Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

ballet companies for men

pittsburgh ballet theatre 08

Recommended Posts

so, im 15 but my dance teacher has already given me her top three companies tht i should try out for as an apprentice or trainee. she either pnb, houston, or san francisco. right now im thinking about being a trainee at san francisco ballet cuz ive already been there for the summer.


but she wants me to look at the dancers in the company and see where they were trained. my question is, she told me tht i want a company tht will help me improve in classes and not just use my body for rehearsals. what does she mean by tht?


and if there is a dancer or a principal dancer tht dances with san francisco ballet tht knows if what type of company san francisco is. i would very much appreciate it.

Link to comment

I don't know what company your mom has in mind when she talks about "using dancers as bodies in rehearsal", which seems like an awfully expensive waste of company time to use students as supernumerary corps or such like, in place of the regular corps de ballet, besides being against most union rules. You might ask her what she had in mind.


San Francisco Ballet is the oldest ballet company still extant in America. It is currently under the Artistic Direction of Helgi Tomasson, former Harkness and NYCB Principal Dancer. The company was previously under the direction of all three Christensen brothers, William, Harold, and Lew. The company is classically-based and has ballets from the Romantic period forward to today. Beside the surviving Christensen ballets, its repertoire includes works by Ashton, Balanchine, Robbins, Michael Smuin, Christopher Wheeldon and Tomasson's own works, among many others. The company enjoys a very high place in American ballet, and a dancer could do far, far worse than be trained at the company's school.

Link to comment

I think she just meant that your continued development as a dancer does not stop with your first entry-level job; it needs to keep going. So you need to be in a situation in which the classes help you continue to improve. If they're using what you already have without helping you get to the next level, that's not a good career track. Or if they're really trying to help you improve but it's not working for you, that's not good either. (BTW: this principle applies to any career, not just dance).


I would try not to be too swayed by your prior expeirence in the summer at SFB. You should give your other options an honest look as well. Again, this has nothing to do with SFB, but rather it's in your best interests to collect as much information as possible before making a decision. I once made a very bad mistake in taking a job with an organization I had previously done some short-term work with.

Link to comment

o yes ik tht. by the way i appreciate ur comment. i understand it now. im trying to collect as much information as i can. im just saying like as if right now. cuz right now im thinking of pacific northwest, houston, or san francisco as my top three companies right now even though im only 15. and i already went ahead and said san francisco, right now, cuz i went there for the summer. but i do know what u mean by making a right choice. so thx for ur time to help me out.

Edited by pittsburgh ballet theatre 08
Link to comment



Have you gotten offers? Any offer is better than no offer. Trainees typically make little or no money. Can you afford to live in SFO, Seattle, or Houston? SFO and Seattle are pedestrian friendly, whereas Houston is the energy capital of the world, Bush Intercontinental is 30 miles from downtown HOU.


SFO is a major urban center, with easy access to Oakland/Berkeley, SanJose/Silicon Valley and Sacramento. Lots of Universities, if you are considering a second career. But it is darn expensive to live in.


Even for a guy there is a lot of competition, you are competing with dancers from around the world.


Best of luck!

Link to comment

Careful on the spelling and punctuation. We're a discussion board, not a text-messaging site. Many people read this for whom English is a second or even a third language, and the "ur" for "your" might puzzle them, and if they look up "cuz" in a dictionary, all they'll find is "bad usage, cousin".


Look on the other group forums under pre-professional and residential schools in particular, to find out what people are saying about the schools listed there. These forums are mostly in alphabetical order, to make finding a place name easier.

Link to comment

Mr. Major Mel,


Should that be "Poor usage, cousin"? Or "Vernacular for Cousin" :devil:


-Channeling William F. Buckley

Link to comment

It would be entirely dependent upon how censorious the editors of the dictionary are! :wink:


An off-cousin of Dr. Samuel Johnson, who wrote the Dictionary...

Link to comment

ok sorry about that. sorry if i confused anybody. and ill be sure to check that page. thx mr. johnson.

Link to comment

I'm sorry, this last post is just plain funny.

Link to comment

c thats wat hapens wn u dont obA th ruuls sumbdy will asuum ur plAn dum!

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...



How unusual that your teacher thought of PNB and San Francisco, that are Balanchine based, combined with Houston which mostly has an English bent. Houston is very different in technique and style compared to the others.


These are good, very established companies. Not to undermine your teacher's advice, there are so many other companies and types of companies, large and small, to try for. Though, it can be a strategy to "start at the top", I'd also research smaller regional companies, where they are often allow for more 1 on 1 training (training never stops, even for professionals, from your first pre-ballet squat, to your last plie' to reverence, before your last performance ever), differing views on technique and stylistic bases, as well as better opportunity for roles. Though there is always company politics, it is usually lesser in smaller organizations.


First of all: I think you should listen to your mentors above all others: this includes me and anyone else who online or who is just "passing through". Any advice you get from folks like me should always be run passed your teacher's ears first. I say this because I'm adding more advice in than you asked for.


I am personally wary of big box ballet companies with big reputations, big repertoires and big budgets. These companies have great reps, dancers and sometimes, staff. I do go see them when they're performing, send students to their schools, and a few of them get in. But, I am mindful of the overwhelming politically oriented and static structures that naturally exist in such institutions. For a young dancer, it is very easy to get lost in these places, especially as an apprentice. You can sit around and do nothing while the staff's limited time is spent on the upper echelon dancers. Though, you maybe learning the ropes, repertoire and technique, you can get ignored and become stifled. However, though they may be easier to handle, small companies can also be very back stabbing situations. So, no matter where you go, be mindful. It all depends upon the place and circumstances.


If you chose a company like this, and they accept you, maybe "speak softly and carry a big stick" (attributed to Teddy Roosevelt). This means go in, be nice, do more than your fair share of work, complain about problems to management as little as possible. If I were you, I'd reveal only what you need about yourself, to real friends and colleagues that you share with. But, stay away from cliques. Whatever you do don't get involved with negative situations, regardless of whether or not the affect you!


Theatre and dance is a dog-eat-dog world at this time. I don't believe it has to be that way. There ahve been a few small companies where pro-action to create a family of the dancers and some of the staff, a supportive organizational culture, and a situation where the dancers did not fear for their rolls if the staff with difficulties. Thus, these few companies have fairly good performances.


You're just 15 and have a couple of years before most companies will make you eligible for apprenticeships in most companies. So, do your research. There's lots of great companies and situations in smaller municipalities as well as large cities. Choose wisely: the big ballet company job, will be there for you once you create an honest reputation for yourself. There are many people in high positions in film, theatre music and dance today, simply because they used an ability in politics, sometimes undermining others, to get there. (Fortunately, they often don't last) My main suggestion is to use your dance talent and training to do this.


Good luck or as we say in the biz "Merde".



Link to comment


Any offer is better than no offer.



I have to disagree with this statement 100%. I would not want to work at place I am not happy with or could not see myself growing there. Perhaps you can expand on this statement...

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...



Any offer is better than no offer.



I have to disagree with this statement 100%. I would not want to work at place I am not happy with or could not see myself growing there. Perhaps you can expand on this statement...

well i see what you mean from there, but hes got a point though. you never know what offers you might get. you may not even get any. that may be just your only one.

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.

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...