not work in 2005. Just being honest here.

Strange but I just had a conversation about this with a friend of mine who was a ballerina in John Neumiers company in the 70's. She was gorgeous! She even competed in the Japan competion inthe early 80's. She said that if she were dancing today with the same talent that she had then she would not have a job. She now has her own school in Germany and says that she sees very few who can get into a company.

Stuart wisely said "examples in the last 5 years or so".

The barre has been raised.

<small>[ 28 August 2004, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: Lucy ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 12:16 am 
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Location: Ireland
This is depressing for late starters! That even if you work really hard (classes every day) it is still very slim to have a professional career!


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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 2:33 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Don't lose heart Megan. The advice we give is to work hard at your dancing and see where it leads, consulting your teachers at regular intervals about your prospects. But it would be sensible not to put all your eggs in one basket and close off other job opportunities. These may be in dance, of course, as an administrator or a teacher.


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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 11:43 pm 
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Location: Ireland
Yes, I know but sometimes it is frustrating knowing that you are in a minority whose chances aren't very big to succeed!
Hopefully we can find some latestarters who started at 15!


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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 10:24 am 
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Joined: Sat May 24, 2003 11:01 pm
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Location: Birmingham Uni / UWM Milwaukee
Megan a thing to remember is that even if you have been learning to dance all your life your chance of making a living out of it is still pretty slim as the competition is so high these days, so those of us who started late do have a slim chance but it's not much slimmer!

another example not so much of a dancer but worth mentioning is Matthew Bourne. he didn't start his dance degree at Laban until he was 22, and look at what he's achieved since then!


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 Post subject: Re: Late Starter Examples
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 1:09 pm 
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Ok, I am going to try and be more optimistic!


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