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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Decisions: shattered dreams/


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So the dream of dancing professionally has lately been shattered...not because I wasn't good enough. I worked 24/7 for the last month pretty much and was better than some of the girls that were accepted in ... so much work for nothing because my body is unporportional... head is too big and legs aren't quite long enough (even though they aren't that bad at all!) But now what do I do???? I know I want to contiinue dancing but not quite as much, but how could I use my knowledge of dancing later in life? What kind of jobs are suitable for someone with a ballet background? So far my list has only gotten as far as nutrionalist... Please I'm open to any suggestions

Are there any related topics anywhere? I don't know what to search for.

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Maybe, and maybe not. 16 or under and to "have your dreams shattered" is a little early. Is there anything engraved in stone that says that you have to work at the place that turned you down? Try someplace else! Don't take "no" for an answer so easily.

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Knock know.


Janine, I assume that you are still going to the 'gymnasium'. Have you looked into Gymnasium Essen Werden where you could take ballet as a 'Leistungskurs'?


Some more information is also here.

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Great suggestion, DSL! Janine, wouldnt that be an option for you until the ABI?


What about Musikhochschule after your Abitur? There may be some options open as well.

Or maybe look into private ballet schools like Ernst Pergel?



Try whereever you can! Work hard and audition if possible in a zillion of places!

Also try to broaden your horizon and look more into modern dance- as many schools specializing in modern do not care too much about "ideal bodies".

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I think it's probably best, as jannine wanted, to move this thread to Career General, to open up the topic to more respondents.

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Sounds to me like you took quite a blow and are pretty discouraged - but that does NOT mean you have to give up the dream YET! So you didn't get the job that you were going for. There could still be a company for you! Mel is right, you are way too young to have your "dreams shattered" already!


If you want to dance, then there's no need to quit yet.... just keep taking classes, working on your technique, researching companies, and going to auditions. I've seen plenty of dancers who have non-traditional bodies (different body type or proportions) who might never get jobs with major companies for those reasons, but who have made wonderful careers for themselves dancing in mid-size companies with more enlightened attitudes. Some companies want everyone to fit the same mold, but some companies are happy to overlook physical "imperfections" if your dancing is beautiful and strong.

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Oh gosh yes. 16 is much too young to give up. Professional dancing will always be full of disappointments and unacceptances, but you have to keep taking class and improving if that's what you need to do. I know some lovely dancers who didn't even START thier professional training until thier early teens, who have non-traditional bodies, and who are having fulfilling careers in classical companies.


Cheer up! There's always hope...if you do indeed have the drive to do it.


Working 24/7 for a month isn't very long at all. I've been working like a dog for several years now, have had MANY disappointments, but never felt like quitting (expect for the day/s immediately following a big disappointment).


Right now, I'm apprenticing in a professional company. My training is free, and I get to fill out the corps sometimes and even had a nice challenging role earlier this season. I have a Master's degree and could be making all kinds of money behind a computer. I did that for a while, but all I could think of was dancing. So now I'm going to work high end retail jobs to pay the bills, and dance as much as I can. It's a stressful lifestyle, but you have to do it while you're young enough and TRY to enjoy it. We're all overachievers. I know that I can easily become unhappy if I feel like I'm not the "best" at something. At a point, you have to let that go and just be happy that you're able to be doing something that you want to be doing. Feel fortunate that you can be doing this at all.


And it's hard to judge what one's own dancing actually looks like, or how suitable you are for a particular company. There's been many times where I feel like I'm "better" than someone, or work harder than someone who gets cast, and I don't...But casting isn't always "fair"...and sometimes you have to really listen to the feedback you're getting. It may be as simple as following directions and working on a few simple things that will help you get hired, promoted, etc. Sometimes, you may indeed be a lot more talented than the next girl who seems to be getting cast in everything, but for whatever reason, you just don't look quite right in the choreography, or aren't as prepared for it as you think you may be, even if you usually do well in ballet classes. Hard to describe. Just keep trucking away, and don't get too frustrated. I feel your pain :(

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Please don't quit dancing because one place doesn't think you'll make it! My teachers in high school never thought I would make it because I am not the super skinny build, I put on muscle well and have a medium-sized frame, not a tiny-sized frame, and I got offered an apprenticeship with a company recently! If you love dancing, it sounds like you do, then stay with it as long as you enjoy it! You never know what can happen. :yes::D:wub::blink:

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Ugh I wrote a long reply a while ago and I pressed the wrong button so it got deleted...sooo frustrating. I haven't been practising much lately, everything seems dissapointing =( I think I'm just going to wait a little bit to see what the people I sent my video auditions to say. If it's good I'm back on track working again, if not then I'm going to just go twice..or thrice a week because I'm going to work hard and try to win a scholarship to a good school in the U.S. Im just going to have to wait and see but it's soo frustrating. Luckily a letter came in the post saying that we've got a letter waiting for us...I hope it's an answer. Lately though my whole body is awfully sore every muscle is stiff and it hurts to do anything really. I have been taking extra magnesium but I really think I broke myself while practising for the auditions, and put too much strain on me. I'm not enjoying dancing at the moment as everything I do hurts =( I don't want to get up in the mornings it's so painful but it can't be stiffness because I haven't been doing as much exercise... it's strange.

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janninepointe, there are several possibilities here, in terms of how you are feeling. It's possible that you just overworked before the auditions and wore yourself out so much that your body just needs rest, or, it's possible that you could have something systemically wrong, like some kind of muscle disease or condition, like fibromyalgia. Or, it's possible that the soreness and aching could even be just a sympton of depression. If I were you I would try to see your physician.


In terms of the possibility of a scholarship to a US school, that is not going to happen if you decrease your training. At 16 or 17 years old, you will need to be very strong and very advanced to obtain a scholarship.

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Janninepointe-You seem to be in a bit of a funk and I sympathize with you as I have seen my own daughter go through many disappointments along her journey to become the dancer she would like to be. If all is not lost, then perhaps you can reevaluate your situation and possibly redirect. Have you thought about pursuing modern or contemporary dance? You are stilll young enough to pursue other avenues. I have no idea if you really do not possess the right body type for classical ballet, but not all dancers have long legs and small heads! I can name several who have gone onto successful careers who did not possess the ideal body. So, my advice to you is to think things through and try to be realistic about your situation. Take some time off to let your body rest, if you need to, but try not to get too depressed! Best of luck to you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

academic scholarship? I get mainly straight A's top in class sorry about that...well I'm back on the roll again. I recieved letters back from the people I sent a video audition to...they couldn't open it. Luckily I managed to get the video on the web and although very bad quality I can audition this summer!!! One school sounded really optimistic! Thankyou all very much for everything. Taking some time off practising additional time at home all the time really helped! Thankyou for the advice on German schools I think I'll look into it all too.

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