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amanndddaaaa

I'm 18, is it still possible to become a professional dancer?

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amanndddaaaa

(I'm new to this forum, so I apologize in advance if this is in the wrong topic.)

 

I'm 18 years old and I'm a first year student at UCI. When I was about 7, I did tap, jazz, and a little bit of ballet for a year and I began taking ballet classes as of Summer 2008. I also took a modern class at UCI this fall. In January 2011, I want to audition for the dance major at UCI and eventually pursue a career as a professional dancer. The reason why I'm not auditioning in January 2010 is because I want to gain another year of experience. I've attended a dance show at UCI and I'm just amazed at the dancers' technique and talent. Whenever I watch ballet or contemporary pieces, I just fall in love with dancing all over again. I know that dance is one of the few things that I'm actually interested in. Since I'm an undeclared/undecided major right now, I'm always asked what I'd like to study and all I can think of is dance. I have such a great interest in dancing that I'm afraid it's too late for me to pursue my dreams.

 

So my questions are:

Is it possible for me to nail the audition for the dance major even though I'll be competing with other people who have danced their whole lives?

And, is it too late for me to become a professional dancer?

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Victoria Leigh

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, amanndddaaaa. :thumbsup:

 

It's very hard to say, since we can't see you, but you have had very little training, so, it would be quite exceptional if you could make it into a college dance program as a major, or into the professional world of dance. However, stranger things have happened, and one never knows. I would suggest that you talk to your current teachers about your potential in terms of what kind of dance you would like to pursue. Starting ballet at 18 (sorry, but a year of a little bit of several forms of dance at age 7 just does not count) is extremely late. While I would not ever say never, I will say that it would be highly unusual. But, you will never know unless you try! :cool2:

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amanndddaaaa

Thank you very much for your input!

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Guest Matti18

Hi amanndddaaaa

 

I started ballet almost two years ago (wow time flies) I'm 18 now, firstly comiserations it really is tricky to come into something as competitive as ballet at a late age and realise it is something you really want to do :huh: But all hope is not lost! Improbable things have happened in the past, and you may find the ballet gods are with you for your audition :) If however, you miss out on the college major then just focus on getting excellent ballet training and a good technical foundation and enjoy your dancing!! I have decided that as I am probably too old to dance professionally, I will go to university and do my degree and get a different career, and then try and dance in an amateur/local company, for me this works as I still get to dance and have a career that I want.

 

Now it would be inappropriate for me to advise you on a course of action, but I hope that by sharing my experience it will give you hope for the future :) I wish you all the luck in the world for your audition, please keep us updated.

 

Matti

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L' Allegro

Hi there,

 

I'm actually in a similar situation, and I'm going to echo Ms. Leigh's "you will never know unless you try"! At 19, I'm the oldest girl but one at my school (who's also 19 but says she's 18 ;), and I have so much ground to make up. I wish you all the best, and remember, you're not alone! :P

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Ballet Bunnie

I am in a similar situation: I did creative dancing / pre-ballet -->ballet for 6 years, then, I stopped doing it for six years until two years ago. Basically, when I first returned to the world of ballet, I had forgotten all the terminologies... (Basically all I could remember was some phrase of corrections that my old teacher gave me when I was a kid, and had no idea of where those corrections apply to. Bad!!!) But I am really glad that I am back, and things are slowly coming back at me. And both myself and my teacher were surprised to see how far I've gone in these two years! And my teacher said that if I keep progressing in such a fast pace, I am likely to become a ballerina! I was soooooooooo happy when I heard that from my teacher a few months ago~ Just like Ms. Leigh says, "you never know until you try!"

 

Have you considered instead of being a college major, do a minor instead, at least for undergrad? This is what I am doing now, which I can get more time to "catch up" with the other guys that has been doing ballet for their whole life. And also, the minor will give me a back up plan if things doesn't work out.

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amanndddaaaa

Matti18: I'm actually considering to do what you want to do! Great minds think alike! I would love to dance in a local company and manage a separate career. That would be absolutely amazing. My question is, where is the time to start a non-dance career when you are rehearsing during the days and performing the occasional show during the nights?

 

L' Allegro: Thanks so much for the support!

