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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Career Planning: Maximizing student chances

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Thank you Watermill, I guess I may have been a little sensitive.

When I found this web site I became instantly obsessed with it. I didn't have to go through this alone anymore, trying to find answers when I didn't even know what questions to ask. Where did this dancer child of ours come from? Before dd came along I had seen one ballet, Nutcracker, when I was a child, a Christmas present from my grandmother. I'm slowly finding my way through this foreign world of ballet, but I'm still as naive as a child who gets all excited when I learn a new tidbit.


Mel and Victoria, I admire your devotion to this top notch information board. I do have to wonder though, when do you ever sleep?


Keep up the good work! :)

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Not right now, that's for sure. :wacko:


I sneezed myself awake, and I'm just waiting for the antihistamine to kick in. In the meantime, the board is good therapy! :)

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But back, for a moment, to the original posts which spurred this thread. What they are is venting. The kids are anxious, and they don't know exactly what they're anxious about. It's why we're here to hold their hands and give them direction to carry them out of their funk, or even sometimes the Toughlove "Snap out of it!"

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and, having "lurked" on that site once in a while a year or so ago, I'd say the info exchange had, to some extent, sort of the character of that telephone scene in Bye Bye Birdie, but with a ballet theme. I saw it more as their own teen room to chat chat chat ballet. Without harm given the balance of other info as easily available. :):wacko:

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The problem with unchecked rumor is that it soon takes on a life of its own. When I was teaching units on "Rumors and Propaganda" in the Air Force, we had a saying, "If you haven't heard a rumor by 9 in the morning, start one." Soon, you've got a bunch of people with poor morale for no purpose whatever, and the whole mission is degraded. Even if there's contrary information, people will look for the information which confirms their opinion, facts be damned. That's why rumors don't last long here.

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I never had the impression that BAE was a minor-league feeder school for SAB; it is a very good school in its own right, and to my knowledge there isn't really that much exchange between it and SAB, though some is to be expected, especially as some of the teachers are former NYCB dancers. The line about NYCB taking dancers at 16 is ridiculous. Maybe once in a while someone exceptionally talented will come along and get into the company at 16, but when I was there, all the new corps members were around 18 and none of them had started their training at SAB.


I'd also imagine that it's true that Joffrey graduates are more successful finding work. When dancers go to SAB, they have this dream that they'll get into NYCB. Some of them will, yes, but it's a big school and there aren't that many places in the company. However, people have trouble giving up their dream of dancing with NYCB or ABT and get into an "all or nothing" mindset. I did, for a while. There's also the somewhat unspoken opinion of many there that companies such as Joffrey are so bad that they are not even worth considering, which I find to be a very skewed view of the dance world.

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Hans, interesting thoughts.


I rarely hear about the NYC Joffrey except that the summer programs are very, very crowded and hot as all get out!


I would love to have someone explain the whole Joffrey scenario...hmm, I feel a new thread coming on!

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I think someone has said before that many instances of BUL are started because a student wants to explain a painful event away in a much less painful way, i.e. I didn't get into that SI this year because I turned them down last year, not because I didn't improve enough to be accepted this year.


Although "sour grapes" may be attributed too often, it does very often explain the starting of rumors.

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This is so very true, LMC, and it's why the chat boards, as opposed to moderated discussion boards, proliferate all sorts of false information. You get posts that will put down something because it did not work out well for that person, as opposed to posts which explain exactly what was good and what was not, and why.

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I think that the individuals who employ face-saving BUL (Ballet Urban Legend) to defend their self-esteem are simply acting like normal human beings. They're not even lying. In order to lie, the subject must be actually aware of the truth, and deliberately NOT tell that. The mind will nearly automatically, in the absence of real evidence, most often jump to a conclusion that defends the self-image. Ballet Urban Legend (BUL) provides an easy and quick reason for explaining rejection or other negative feedback, but it usually isn't the truth.

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I also suspect we might not be giving kids the credit they deserve in the Internet age. Most adults today who grew up before Internet were conditioned differently --- but I would not be surprised if children are well aware that one must evaluate the reliability of everything one reads on-line.

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I agree. Most of the kids I talk to know to read the chat rooms with part of the brain on skeptical mode. Every once in a while I will hear a rumor one of them they picked up on the internet about our school and they have the presence of mind to come "to the horse's mouth".


I also agree that those who proliferate face-saving BUL are not lying. They truly believe what they are saying, so they can't techinically be lying. It is a difficult place to be in.


Truthfully, I find the PARENTS who proliferate BUL to be more distatesful than their little dancers.

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I find this thread very interesting. As a relatively new member, I'm learning alot about the pros and cons of pre-professional ballet studios verses schools connected to a ballet company.


So if one's daughter does not attend a school associated with a ballet company and the school she attends doesn't actively try to place students, how do you go about finding a job as a professional dancer? Can one just go on auditions for companies? Are students who go on auditions on their own looked at differently then ones affiliated with a big name school or referred by someone?


I know this is asking alot, but my dd will be 15 soon and I feel it's time to start making the right decisions when it comes to where she should be at this time.

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Barrenone, if your daughter is serious about a career, and is showing potential in her school and in her acceptances to SI programs, then you might think of the next few summers as the time to start looking for a company where she would like to go and do the SI there. By her senior year in high school she will need some idea of what company she might be suited for, and hopefully they will have shown an interest in her in that school. If she becomes associated with one program that seems to really be interested in her, and offers her scholarships, then perhaps that would be the place to audition for a trainee or apprentice position during her final year or in the summer of that year.

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