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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pro Company Hiring Practices


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Carolina Ballet


This is from the Carolina Ballet website:

"Carolina Ballet is made up of a company of 31 dancers and two apprentices representing 9 countries around the world. Artistic Director Robert Weiss calls the company a virtual mini United Nations. Most the men are from outside the country and one of the female dancers is from China, but there are several new male dancers from the United States. The other countries represented are Moldavia, Russia, Cuba, Uruguay, Hungary, Canada, France, Paraguay, Ukraine and the ballet master is from Romania. The company has grown from 20 dancers in the inaugural season to the current size."


Principals: 6 total, 3 from outside US (50%)

Soloists: 6 total, 4 from outside US (66%)

Corps: 19 total, 7 from outside US, 1 missing a bio (37%)

Apprentices: 2 total, both from US


Total: 33 dancers, 42% from outside US


The bios only tell the promotion/hiring path on a hit and miss basis.




Washington Ballet


19 Company Dancers, unranked, 8 from outside US (42%)


2 Apprentices, both from outside US (100%)


Studio Company, 8 dancers, 3 from outside US (38%)


Total 29 dancers, 45% from outside US

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Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre


Principals: 6 total, 3 from outside the US (50%)

Soloists: 4 total, 3 from outside the US (75%)

Corps: 20 total, 6 from outside the US (30%)


Total dancers: 30, 12 from outside the US (40%)




10 of 20 Corps dancers have trained at the PBT school (sometimes the bio specified graduate or Schenley program, some bios did not specify)


No Soloists trained at the school.


2 of 6 Principals trained at the school.


Total 12 of 30 dancers had at least some training at PBT School (40%)

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I went to the Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse, and while I know that the Artistic Director, Nanette Glushak is American, the names of the company members don't tell me a whole lot, except that I don't think I've ever met a "Helge" from France, and I can't speak for naturalized citizens. However, the cover blurb for "artistes" kvells over their being "from the four corners of the earth." Google it for info.

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I have done some research on four Canadian companies.


However, I think that one doesn't always get the full story if one only looks at birthplace, or hometown. For example, you may have someone who was born in say Russia but trained for many years in a different country. There are other cases of multiple citizenship, as is the case in my own family. Finally, you may have a US citizen who trained at a Canadian school and subsequently joined the Canadian company. The company/school would likely see this as an example of promoting its own, irrespective of the dancer's country of citizenship.


So, with that said, here we go:


Ballet Jorgen:


11 of 17 dancers, or 59%, are Canadian.


Royal Winnipeg Ballet:


2 of 3 Apprentices are Canadian (67%). The third apprentice trained at the school for a number of years (actually all apprentices were trained at the associated school).


8 of 11 Corps are Canadian (73%)


3 of 4 2nd soloists are Canadian (75%)


none of the soloists are Canadian


2 of 4 Principals are Canadian (50%)


National Ballet of Canada:


6 of 8 apprentices are Canadian (75%). The two non-Canadians did train at NBS, I"m not sure how long. However, two of the Canadian apprentices did not train at NBS.


14 of 24 corps are Canadian, or 58%. Five of the non-Canadians had at least one year at NBS, some considerably longer.


5 of 9 second soloists are Canadian, or 56%. There seemed to be two (possibly 3) of the non-Canadians who trained at the school. Two of the Canadians did not train at NBS.


5 of 12 First Soloists are Canadian. This is 42%.


5 of the 10 Principals are Canadian. Three of the non-Canadians spent at least some time training at NBS.



Alberta Ballet:


8 out of 25 dancers at the Alberta Ballet are Canadian from what I could tell via the website.



Edited by mom2
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Birmingham Royal:


0 out of 6 principals born in England


3 out of 6 First Soloists born in England - 50%


5 out of 11 Soloists born in England - 45%


4 out of 9 First Artists born in England- 44%


12 out of 23 Corps members born in England - 52%


Total for company: 43% born in England, therefore around 57% foreign-born.


Hamburg Ballet (quick review)


1 principal German born

0 soloists

3-4 corps members

0 apprentices


total - approximately 5 out of 58 members German-born or around 9%, which translates to approximately 90% foreign-born.

