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 Post subject: Is it to late to be Pro?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:59 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:01 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Durham, North Carolina
I am sixteen years old, and I am OBSESSED with ballet. I took it for a few years when I was younger but then my dad lost his job and I had to quit because we couldnt afford it. But now I have a part-time job and my parents say that if I pay for it myself, I can start dancing again. I was THRILLED..until I realized that, possibly, I would be unable to be very good starting again at such a late age. I have studied music for twelve years and have practiced dance throughout the period when I was not taking lessons. I am going to take three to four classes a week in a studio as well as taking ballet at school. Im looking for the most intensive class I can be in that would befit my level, but challenge me. I tend to do well only when I know that the other girls are better than me and I am competing to surpass them. I am quite flexible and am able to pointe easily as I have a very high arch.

I will work my ass off. I will train every day if I have to. I'd do anything to make up for those three years that I missed. If I have natural talent and work hard enough, do you think i could be GOOD? What about professional?


Glittering tears behind silent, downcast eyes....

...can't you see the magic in me?

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 Post subject: Re: Is it to late to be Pro?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 205
Location: New York
Never say never. The most important thing to do is to find the very best school and teachers that you can and then it from there. After you're in reasonable shape, then daily class will be necessary if you want to be professional. It's a huge time and financial investment. There's nothing wrong with dancing for pure enjoyment either. And you can certainly get "good" at ballet even though it's not going to be your job.

Proper ballet training is a slow process. Don't be tempted to take "open" classes at a level which is too high for you. I agree that it helps when there are a few dancers in the class that give you some incentive to work harder. On the other hand, the very fundamentals are extremely important to understand. I've been dancing my whole life and have finally come to understand plie. Tendu is next. Once you have plie and tendu, you understand how to dance. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Is it to late to be Pro?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:37 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
Riane, the most important thing is to make sure you're at the kind of school that can train professional dancers. Do any of its graduates have professional careers? Are they ready for such a career as soon as they finish, or do they need additional training elsewhere?

I'm not saying that a professional career is definite or even possible for you. For all I know, you could be wasting your time. But I AM saying that being at a good school is a REQUIREMENT for a professional career.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it to late to be Pro?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:40 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Hi Riane! This advice is sound. But please don't close off other career avenues and do focus on your school work as well.

On the general theme of careers in ballet sometime ago I consulted Jeanette Siddall, Director of Dance UK, who commented:

- dance is a very competitive career option at any age

- the chances of professional employment in ballet reduce if you're starting later, especially for girls.

- having an excellent teacher and great determination are essential for success

- without knowing your personal circumstances and abilities it is impossible for us or anyone else on the Internet to assess whether you will be one of the few to succeed.

- After a couple of years making good progress, do consult regularly with someone whose knowledge you trust about the job market for dancers as well as you and your prospects.

<small>[ 13 April 2005, 04:44 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Is it to late to be Pro?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:01 am
Posts: 19
Hello Riane. I totally know where you're coming from as I started late too. My advice to you, is that if dance is in you, you shouldn't ignore it! Get the best training you can and make sure you're responsible for your learning- practice at home or cross train and pay close attention to all corrections the teacher gives and apply it to yourself even if you think you're already doing it well- there is always room to improve.

Also, intensive ballet training does not just limit your professional career to ballet. Modern dance has so many forms, some borrowing quite alot from ballet and open to the choreographers style. Explore all options and don't stop dancing, ever! I believe you can dance professionally. I started serious training at 17 and while ballet was not an option professionally, I am currently a modern dancer who still takes tons of ballet classes to keep my technique up. You need it for all dance forms. And who knows- Misty Copeland who is now a member of ABT started dancing very late too- and she's in one of the best companies in the world.
Passion and desire go a long way to achieving your goals. Good luck!

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