Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Most important time in a male's training


Curtis

Recommended Posts

Hi I am Curtis and I am 15 years old. I have been dancing for 10 years now and I aspire to do it professionally. I began dancing in my hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana with the New Orleans Ballet Association and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, which was intense rigourous 6-7 days a week classes with great performance opportunities. But now, I am attending Phillips Exeter Academy, which is a boarding prep school in New Hampshire. While academically this school is amazing and I feel as though I'll be ready for anything academically in the future, the dancing isn't as tough and intense as I'm use to in New Orleans. I do plan on majoring in dance in college, and dancing as a career,but I'm worried that I won't be able to keep up as a dancer after this so I was wondering if you guys had any tips on how I can just keep up for these four years before college.

 

Thanks,

Curtis

Link to comment

Another challenging question! :wacko:

 

My advice to you would be to have you find the most excellent training available to you in your area, and then season with occasional trips to schools outside your regular commuting distance for really demanding training, as at Boston Ballet, or Bossov Ballet in Maine. Certainly there are others sure to be mentioned here, but those leapt immediately to mind as good choices for a young male dancer. The courseload at Exeter looks like it's designed for people with only a rudimentary background in ballet, and who are using the school experience to become more involved with their art(s). I think you need more than what is offered there. Look around and see what the nearby opportunities are.

Link to comment

I would contact Susan Endrizzi at the Portsmouth School of Ballet: http://psb-nh.com/instructors.php She is an exceptional teacher, and should at least be able to give some guidance.

 

I know a woman who started dancing at the age of 16, went to an Ivy League school (which didn't have a dance major), and then went on to soloist and principle roles in a ballet company. You're probably pretty smart, and that will help you build a dance career if you wish in short order, even if your dance experience at this point is not as consistent as it otherwise might be. Really, I don't expect you to have much problem building a dance career, not matter what you do for the next 8 years. An amazing academic experience like Exeter is actually a rarer opportunity than a ballet academy with excellent training, and it will open more doors for you as well.

 

I usually recommend that prospective dance majors think twice before entering the major. In many cases, it may not be the best use of the educational opportunity provided by a university, which costs a LOT more than a ballet academy. You need to consider whether you have or might have any interests other than dance for the rest of your life. A dance major is not much better than just a high school diploma for most career paths, it is not equivalent to majoring in English or Classics or Engineering or Physics or French Literator or History or any of the other traditional academic majors. Also, experience in a ballet academy is usually a better way than a dance major to get hired by a dance company.

 

You should definitely look into summer programs.

Link to comment

Curtis,

 

I agree with the guys, it would probably be best to get an outside perspective at least once in awhile. To add to whats been said though. I was 14 when I took my first ballet class, and at 20 now I've turned out ok. I wouldnt worry too much about feeling as though you are falling behind; I think the catch up mentality can be very destructive. Ballet in particular is one of those things you have to take time on, to get right. If you decide to do a company setting or college for dance after high school you'll take the knowledge and intellect you've collected from your childhood with you. I firmly believe that with a clear knowledge of ballet and a couple years of intense training in an intelligent way a person can put them self in a position to join a company.

Link to comment

Very tough questions. Instead of majoring in dance, why not audition after you graduate from Exeter. University can wait a few years. If you take a few classes in the summer, you can graduate a year early.

 

I would suggest getting into a good university, and suspending your studies if you get accepted into a good company. Undergraduates are encouraged to take a few years off to pursue other areas. Grad students are not allowed this luxury.

 

If you join a company in a largish city, you can take undergraduate courses almost anywhere. Touring is a bit more tricky.

 

Enjoy the holidays!

 

Mike

Link to comment
Undergraduates are encouraged to take a few years off to pursue other areas. Grad students are not allowed this luxury.

 

That's only partly true. Much of my dance training and career was purused while I was a graduate student. I wasn't taking many courses any more, I was working and paying my own tuition --- so I really had a lot of freedom to pursue a dance career as well, as long as I continued to make progress on my dissertation. For me, dancing while an undergraduate would have been harder.

 

I think it's possible to find the time to dance at any stage of life, but in all cases sacrifices must be made.

Link to comment

Curtis:

 

I'm sorry you find yourself in this position. Trying to figure out where to go with your future is never easy at any age. The advantage of being young is you can try things and take risks we find harder as you get older.

 

It sounds to me like dance is your main focus. It also sounds like you're very bright and could easily balance continuing education with a dance career. You might want to investigate ballet companies which sponsor dancers at local colleges or who encourage dancers to continue educating themselves while working. This would satisfy both desires, an advanced education while having the opportunity to dance.

 

Ideally your career as a dancer with a company could last into your 30's, so there's plenty of time to pursue a degree over the 10 - 20 years between now and possible retirement.

 

I agree with Citibob. I've not seen too many professional dancers who entered companies after a college program. Sure, it's easier for men but still I haven't seen it much, at least not in the major companies.

 

I would suggest giving some thought to what kind of performance or what kind of company you see yourself with after school. If it's a regional or local company, continue with your plan for education and you'll likely be able to find work out of college. If you'd like to be in a major company, this plan may not be wise as they can pull both men and women into the company relatively young. Taking the time to pursue a degree might be more of an obstacle for a major company.

 

My suggestion, follow your heart. You'll be happier you did.

Link to comment
Guest TheBalletGuy
Hi I am Curtis and I am 15 years old. I have been dancing for 10 years now and I aspire to do it professionally. I began dancing in my hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana with the New Orleans Ballet Association and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, which was intense rigourous 6-7 days a week classes with great performance opportunities. But now, I am attending Phillips Exeter Academy, which is a boarding prep school in New Hampshire. While academically this school is amazing and I feel as though I'll be ready for anything academically in the future, the dancing isn't as tough and intense as I'm use to in New Orleans. I do plan on majoring in dance in college, and dancing as a career,but I'm worried that I won't be able to keep up as a dancer after this so I was wondering if you guys had any tips on how I can just keep up for these four years before college.

 

Thanks,

Curtis

 

Hello Curtis. I wish you luck. and I agree with what everyone else is saying so go with it. You will soon be up and dancing like you were in New Orleans in no time. I am hoping this for your sake.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...