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Career: After college?


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Im a male ballet dancer currentle 17 training at Boston Ballet. This is my senior year in high school and I am looking to apply to college but want to be able to dance in a company after college. Is it possible? Can I train for 4 years in college and still be a viable candidate to for joining a Ballet company?

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The companies' websites typically have a link labelled 'dancers' or some such. There are usually headshots of the company members. They usually include the company's bios for the dancers. Often the apprentices and trainees are included, but not always.

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You go to the website of the company and most of them give you a biography of their dancers, like Boston Ballet does. If they do/did go to college, it will definitely be mentioned in their biographies. Look around you at Boston Ballet too and find out how many went or are going to college....

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Having trained at your school and danced with a major ballet company... a long time ago...my feeling is that time is of the essence...alot of dancers took college courses during the year and more during summer lay offs. It is a very competetive field and alot of us retired dancers opted for college after dance...I could not have imagined it otherwise. Out of the company (45) 2 gentleman had graduated from college prior to entering into the comapny.

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It is absolutely possible to join a company after college. I would say that approximately half of the dancers currently dancing with the (small but recognizable) company I am with now have college degrees. It was very good for some of them who simply did not have sufficient technical or artistic skills to get a job right out of high school. On the other hand, if you have the technical and artistic skills already, well then perhaps college can wait, and you should put your skills to use immediately.


I think that everyone who has responded so far is assuming that we are discussing a college dance program. If you are thinking about taking a non-dance track at college, well, IMO that should definitely wait!

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Why not do both? Many ballet dancers get involved in the program that allows dancers to take college courses at a reduced rate, or even at no cost, and they do it while they dance professionally. :)

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And remember the old saying, "We are too soon old, and too late smart!" It is better, in my opinion, to pursue a dancing career first, while your body is still pliable and resilient, perhaps picking up college credits as you go, then either finish a BA or a postgraduate degree after dance. You will be at a better place intellectually by that time.

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If you are a senior, I would apply to dance colleges, AND audition for companies. If you are company ready, they will hire you now. If not, then you can gain further dance experience while at college, and apply to companies again later. It is always good to have a plan B ready.

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  • 1 month later...

you should try and do both! But I also think for a semester you can try and audition for companies... if you don't find an offer, then in January go to a dance college!

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Have you asked the people at Boston Ballet? I think it is definitely possible to join a company after college. Why not? For some dancers the chances of getting into a good size company may be greater after additional years of training. I know that my daughter has more possibilities now after additional training as a dance major. She recently auditioned for a good size ballet company and made it to the very end of the audition. She had not auditioned for this company before so I do not know that she was not ready for them when she was a senior in high school. I do feel that she has grown so much as a dancer since she graduated from high school.

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  • 1 month later...

You can also look into companies that have an established relationship with a university and do both simultaneously if that is ideal.


For example: Ballet Austin now has a relationship with St. Edward's University in which enrolled dancers receive certificated learning credit for experiential learning in their careers in addition to going to school part time. Classes in our degree are taught by University professors but are offered at BA facilities. General education classes are our responsibility but can be taken at community colleges etc...


If not, like others have suggested, you can apply for colleges and audition simultaneously and see what happens. More and often I'm seeing dancers get a degree first and then dance professionally.

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