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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Career: Uses of Ballet Background


tu2mama

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another thread appropriate to this time of year with new Seniors and College Grads.

 

vj

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Guest london_dancer

okay apart from performer/teacher what other career paths are their in dance?

 

Choreography

Dance Administration

Dance Animateur/Community Dance Worker

Dance (Movement) Therapy

Dance Critic

 

any others?

 

I'm interested in Dance Admin, who would I go about getting experience in this field?

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On the job training used to be the way most dance administrators entered in the field of arts administration, however now there are Masters programs in universities for this profession. You may try applying for a lower level job in arts administration, such as an assistant or a worker bee of some sort while pursuing a college degree with the intent to enter a masters program if your interest continues to grow.

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Go on the Guardian jobs website and type in 'dance' into the search box. Then it brings up a really wide range of different positions. You can check it regularly (as I do) for something that suits your experience. I imagine it's fairly competitive though... I've not tried going for anything yet, as there's never that much I'm qualified for.

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Just recently i started college, im taking a fitness instructional course which is really a basic starting point if you want to work at a gym or teach aerobics e.t.c

 

However i would be using this course as a platform to go on and study further specific areas such as pilates.

 

During the last few months i have lost intrest in my current job - (not related to this course in any way) :yes:

My question is really about other opportunities surrounding the dance industry, i wondered if anyone here at BT has any suggestions or advice?

 

Does anyone or has anyone here worked in admin for a company or school or how about dancewear stores?

 

The boredom is killing me :o

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I've actually also looked into the dance admin thing myself. Heres what I have found out.

 

1) It's just as competitive as being an actual ballet dancer.

2) There are college courses in the US just for this...and they will take the people with the dance admin major rather than the adult recreational ballet student/career changer.

3) It's one of those things that you have to have an "in" for. They won't take you unless you have experience, but no one will give someone without experience....actual experience. :yes:

 

It's not impossible (anything is possible)...but it is hard. I have been told that the best way to expose yourself for that kind of job is to volunteer with companies and schools. So if you have time and don't mind working for free that could be an option. I also hear that there are a million volunteers all trying to do the same thing you are....which is what makes it competitive. I do know someone who actually works for a major very well known company answering phones and stuff. She actually gets to meet alot of people in the ballet world. It seems like a very cool job. Of course you are in the UK....so it's probably alot different over there. Hopefully alot easier. Good luck.

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Arizona State U.has a major of Interdisciplinary Digital Media and Performance-it looks really interesting. There are dance studies programs where you can taylor your interests such as sciences, kinesiology, world cultures.

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Well, this is definitely "outside the box" of what one normally imagines when they think "ballet" and all of those years of classes - however, it is thought provoking and very likely something some dancers would love.

 

In today's NY Times Arts and Leisure section a piece in the "Directions" section titled Showgirls on Pointe, by J. Jennings Moss caught my eye.

When the casting director for the Las Vegas version of "Phantom of the Opera" held an open call for ballerinas, 50 women tried out for 6 openings. Many of the women had come from Los Angeles just for the chance.

 

If Las Vegas has long been a draw for dancers, well, they haven't traditionally been seen as the classically trained sort. But that perception seems to be changing, as performers with a formal dance background are finding that the city's pop reviews and musical extravaganzas provides better job opportunities than most major American hubs of high culture.

 

"There's more longevity in show business here," said Brian Burke, artistic coordinator and resident choreographer for Celine Dion's "New Day" at Caesars Palace...

 

Ms. Dion's show uses 50 classically trained dancers and makes an effort to spotlight their pedigrees. About half of Las Vegas's 90 or so productions employ dancers, said Alex Karvounis, a founder of VegasAuditions.com, which attests to the rise in opportunities: it listed 370 auditions in 2005, up from 260 the previous year...

 

I know there is a member on the board who has a daughter who was using her ballet training in Las Vegas and signed a contract about a year ago. :)

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My daughter can't seem to get into a dance program to save her life so she's having to think way out of the box. Right now she's a bit bitter about it but it will pass. Today she made a comment about how snotty those ballet majors seem walking around campus with their noses in the air. I'm sure deep down it's just envy. She's majoring in health with a minor in nutrition. That will get her a day job so if she chooses in the future to expand into something dance related might help in some way. She just heard from a former dancer friend who no longer dances but majors in communication. She is interning as an administrator for a modern company. So it can work out. It's a cruel world out there and trying to make a living in the arts, not for the faint of heart. After many years out of pursuing the arts I am starting a job tomorrow working in a craft store. It's as close as I can come to realizing my dream of becoming the next female Michaelangelo. :) Maybe I can sell the supplies to make the next great piece of art.

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Do you realize how important finding "M GOUPIL COLOURMAN" on the back of a sheet of canvas is to a curator? Or what a gold mine an archivist would find in a pile of doodles, squiggles and odd notes made by Serge Grigoriev? :)

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Yep, that is my DD that is working in a show in Las Vegas. The show's directors like her style and training a lot and have been teaching her the principal roles in the show. DD is now a "swing" and an understudy for some of the principals. She does 2 shows/night, 6 days/wk, but has about 14 days off (she picks) every 6 months.

Pay for her during the next contract (yes, they do reaudition every 6 months-but unless you really screw up, you'll still have your job) will be going up to approx. $900/wk. with every benefit you can think of included.

With all the conventions in town, she also works as a model/promotions model and some weeks makes an extra $500-$2000 a wk.

On top of all that, she recently got her real estate license and will be selling houses during the day.

Not bad for one who is not yet 20 yrs old!

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Thanks Redstorm, we are very proud of her and her work ethic.

I, however, am one who follows your signature quote a little too well.

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In regards to getting experience in the arts field in order to go into arts administration, Jacob's Pillow and American Dance Festival hire summer interns (and year-round interns at J.P.).

 

Gain a broad perspective on arts administration, technical theater production, dance history, and the international dance field. Receive on-the-job training and experience working alongside professional staff.
from Jacob's Pillow

 

Each summer during its annual season, the ADF offers internships in all areas of arts administration and production. Administrative internships are intended to give hands-on experience to those interested in a career in arts management. Production interns work on the crew for the 40-plus performances of the ADF season. All interns work as integral parts of the ADF staff in an invigorating arts environment and play an important role in carrying out the ADF’s mission to serve dance, dancers, choreographers and artists in related fields.
from American Dance Festival (click "employment").
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