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Decisions: When to throw in the towel?


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I am an aspiring ballet dancer and this june I am going to be graduating from high school. I have dreamed of being a ballet dancer since I was a little girl and even now I want nothing more. I am however, worried about getting a job, like most in this competitive world, and just wondering IF I can not get a job, how many years do you go with out one until you throw in the towel? I dont even want to think about having to stop but I'm also trying to be realistic. Some of my dancing friends have said that 2 years of auditioning is all they could take without a job but, I know others who are in their 3rd or 4h year (out of high school) with out a job. What do you think? If you love it so much should you never stop, or be realistic and set time limits?

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I think the limits will need to be set according to your financial restraints. How long will your parents support you? If they will consider another two or more years of training as the equivalent of college, or, if you go to a good college dance program, perhaps that would be your way of getting anywhere from one to four years. :blushing:

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Balletfreek, it's different for every dancer. It depends in a large part on finances: on what you or your family can afford to keep you afloat while you audition. Also, you need to keep training while you're auditioning so that you are at your technical best and that costs money too.


Many dancers work AND train during that year or two where they're looking for a dance job. My daughter took on several different jobs, one of which had nothing to do with dance, in order to pay her way through her first year. By her second year, she had an off and on dance job that paid her expenses for the rest of the time.


I think that you don't know how long you can continue searching for a job until you actually are going through the experience. You'll find out for yourself what you're willing to put up with. It helps to see how well you do at the actual auditions. If you don't get cut and make it to the end of the auditions, then that's a good sign. Because of that, you might want to continue auditioning. But if you find that's not happening, you may decide that all the effort and little money just isn't worth it anymore. You just won't know till you're going through the actual process.


My daughter had decided to give herself one year after high school but she got enough bites and near bites that she opted for a second year. It helped that she was occasionally dancing professionally throughout that time so she felt like she could keep on going for another year while looking for a more permanent position. By the middle of the second year, she was offered one with a small ballet company but ended up taking a more profitable job dancing for the contemporary company with whom she'd been working off and on.


It wasn't an easy time by any means and she never really knew what decision was the right one at any given moment. She often was conflicted about what to do: on the one hand, she had a standing offer to dance full-time with the contemporary company but she wanted to keep trying for a ballet job. After she got one, she realized that it just wasn't enough money for her to manage and she was feeling fulfilled by her work with the contemporary company. That surprised her at the time.

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Thank you for your replies. I have planned to work while I train in order to support myself. I guess I will just have to get through this year and see what the "real world" has in store for me.... wow thats kinda scary!

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Balletfreek, did you just post as Rosentom?

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