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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Guest John-2012

Age: Is it too late for a career?

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Guest John-2012

I am 19 now however i started a Performing Arts Level 3 BTEC in 2010 so i have been doing different styles of dance INCLUDING ballet (the basics) and i am coming to the end of the second and final year of the course and applying for universities. I have recently joined a Ballet class outside of college because i want to get destinction in Ballet at college.

 

Since the second year of my course which is since i finally settled in i have really enjoyed dancing but my question is this...

 

I was 18 when i started the course now i'm 19 going on 20 in June, Is it to late to look for a career in Ballet or other dance?

 

I'am still learning and i know i haven't been doing it as long as others who have been doing it since they were 8 years old for example but i am a naturally quick learner who picks things up very quickly, do i stand a chance?

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Victoria Leigh

John, I will remove your post in YD 17-22, since we do not allow duplicate threads on different forums. I think this is better suited to this forum.

 

In terms of your question, it has been done. There have been quite a few male professional dancers who started in their late teens or even later. But, it depends a great deal on the natural ability/physical facility for ballet, and of course both the quality and the quantity of training. Work ethic is also extremely important, as ballet is not easy, even for those with the facility and the earlier training.

 

Do your research. Read everything you can find on ballet training, history of ballet, the stories of the great ballets,, and some bios of male dancers would be helpful too. Study the major company websites and look at all the photos. Study the video dictionary of ballet on ABT's website. Watch DVD's of the major companies. Watch the top male dancers on Youtube. Do not watch amateurs, and do not watch people trying to teach things online. There are a lot of things on Youtube which are not only unprofessional, they are just plain bad.

 

And, be very sure that where you are studying has the best possible training that you can get to. You will need to be in daily technique classes, and hopefully also some men's classes. Partnering should also be taught when you are ready for it.

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Redbookish

John, I note you're doing a BTEC in Performing Arts. Is this with the Dance specialisation? If so, you should be exposed to a range of dance styles, and a range of teachers. You could talk to your college (are you at an FE college?) about the possibilities of an A level in Dance, perhaps, although A Levels require a level of academic study that is quite high. And talk to your teachers at college about what you need to focus on to move along the path towards achieving your goals.

 

The other thing you could do is ask your current college teachers about a good local syllabus-based school. If you only started ballet with your BTEC I really doubt that it's enough intensive training in ballet specifically, as the BTEC aims to give a broad coverage in a number of dance styles. And overall, the learning hours of a BTEC are generally not equivalent to ballet vocational training. But a graded syllabus such as RAD (the most common in England & Wales) or Cecchetti will give you a solid foundation and clear progression in your technique.

 

I don't know where you are in the UK, but you could also look at some of the summer programmes run by Central School (London), or Northern Dance (Manchester) or Northern Contemporary (Leeds). There are others -- do a search of this board to find ideas.

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