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What should I be capable of?


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I'm 15, I've been dancing ballet all my life, I've been en pointe for 4 years, I'd love to turn ballet into a career. I'm not sure if you can answer this question, but what should a pre-pro ballet dancer be able to do at my age? What are things that they should still be working on to perfect? What should they have already perfected (for the most part)? The reason I'm asking is because at the moment I am going to two very good studios with great ballet teachers but neither I would say are strictly pre-pro. The training is good, but the studios are small (as in enrollment) and I'm not sure how I would measure up to those at a pre-pro school. I'm in the highest level at both studios and I have been to auditions and classes at some pre-pro schools and I have felt that I can hold my own in those classes but I was neither the best nor the worst. I am going to be applying to residential programs for my last two years of high school (I will apply during my sophmore year; next year) and I want to know if I even have a chance based on where I am technically in relation to others my age.


Thanks for any help,


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Megan, what you need here is not a "shopping list" from us, but an actual exposure to a professional school for more than one class, say about a week straight, for a thorough evaluation. At that time, you can also ask to observe classes of those you think are "on track" for career. Is this a possibility for you?

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Last summer I attended two weeks of classes at Albany Berkshire Ballet School as part of their summer program. I was placed in their advanced level but even that level was very mixed, ranging from students still struggling with clean single turns to those who had just gotten back from being in the highest level at Boston SDP and those who attend UBA year round. I'm going back this summer for three weeks because I loved the personal attention and the training was excellent. At the end of the two weeks I had seen alot of improvment (especially with my turns and extensions) and the teachers recognized it as well. Teachers from there, my two other studios, and studios where I have taken a class or two have told me that they see potential in me but I don't know how that potenial translates to my ability.



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Ah, but the key is: don't do it during the summer. Do it during the regular year when the school is in full session with their "regulars" all in place. Then, after you're done, sit down and have a LONG talk with them about how you size up!

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I'll try to get into somewhere for more than a couple of classes and see what they think of me. Its tough during the year though because I am away at boarding school (not performing arts) but I will talk to my teachers about it and see if they can recommend somewhere for me to go. One of my teachers did dance professionally for seven years with Boston Ballet so I might be able to talk to her about my potential professionally. The only hard part about that is that even she hasn't seen me dance much because I just recently (in the past two weeks) started attending that studio.

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