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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How to let go?


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I realize there is a similar topic on the parent's board, but I'm also interested in hearing from a dancer's point of view.


So.... When and how do you let go of the things you love to do in order to move on in life? I'm a college student planning to major in a science, so I realize that my future will not be centered on dance and music, which are my passions though not quite career options for various reasons. I'm only an undergraduate student - not even out of my teens yet - with still a lot of opportunities to dance and play music in college. But I can't help thinking what will become of me once I enter the career world or even graduate school. I know I won't have the same chances of dancing on a stage or playing in a musical ensemble just because my priority should be my major, yet I can't imagine my life without these things. It's like I live for the arts. Dance and music have done such wonderful things for me, especially emotionally when I was adjusting to college, and given me the feelings of pride, satisfaction, and purpose. And just the sheer fact that they are so capable of moving the soul and beautifying life, as most of you know :wub:


I know it's probably too early for me to be thinking of such things, but I really can't imagine myself letting go of dance and music. They won't be gone forever - at worst I'll still be dancing in front of my bedroom mirror and tooting my flute in the attic, but still....


And considering that people keep saying change is good, change is part of life, you need to be ready to accept and welcome change.... is it bad that I don't want change when it comes to taking away what I love?


Sorry if this topic has already been covered or that this sounds like an emotional soap opera. I just want to know if I shouldn't attach myself so strongly to things I won't be doing as a profession and simply accept the fact that I can't dance or play music for the entirety of my life.

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Well, we've got a dancing dentist on the board, and I know a couple of lawyers who play in instrumental ensembles.... I used to dance with a very good biochemist. Her rules for the taxonomy of sciences: If it moves, it's physics, if it's green, it's biology, if it stinks, it's chemistry.

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Well, I for one am a post-Masters in grad school, and I am dancing minimum three times a week all the time, most weeks more. Practically all my dance classmates are either students, employed, parents of little children, or any combination thereof. :ermm:


I am not saying it is actually easy to arrange, but it definitely is possible. So don't worry! It would of course be different, if you were aiming for a dance career, but if you are "just" wanting to take classes and dance for yourself, it should be possible to combine it with higher studies, working life, and having a family.

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Guest Chedva
I know a couple of lawyers who play in instrumental ensembles....


In fact, the Boston Bar Association has its own Lawyers' Orchestra which plays every year on the Esplanade (where the Pops play for the Fourth of July).

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I have to agree with Jaana. I get very sad if dance is not a part of my life for any extended period so I can totally sympathize with your plight (and fears).


But I am mid-30's, have a successful (enough for me, anyway :D ) corporate career and also take class at least three times per week. I am recently married and my wonderful husband is more than supportive. :ermm:


So there should not be too much of an issue provided you keep your priorities in mind - meaning, can you live in a place that is rife with dance? :wacko: Luckily in my neck of the woods there are several excellent schools.


Another thing to keep in mind is that two of these schools offer certain performing opportunities for adults as part of their regular year-end performances (full length ballets in one case). So hope is not lost. Please keep your chin up and as long as you are strategic about it, you can keep dancing as you please.


I think probably the most challenging thing about it has been managing energy levels - that is, since classes are generally available to me in the evenings since I work a 9-5, sometimes you get a bit tired even before you hit the class. But it is certainly do-able and worth the effort.




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Thanks, everybody! That's actually very encouraging! I guess that as long as there's a will, there's a way :clapping:


And I have to agree with Mr. Johnson: if it stinks, it's chemistry.... :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi LaMusicienne.. here's the dancing dentist speaking..sorry for not replying to this topic for so long, but i haven't got time to go online for so long.

I know how you feel. I certainly can't imagine my life without dancing, but I have to concentrate on my major. When I graduated high school, I only restarted ballet again after 6 year break. I took ballet as pure hobby, a twice a week afternoon activity. But then, thing were more complicated when I fell in love deeper with ballet. My parents (they paid for my dentistry education) wouldn't hear about it. I'm allowed to do ballet as long as I do my dentistry studies alright. When I failed a subject (Pharmachology, in 4th semester), they told me to quit ballet if I didn't pass the make-up test.

So, I had (and still have) to manage my timetable really well, to make sure things work well in my both world, dentistry and ballet.