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Yeah-- Number crunching! What a fun thread!




9 Principals: 7 US born, 2 Foreign born/Foreign Trained (Mexico, Australia)


1 First Soloist: 1 US born


7 Solosits: 5 US born, 2 Foreign born/US trained (England, Russia)


5 Demi-Soloists: 3 US born, 1 Foreign born/US trained (Japan), 1 Foreign born/Foreign trained (Estonia)


25 Corps: 17 US born, 5 Foreign Born/US trained (Estonia, Sweden, Australia, Korea, Japan), 3 Foreign born/foreign trained (Canada, Korea [trained in Canada], Argentina)


6 Apprentices: 5 US born, 1 Foreign born/US trained (China)


So, of the 53 members of the Houston Ballet:

38 (72%) are US born

9 (17%) are foreign born but trained in the US

6 (11%) are foreign born and foreign trained.


I believe all the US born dancers also trained in the US (I didn't see any schools listed in the biographies that sounded non-US).


At one point there was a discussion about companies hiring (or not hiring) students from the company affiliated school. Along the lines of that discussion-- 23 of the 53 HB dancers (43%) are graduates of the Houston Ballet Academy (4/9 of the principals, 5/7 of the soloists, 2/3 of the demi-soloists, 7/25 of the corp members, and 6/6 of the apprentices).

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Remember when reading the stats, some of us are given percentage % opposite of others. So read it carefully.


These stats really help to see things in perspective. The grass is not always greener on the other side, or should I say the grass is the same on the other side.

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Scottish Ballet


3 Principals: 1 UK, 1 Japan, 1 Italy


9 Soloists: 3 UK, 1 Japan (trained UK), 1 Australia, 1 France, 1 Estonia, 1 New Zealand, 1 Finland (trained UK)


8 Coryphees: 4 UK (1 Scot!), 1 Italy, 1 US, 2 unknown (trained UK)


15 Artists (CdB): 8 UK (2 Scots), 2 France, 1 Russia, 1 Argentina, 1 Brazil, 1 Spain, 1 Israel


Director is Ashley Page, English, ex Royal Ballet


I think we have to look at ballet careers as being truly international. Don't ADs pick "blind" at auditions i.e. everyone wears a number and they don't know who they are till afterwards? So they pick who is right for their company and the choreography they want to do. As a dancer you often have to move around too in your career to gain experience. The main thing is to get a job with a good company - where it is is of much less importance I think.

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I am not sure how dancers are selected outside of the US (except in Russia) but in the US, the dancer, in an open audition is handed a number after filling out an audition form, submitting resume/cv and a portofolio of photos. Oh yes, paying a fee! :(

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One of the very cool things about this thread is seeing just how many companies there are out there! It is indeed a wide ballet world beyond the Big Name Companies.

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Tulsa Ballet Theatre:


Principals: 2; 2 are from out of country (100%)

Soloists: 6; 4 are from out of country (67%)

Demi Soloists: 7; 5 from out of country (71%)

Corp: 13; 9 are from out of country (69%)


71% of the company is from out of country.


None of the company members list Oklahoma as where they are 'from' and none came through the Tulsa Ballet II program.


Ballet Austin:


20 dancers; none are from out of country.


6 came through the Ballet Austin II apprentice program.

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As this has become an international thread, with the focus not only on where dancers are from, but also where they have trained, at what rank they have entered the company, etc., I've edited the title to reflect the information that users can find here to assist in searches down the line. :(

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Perhaps you should have split off the thread. Changing my original post changes the flavor of the post I made. I would consider that censoring and rude. If you want another name to the thread, why not start your own instead of taking over my original question.

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Dressage--your original post was not changed, however the title was by a moderator who is allowed to do so. Your original post in it's entirety is the 1st post on this thread as well as any others posts you may have made on this issue. Anyone clicking on the thread and reading all the posts can add to your original thoughts and statements.


Many have commented and others of us have looked at the statistics being put up and are finding that what we had heard may in fact not be so true. So I'm finding far less percentages that I would have been led to believe from all but a small minority listed so far.

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