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Dismissed from Ballet School due to injuries!!!


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Hi I do not know if it belongs here but I have to rant a little.


I was dismissed from my balletschool at the last exam we had to take- we have exams regularly and there are always dancers that do not make it to the next years class.


I was supposed to study dance one more year at the school I have been the last 7 years but they dismissed me now. Told me I was not quite up to the level of my classmates yet and that I could not make it to their level until next year when we were supposed to leave the school as fully fledged classical dancers.

I lost a lot of time dealing with several injuries- achilles rupture, chronic tendinitis, meniscus issues etc.which I think healed quite well (except for the tendinitis) but the staff and the examiners told me that they could not see me as a classical dancer as my injuries i collected at a young age already would prevent me from having a long and healthy career on stage.


Told me good luck and said I should continue dancing... ha ha ha... :)


I am totally devastated.


What sense is in dismissing somebody 1 year before graduation?! I could have easily made up for the lost time but they did not even give me a chance.

I am 18 now and there is no way I could get into a professional ballet school again at my age. I have studied at very selective places but i doubt I can get into a similar program as most schools on that level of professionality are going to give me the same reasons as the school I was kicked out from.


What should I do?

Get into teaching would be an option but i had to leave my school without the graduation diploma.

My mum suggested I continue making my abitur (highest school graduation in germany) and study human medicine in 2 years but I do want to dance!


It is unfair to have to drop out so close to the end!


What can I do?

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Your mother's plan appears sound to me. What would stop you from doing that, and taking ballet class at a maintenance level for the remaining year? By "a maintenance level", I mean one technique class per day.

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Forgive my input, please, since I don't fit into the category-- and delete if it's not OK. First, Frodo, is classical dance really what you want to do, or are you open to contemporary dance? As you know (probably better than I do!) the majority of German companies are contemporary. Remember that there is nothing to stop you from auditioning, now, next year, or at any other time in your life, just because you didn't get the diploma from ballet school. You own all the training you have recieved thus far, and I saw which schools you've attended-- so I think I can safely say that you are a good, well trained dancer. I think the biggest issue would be to get your body healthy with maintaince classes. It's so hard to take on the world with injuries. Once you've done that, look at where you are at as far as auditions and/or going back to school. I would encourage you to look to the eastern countries of Europe if you really want classical. The money won't make you rich, b ut you can live easily and well on it and the rewards can be great. If you are open to more contemporary work, you've got loads right there in Germany. Or, if you feel not ready to take on the audition circuit, there are plenty of universities and schools. I'd also encourage you to talk to some of the people at SIBA-- I know many of them personally and they are great-- and may be able to help you with further suggestions. Just because one door closed don't feel that life is over! :rolleyes:

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Pretty good advice. I think that I'll move this thread to the Careers forum, and others can join in. :rolleyes:

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Hey Frodo!


I don't know if I'm allowed to answer this or not but here goes-


Honestly, just because Herr Seyffert and a few other teachers think that you shouldn't pursue a career in ballet doesn't mean that you can't. Are you in Frau Azevedo's class? I wish I could pm you but I don't have 30 posts yet. You could easily go to a summer program- what about in Hamburg? Or make a video and send that around?

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How upsetting for you - I can imagine how you must feel. However don't despair - you can and should keep on dancing. Sometimes schools will accept you just for the final year. I know that at Elmhurst in Birmingham, England, they accept students for the third year and I believe that Central and ENB might too. It's a bit late now in the audition process, but you could try - I gather you have a very good pedigree!


The other thing would be to audition for a company as an apprentice. If your previous training is strong enough to have prepared you properly for it, you could even develop more by actually dancing with a company, than you would by staying at school for another year. As you are already 18, that might be an option you could very well try. Many dancers only study for two years. The suggestion of Eastern Europe for ballet is a good one I think, but there are many companies in Germany too. Obviously you need to get perfectly fit again before auditioning, but whilst losing your final year is obviously a blow for you, it might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you! I had a student who had to leave school a year early for financial reasons, but he's now dancing with a pro company and flourishing! Anyway, good luck and do let us know what happens for you, please. :flowers:

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  • 2 weeks later...

thats really harsh...but i guess harsh is a word used alot in the ballet world. my advice to you is just to follow your heart and it will guide you, and hope for the best. remeber everything happens for a reason and that reason will come :)

Edited by dancerchik
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  • 2 weeks later...



It sounds like your school is as harsh as your injuries. It takes some guts to continue dancing through injuries, but it also take guts to take time off to let them heal. Personally, I'd say if you were valuable enough as a dancer to them that, after 7 years of training, they'd work with you. So, don't get mad and "hate ballet" - get even and show them what they lost. (that is...if you are 1) as talented as you believe, 2) are not injured enough so that you really cannot dance again, and 3) have focus enough to "keep your eyes on the prize".)