I did it well so far. So my parents are ok with my ballet, because I also do well in dentistry. They're ballet lovers too. But they won't let me put ballet as my major career. Because it won't work in Indonesia.

To tell you the truth, like you, LaMusicienne, I'm also more into ballet then into dentistry. But we can't live of ballet in Indonesia. You can't feed yourself by being only a dancer, or a dance teacher. So ballet has to be a 2nd career.

Now I've graduated dentistry, I continue to post-grade specialty degrees. And now I'm a junior lecturer in my dental faculty, in the public university. It's great. I live both lives now, lecturer of dentistry from 8am to 2pm, and ballet dancer and teacher from 5pm to 8pm.

Of course I don't have time for private dental practice, it menas I have less income then my colleagues who have private practice. I gain less by only teaching ballet (and still pay for the classes I take). But it's a job I love doing, so who cares about the less money!? :P

There's no way I leave my ballet life for anything. When I get too old to dance myself, then I will keep on teaching and making choreographies. How old can you be and still dancing anyway?

Actually, I'm really interested in becoming an RAD examiner. I don't know how I'd be able to match the timetable with my job as a lecturer. But, when there is a will, there is a way.


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As yet another example, I played piano throughout my entire childhood. It was very important to me that I continue and now, even though I'm in grad school, I still play. In fact, I started a chamber music group so that several of us musically-deprived grad students could continue to play and we even perform on occasion. If you want to stay involved the arts, you can. In fact, you'd be a very dull person if all you did was focus on your major. So make time for what makes you happy and good luck!

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well this is a great post, sometimes i find my lifestyle difficult, juggling everything around but to read this post actually encourages and motivates me not to give up :thumbsup:

my lifestyle is about to get more complicated too as i start college in september. I have faith though, especially now, that i can get through it :wink:


lamusicienne - is there no way you could work through ballet - even abroad?

or how about jobs in relation to dance in general? such as pilates or a physiotherapist?


i think it is wonderful that you are studying but will you be truly happy with this as a career - i have had jobs which pay well and i have been miserable :green:

i hope you can find a way to satisfy your needs.


dancing dentist - im sure you will find a way to become a RAD examiner, if that is what you want - you certainly have the determination and drive :P

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To live a ballet life, one must have :






ay other "d"s, anyone??


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Thanks, everybody! That's actually very encouraging! I guess that as long as there's a will, there's a way  :wink: 


You never need to "Let Go," but you likely will have to arrange priorities and (perhaps) scale back. That's natural.


But realize that EVERYONE (well just about everyone) has their own hobbies and diversions.


An aside: My dad is about as hardcore a scientist as you can be. He graduated #1 in his class at Seoul Nat'l U, came over to the US with no money and only a graduate fellowship, and eventually became a highly respected BioChemist. (At a recent conference, a research scientist who had been following some of my Dad's work approached him eager to meet him and have my Dad explain some of his results. This scientist was the Nobel Prize winner in Medicine from 2003. ) He lives and breathes his work and you're unlikely to find anyone more focused than he, but every saturday, he plays golf for several hours, every morning he reads the WSJ, and just about every evening, he tinkers around with his computer. Even he has distractions/hobbies.


Even Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling (the heads of the former Enron) would have crazy getaways.


"Growing up" means rearranging your life, perhaps letting go of your dream (of being a professional dancer), but not giving up what you enjoy. You can always dance. The adult ballet classes are filled with young professionals.



Edited by EvilNinjaX
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If you go to open adult classes, you will be amazed how many different (non-dancing) professions you will find. Just keep up dancing. And yes, as a gradutate student you certainly should not only focus on your major, but also on some fun :dry:

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My roomate just got a Master's degree in psychology. She was named a Presidential scholar a week before graduation. Got perfect grades on every test and paper. Literally. She was disappointed once with a 98% on one test and felt she needed to do extra credit!


She also took ballet class (sometimes 2) every single day while she was in school.


It was hard work, but not ridiculous or impossible for her.

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It also keeps us sane and our bodies happy! I'm now working towards hopefully the last year of my third degree, and let me tell you, I'd be in an asylum right now if I wasn't dancing.... :dry:

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