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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Career: After college?


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Im a male ballet dancer currently 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?

Sure. Especially as a male. (Sadly, there is still the desire among many ADs to hire young green dancers that they can mold. I find its a lot easier to mold a mature trained dancer than a younger one. But this is mostly true for females, not as much, males.) IMHO: I'd recommend attending a good university with a trained fully professional staff. I do not recommend going to a University with a modern dance emphasis, simply because they cannot train a ballet dancer to the level that is required. I'd also make sure that you will have consistent and ample performance opportunities. But, I suggest self-monitoring your progress to the level of a dancer your age at graduation who has already been dancing with a ballet company, as much as possible. Be self-knowledgeable: ask yourself, "do I have enough talent, skill and wherewithal to pull this off?" If not, get some mentoring for your instructors to reinforce your confidence. Lack of confidence can be a career killer.


You can also find a University that is directly connected with a ballet company in residence, or nearby. Lastly, you can put off University training and do it when you are getting ready to retire with some of the college programs available for professional dancers. This is what I did. Fortunately, the company I danced for was also in residence. You'll work your tail off with little sleep, gain your first few gray hairs doing this. (I was in my 30s), but you'll have your degree. I continued to dance, choreograph teach and direct semi-professionally for another 6 years after I graduated. I got a lot of training in other areas, so I was able to diversify my career afterwards. However, if you attend college early enough, you can create this opportunity earlier and have more "fall-back" skills than someone who does not. (Waiting tables between contracts is not much fun for most dancers!)


Merde with your decisions, Philip.

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Both these men attended Butler University's Jordan College of Fine Arts dance program in the late 1980s- so both men are approaching 40


Jim Stein http://www.balletaustin.org/about/dancers.php#stein


Thaddeus Davis- former member of Dance Theatre of Harlem and now making a name for himself as choreographer http://www.balletaustin.org/documents/rele...ectorChoice.pdf

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James Sofranko, a soloist with the San Francisco Ballet, graduated from Juilliard.


Matthew and Benjamin Stewart are both grads of Juilliard who are in SFB.

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