I think the problem with big arts institutions is that they often forget that every element of their organization is important. The control of a child's life and, to some extent, future career. are under the consideration of parents and authority figures. But, real parents don't "dump" their children when things don't go well for them as authorities show are responsible for educating, sometimes, hundreds of children. In this, I agree with some of the questioning of you that Swanhilda gave above: is ballet what you want or should do.? Either way, its time to take control of your own career - if you are to dance, you have no choice. As a career consultant, I've worked with hundreds of dancers helping them pull their careers together. But, no consultant, parent manager or teacher can do this for you. A great mentor always pushes their fledgling protege's off the cliff so they learn to fly on their own - but always with guidance. So think of the authorities at the ballet school as if this is what they have done...but, because they chose to relinquish guidance, you must prove yourself as the equal your colleagues that they have kept on.


You have some major injuries that could stifle any career permanently - if you allow them to. It is time to cross-train. I recommend weights, gym, swimming, yoga, Pilates combined with Physical Therapy. ("physio-therapy" in most places in Europe) At the same time, work with an understanding and trained ballet and/or dance coach to get yourself back in performance shape. Finish your academic education on a high point at as best a program Germany allows. (I'm not familiar with how this works in Germany.)


When (not "if") you have a level of success, you have your chronic injuries under a modicum of control, meaning you are dancing professionally or on the level you are targeting, kindly, graciously and privately, never let your ballet school and teachers forget that they screwed up by letting you go - that is let it be known repeatedly what they did. (As we say in the US "never give a sucker and even break") I say kindly and graciously and repeatedly, because most won't care, because from what you have said, I think they have not shown that they are mature and complete mentors. You need to show them that you have risen above their decision. Or, possibly, they have shown that the institution they are in has superseded their mentorship and/or they have lost control of their own careers due to the institution they teach in.


Indeed, you touch upon part of the reason why I think "big box ballet companies" sometimes are not the best road to creating dancers, finding great performance or art.



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That is just awful! I feel so sad for you. I think that if you are capable of dancing, you know, you can dance because your injuries are better, you should still try out for a company. In the U.S., we don't often receive dance diplomas by attending a school for a certain amount of time. You just get the best training you can and if you are good enough or a company likes you, they will accept you. Try doing a video audition. I think that if you put on your resume "trained at so-and-so for 7 years with so-and-so"etc. that will look just as good as "received her diploma from so-and-so". But definately don't give up if you can't help it.

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  • 2 months later...

That is just terrible! The ballet world truly is so heartless. I agree, keep taking ballet classes. I know you probably don't want to hear this again, but look into other dance if you feel bummed out, don't just quit. Some contemporary can be quite lovely and classical. Or keep on pushing in your classical technique!!! Because no one in this world who is great got there by giving up!!! :( I am constantly aware that I'm not as thin as other girls in my class, but I am stubbornly still taking ballet classes and going far!! Keep at it girly!! best of luck :P

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Hey just an update! I got extremely sweet and encouraging PMs- some with real career opportunities- but I decided to take a year or two off vocational training to get back to full health.

I got a job teaching ballet and stretching classes at a local ballet school which will earn me some money and keep me in training without straining my body too much.

Have been totally burned out- struggling with many heavy injuries and a serious ED- and still am to some degree so working at a slower, non competitive pace will do me good I think.


At the moment auditioning for a competitive program is not an option for me as I fully need to recover physically and soul wise.


Thank you for your sweet and encouraging words!

My schools decision to throw me out was correct in the end- I do not know what would have happened to me if I would have continued vocational training the way I used to.

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It is very good news to hear you are on the road to good health frodo. :yes: All the best to you in your journey and growth. :thumbsup:

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Now I start to understand my former school`s decision to stop teaching me- I probably would have died or gotten seriously and chronically sick if I had continued the way I used to. Didn`t listen to their advice for years.

They are pretty harsh on EDs and stuff like that which is good.

I might get back there in 1 or 2 years or try out for a company somewhere- im going to go to hospital for 4 weeks (or longer if needed) next week to treat my ED. and then go on teaching.


Hope that is the right way- but I have not listened to my body and my teachers for too long so I have to pay the price!

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Splendid! You have made a major and correct choice to face your problems and to be active in recovering from them. This is a big step in the right direction, you must be congratulated! In the meantime, take everything day by day, and do one thing at a time. Don't stress, and be good to yourself.

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