 

Ballet Bunnie: If I could I would minor in dance in a heartbeat, but unfortunately my school doesn't offer dance as a minor.

 

Also, this is just a general question for anyone: is becoming a modern or a contemporary dancer more or less competitive than becoming a ballet dancer?

Edited by amanndddaaaa

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Victoria Leigh

Becoming a DANCER is competitive, and I really don't think one can say definitively that one form is less or more so than another. Generally speaking, we feel that a well trained ballet dancer, if versatile and also trained in modern and jazz, will be a better dancer than someone trained only in modern or jazz. However, as you can see from this season's winner on So You Think You Can Dance, the favorite dancers are not always the ones with a lot of ballet training. :)

 

You are still so new to the study of dance that I think right now you just need to focus on becoming a trained dancer, with as much ballet as possible and also modern/contemporary and jazz classes. Don't limit yourself to one thing.

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Guest Matti18

Just wanted to add, that like Ms Leigh I think the more versatile you are, the more likely you will get employment as you will be able to put yourself forward for more work. Just as a dancer who can also sing/act can audition for things that require just singing or just acting or just dance (or work that demands all three as in a musical), is likely to get more work over time than someone who lacks these other skills :) Performing Arts are ever changing and developing and the key is to remain fluid and adaptable, people who are willing to try new things and change their style are the people directors and choreographers want. I really wish you luck with the future and I hope you have a productive and fulfilling New Year :blushing:

 

Matti

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amanndddaaaa

Oh okay, I was just wondering about the competitiveness of different dance styles.. Thanks for all the information.

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sthdancer

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post this, so moderators I apologize if this is prohibited (please delete this if necessary). There's a school not too far away from UCI called The California Conservatory of Dance. They offer a wide range of classes and a lot of the girls who take the open classes either currently attend UCI or just graduated as a dance major. You might consider taking a class there and talking with some of the girls about the program. I know one of UCI's modern dance teachers is coming in to do a piece for the students for the Ensemble Concert in May. It might be a good way to talk with some of the girls who have first hand knowledge/experience about the program.

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glueisntedible

Hey amanda! (just was rumbling through forums, dont visit here often and saw your post),

 

I just started dancing ballet in my late teens as well, when I was 19! (I am at 5months of ballet and counting, and about a year experience in hip hop dance dancing with my college hip hop team..and recently turned 20 :D ) It is so refreshing to find others just like me! I instantly fell in love with dance when i signed up for a beginner modern dance course at my college, thinking modern meant hip hop dance, about a year ago for an easy A. Ever since then, I thought of pursuing a dance major at a local college near me just like you seeing as dance became such a big part of my life after the moment I started, but I also made the decision to pursue another career and dance on the side and join a local company in the future (or so are my plans!) just like matti! woo great minds think alike. I also am doing what matti and the others recommended, I decided to take the career I want through college and dance on the side by trying to get the best possible/extensive ballet training I can get, as well as training in modern/contemporary (I kind of moved away from hip hop since I fell in love with ballet/contemporary).

 

From my experience, I have been told by my teachers that since I am a male and since I have a strong physique and arched feet(thank you high school track and field!) that it will be easier for me to catch up in the dance world. Im assuming though your female :) , and I don't think I have much authority with such a topic like this, but I really hope the major audition works out for you! Be cautious however! and the advice above me about The California Conservatory of Dance sounds good. I'm also a believer that it is never too late as well but I always try to remain practical too. Also, referring to your comment about how you would have the time to pursue joining a company and another career, usually from my reference there are many local companies that usually have rehearsals weekends and nights and not daytime...im sure of it (I auditioned and know about a few hip hop companies...and thats how their rehearsals were usually so im sure some contemp/ballet companies do the same, remember dancers usually need another job to pay the bills as well! or so i have heard). I'm sure my post really didn't offer much, but I hope it gave you some encouragement that there are others in your position too! I'm rooting for you and hope you do well with whatever you pursue in dance be it as a major/professionally or on the side like me and matti.

Edited by glueisntedible

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amanndddaaaa

Don't worry, your post offered very much! It's just so nice knowing that there are other people in my position. Thank you for the encouragement, and I wish you the best of luck in your future plans!

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