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Are we needed?

Guest sundancekid

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Guest sundancekid

My 3yo daughter and i just started ballet class togather and its been fun ... for the moment. However, it just accured to me that i may not have a purpose or a usefullness as a beginning male ballet dancer. I would like to perform someday but the few male dancers on stage seem to all be pro's and the local dance schools who just put on the Nutcracker had to import these guys.


So, do beginning and intermediate male dancers have a purpose? Are we needed in any capacity?



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Yes, yes, yes!!! For the most part it is about finding a place where you fit in, and if your main goal is to perform you have a very good chance of doing so. In most ballets there are different parts suitable for different level's of training. If this is something you really love to do, then you definatley have a purpose!! Just keep working hard on your technique and the performing will come.

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Uh...DE...you just walked into the Men's Room. :devil:


Dave, I don't know of a civic company who wouldn't jump at the chance for an actual trained male dancer, beginning or otherwise, as a Father in the party scene in Nutcracker. And somebody has to do Grandpa! Everybody's production is different, but it would be rather dull without men in the first act who can move with some authority!

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Guest jla_ksu

I have to agree. There are many parts for men, beginning or advanced.

You should have no trouble finding a place.

Also, the benefits of ballet, both physical and mental, are worth it even if you never get to perform.


Good Luck and keep up the practice.



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For the adult dancer, I do think performance does have a place. Yes, there is the Nutcracker where some moving bodies are needed. And some schools have adult performances, which provide another outlet.


I think performance for the adult dancer serves as something of a validation of that person’s worth as a dancer. It is kind of the statement “see I can dance.”


When I first started dance, I looked for any opportunities to perform. In my own case, I found none in ballet, but quite a few in modern and other, shall we say alternative dance forms.


But as I gained experience, I started finding more reward in just developing skill, the routine of class, and associating with the people I have been lucky to associate with. Sure, I would still volunteer to perform in an instant, but it isn’t as if I have that as a goal.

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Every year, I try to see a different suburban production of Nutcracker (in addition to that of Boston Ballet, which I've been attending for...going on 25 years...geez... :lol: ). I call them little Nut and big Nut.


This year, I went to a little Nut that was an all-female production. I don't think they intended it that way - I mean, if it was, it would have been nice to do other things with the ballet than to play it straight (so to speak). But, no, this Nutcracker was done by the book. At least they didn't have women perform any of the male solos in the second act. That would have been disturbing.


Only one time in all the years I've been touring these small productions have I seen a performance that had a pretty adequate male:female ratio of dancers. This scarcity of men is a tremendous advantage to guys that are willing and at least minimally able. I've known men in some of my classes who have completely bypassed the audition process that women have to go through. For the adult male dancer, it's sort of equivalent to the scholarships his younger counterparts are awarded by dance schools.


So, yeah, you really are useful and valued. In fact, to many studio owners hoping to mount a production of the Nutcracker, you are a pearl of great price.

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In my company there is 3 boys and 12 girls, due to the lack of male dancers in the city. But, for example this year, there was additional 3 boys - 2 of them actors and 1 just keen to dance - who were in the nut for roles like father, grandpa and drosselmeyer (the choreograph made the Drosselmeyer role with less dancing, just some lifts and simple stps).

The most important thing for untrained/Beginner adult male dancers I think is to be able to go on stage and do your things, without letting the fact that you dont have the technique be visuable for the audience. If you do a character role, its all in the presense, the drama and the way you move yourself, not how you jump or point your toes!


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"So, do beginning and intermediate male dancers have a purpose? Are we needed in any capacity? "






Yes we do! I just finished the Nut (my first!) as Drosselmeyer! There are tons of charector parts that don't require stellar dancing ability. If your company imported dancers to fill the rolls think of how happy they would be not to have to do that. It would save them money too! Your job is to dance well enough in class that they consider you for an audition. Heck! Go to the audition anyway! Ask the director if there is a specific role that you might work toward. Devil hates a sissy! Screw up your courage and ask! Good luck!

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I, too, just finished my first "Nut." There were only five men, three of whom danced. Some of the girls fathers played parents in the party scene, but that was it. Luckilly we had the big rolls covered: Prince, Cavaliere and Arabian. Dross was a non-dancing parent.


The nice thing was is made for ample opportunities for those of us with any dance experience, no matter how little, to take on major roles. I played the Prince twice, I did Russian in every performance and I even got to play the Cavaliere one night.


Yes, there's plenty of need for us afterall.

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