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Ballerinamom2girls

"Poor" principal dancer?

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Doubleturn

Yes, it isn't much after all those years of training, is it?  But pretty average for young peoples first jobs these days.  I think there may be some form of London weighting available too.  Anyway, Polunin now seems to be establishing himself, so will be able to command higher guest fees.  His appearances with the Royal Ballet in June have sold out already!

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swanchat

My comments relate strictly to a young person growing up at the Royal Ballet School. Our dd attended the Upper School as a young 15 year old girl until she was 18 and went on to work as a professional dancer in Europe. She wasn't the prodigy that Polunin is but I do think it is fair to say that without exception, the students who are chosen to train at RBS are extraordinary talents. Among Polunin's graduate class was Vadim Montagirov who is currently a Principal at The Royal Ballet, having moved there after being a Principal at English National Ballet. I think it's fair to say that both are prodigies and rare talents. They also seem to be very different people.

With all due respect, I'm not so sure that he was "coddled" until age 18. Maybe they did coddle him but that would be a rare situation from our experience. My dd must have attended another RBS!  She, like all of her classmates were responsible for self-care (planning, shopping and preparing meals, laundry, transportation, doctor appointments). The students who had been at White Lodge also had to learn to do this once at the Upper School but had received some preparation for this. Each year in Upper School, the students were monitored a bit less in order for them to become self-sufficient upon graduating.

I believe that family has a large influence in personal development. I think VRS may have hit the nail on the head when she points out that there was a large language barrier and no one advocating for Polunin's personal growth outside of ballet. At least in our situation, our advocacy ensured that our dd stayed on course academically and also when she was injured during her first year there. It was hard for her to be so far from home when she was sick or tired, struggling in class, or alone on weekends when a lot of the students went home to be with family and she had no language barrier.  I would imagine that this is true for many of the international students.  Many people experience difficulties and hardships beyond their control and use those experiences to grow personally. Whether or not he was coddled, it's time for him to grow up and tend to his career and his personal life. He is an extraordinary talent and I feel lucky to have seen him perform and he is lucky to have the God given talent and world-class training. I hope he finds peace with the past and use his experience to grow as an artist.

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DanceMumNYC

This article mainly speaks about the shockingly low wages that dancers receive. It's unfortunate because I can't think of any other type of artist who makes so little. It doesn't matter if you're a principal dancer or not. It's like you always have to supplement your income in other ways. I know many dancers who waitress, teach, or have small modeling gigs on the side just to afford rent in NYC. DD loves to dance & wants to do it professionally, but this has always been one of my main concerns for her. It's important for young dancers to do their "homework" & know exactly what they're getting themselves into. 

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vagansmom

For most who actually turn professional, it's a "young career" which means that there's time to develop a second career in one's 20's or 30's which is why I'm such a huge advocate of not sacrificing academics in high school. 

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DanceMumNYC

I absolutely agree, vagansmom! I tell DD that school comes 1st.

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learningdance

I don't think that school work should come second and for a lot of dancers it does.  But that said, at this time, for my pre pro dancer it is "equivalent." She wants to be a dancer and that takes at least 5 hours per day.  And she spends the same amount of time schooling.  It all fluctuates but generally she spends equal time on both .

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DanceMumNYC

That is fair!

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