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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dancing Abroad


vicarious

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On another thread kikiswede brings up this question. Eventhough my dd is far from this point, it is in her goals to go abroad for training. Is it worth it? My uneducated opinion is that it is but am being I nieve? Is this simply a way for schools who have government funding to get some more cash? I don't think so because their name and reputation are still at stake and they still need to produce quality dancers. But will US companies then want these dancers?

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I don't think that study abroad brings much of an improved prospect of employment (at least in the US). Now having been employed abroad, that would give a little weight to a resume, but at the same time, she'd be outside the US employment loop while she works abroad. I'd say it's a wash.

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Since it seems there is a tier system connected with the more visible companies as described in another topic, I was wondering if it would help or hinder an American dancer to study abroad when he/she returns to the USA? It appears a majority of tier one companies are pretty exclusive hiring from wihtin their own ranks.

Is there any personal experience out there someone can share about this?

 

I had a girlfriend who apprenticed with the Royal Danish Ballet, and when she returned to the USA ended up teaching more than performing. Since I have lost touch with her, I don't know her reasons for this choice.

 

Also, there seems to be a fairly good exhange of teachers and dancers with Canada.

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Very interesting topic. I hope you'll get some responses over the next few days.

 

Would you include dancers who were trained in the USA, had their first apprenticeships/jobs in Europe and then returned - or do you want this to be strictly as your title suggests? Only asking because the former might offer more responses from our members.

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I don't think that study abroad brings much of an improved prospect of employment (at least in the US). Now having been employed abroad, that would give a little weight to a resume, but at the same time, she'd be outside the US employment loop while she works abroad. I'd say it's a wash.
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A guy originally from my studio trained abroad, danced for 2-3 years abroad (I'm not sure how long), and since moved back and has been dancing in the USA for the past 2 years. He received great training and learned another language living and dancing in Europe. He also competed (did not medal) in the 2002 USA IBC. So studying abroad did not hurt him as far as finding a contract but he also had professional experience before he moved back to the USA.

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The dancer's training is what matters. If s/he has been well trained, it won't matter where s/he went to school. On the other hand, if s/he hasn't been well trained, s/he can tell people that s/he went to a school in France 'til s/he's blue in the face, but it won't make any difference at audition time.

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Very interesting topic. I hope you'll get some responses over the next few days.

 

Would you include dancers who were trained in the USA, had their first apprenticeships/jobs in Europe and then returned - or do you want this to be strictly as your title suggests? Only asking because the former might offer more responses from our members.

Yes, I would like to include dancers who are first trained in the USA, sought to tweek out their technical training overseas, and then returned for work...Thank you.

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Dancers don't always get a choice in where they are employed. A good teacher will encourage a dancer to audition for EVERYTHING and then go where they are hired be it US, Canada, Europe or Mars. You go where the work is. It doesn't matter to an artistic director where you were trained as long as he likes your dancing in the audition.

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In general, I agree with most of the above with this exception: In a room full of 100 people auditioning, there is no way to really see everyone carefully and it may be that having the recognizable name of a European school - or a recognizable N American school, for that matter, on your application might get you a few more glances than another dancer. Untimately, though it will come down to an Artistic Director's preference.

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My DD has wanted to dance in the UK and when we tried to apply to vocational training schools, we found that there is a surplus of highly qualified dancers from their own country and that as an American, we would have to pay the nearly impossible tuition without government subsidy. We decided to go the route of YAGP to attempt to get a scholarship and when that didn't work, she moved to the UK at 16 to take her RAD Vocational exams and get the lay of the land. When you do not attend the company school, the audition process is nearly impossible. We had an audition in December and we still have not heard a yes or no. In the interim, DD has received job offers from other ADs who have seen her at class at Pineapple in London.

 

We decided to wait to get a final word from the company of choice and we are considered idiots by all our family members.

 

The RAD training that DD received wsa fabulous and she was able to identify and fix problems that she didn't realize that she had. In the meantime, the audition season in the US is in full swing.

 

Do I feel like I have an ulcer from the worry? Sure. Is she thriving in a wonderful country? Yes. Do I wonder if we chose the wrong fork in the road 2 years ago? Some nights when I am near the end of my rope, yes. Does European training show? In my experience, the CV is not looked at unless there is some interest by the AD anyway.

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Some dancers don't have the choice where they train..mine won't. She has had many fantastic years of training in DC with a world known and recognized teacher. Next year she will be trained at a great school in Germany. How will this look? Who knows, but my hope and my thoughts are she will make a name for herself in auditions dancing, not where she was trained. If they really want her, why would it matter who got her there. They will be happy to have her! :)

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