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Ballet Talk for Dancers

What now?


ConstanzaElisabeth

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I got my BFA in Ballet when I was 20...a year and a half ago. Since then, things careerwise haven't really worked out, and I'm feeling very limited because I am now getting married to a man who is set in this city for the next couple of years at least, with his job and school and kid and ex-wife...I plan on auditioning for all of the ballet and modern companies in the area, but there don't seem to be any where I think I would be able to get a job, and competing with the many talented and in-shape dancers currently at the University makes me even less confident of my ability to get a job here. I am taking classes at studios to keep in shape, but its nothing more than maintenance and certainly won't get me ready (again) for any job that I might get. So, I've been thinking of starting another BFA, this time in Modern. The U has just as good of a modern program as ballet, and it would certainly get me in shape and back in the dance world, ready for contemporary and modern auditions. My build is better suited to modern, and I know its harder as ballet dancers get older to get a start in the ballet world.

I know that was a bit of a long and somewhat aimless explanation of my situation, but does anyone have advice? Would it be worth it? Could I be a valuable dancer at 25-27 with a ballet degree and a partial or complete modern degree(depending on when we move)?

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If you are going to be incurring the expense of a second bachelor degree, I would suggest you seriously consider an academic degree that prepares you for the Plan B (or C or D . . .) career. :D

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I agree with dancemaven, if it is a 2nd bachelor's degree then tag on something else other than dance. If you are going for a Master's degree and have a love for modern dance, plan to do something with that degree and believe you have a means TO do something with that degree then you could choose either. I do not believe you can go wrong getting an alternate Plan B degree while finding places to dance either ballet or modern during that time.

 

You are at the crux of what many young adults must face, decisions that no longer include just what "they" want but also what the others they have become attached to need as well. I don't envy your position.

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Yours is both I think a complicated and somewhat common issue. Not knowing anything about you, here’s what I would do. First, you have to decide how much you are willing to sacrifice to dance professionally. Let’s assume that you want that more than anything else. If that’s the case, I'd give myself a time limit to find a job (one year?). In that time, I would train seriously hard and audition for every type of job that is available. I would even audition well outside the geographical area. Dance jobs are so difficult to get, unless you live in a major city that has a lot of dance opportunity, you might have to live and work outside your geographic comfort zone.

 

If at the end of your time limit, or if you decide you aren’t willing to make the attempt, I would not go back to school for another undergraduate degree. Very very few undergraduate degrees lead directly to jobs. Degrees in things like engineering, nursing, and accounting are exceptions. I would add teacher education, except for the fact that only about 20% of those with degrees in teacher education wind up ever teaching.

 

What to do then? Well, I don’t know that anyone can say. You have to find your own way. That’s just part of life. Most of us have more or less stumbled into careers by accident.

 

To me, the really important thing is to realize that going to college is about education, learning to think, solving problems, and communicating with others. With the exception of the few degrees I mentioned above, I don’t think it is about landing a particular job.

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I would not suggest a 2nd bachelor's degree in dance. If you are able to be accepted as a grad student in another discipline, aka plan B, go for it. If not, I'd do the 2nd bachelor's in the Plan B discipline with a modern minor.

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