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Ballet Talk for Dancers

When is it "too late" to make career decisions?


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Treefrog, I am so grateful for your wise words. I think as parents we sometimes get too caught up in thinking we know "what is best" for our children when they are quite happy with the status quo. It is too easy for me, reading this board, to think my daughter needs to change studios and study harder when honestly she is perfectly happy where she is. I clearly have to ask myself if I am the one who wants her to head in a professional direction, not her. And...I think I was worried that there would be no place for her if she did not "up the ante" so to speak. I'm glad to hear that she can pursue dance into college and continue to do what she loves best, as you so correctly put it, without the pressures of training for a professional future if that is not what she chooses. I too have offered a studio change and a deeper immersion in ballet, but she so loves where she is, the different types of dance, her BFFs (haha) and the performance opportunities she has that she feels her world would end if she left. Honestly, her world as she knows it would end with a switch that she clearly does not desire. Thank you so much!


Ms. Leigh, I didn't realize you are new to Georgia. The Governor's Honors Program, just fyi, is a 6 week long program held in Valdosta every summer for students in academic areas and the arts. There is an audition process. After the kids are selected, they study in their "major" and also choose a "minor." So a dance major would have dance classes every day, and also classes in their chosen minor such as math or drama, etc. But I do not really know anything about the faculty of the dance department, which is why I was hoping you might have some info. If I ever find out anything further I will let you know. (The program is only open for rising high school juniors and seniors so my daughter is not yet eligible.)


I wanted to clarify what I said earlier as far as me being the one who wanted her to pursue a professional dance career: I would only want my daughter to head in a professional direction if that was her choice, but at 14 I'm not sure that many kids are clear themselves on their future path. I just would hate for her later to say "if only" ... or "what if I had tried". I think at this point I have to trust her knowing what is best for her right now, and leave the future for just that...later.

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Unfortunately, by 14 one really does need to make those decisions. The training between 13-18 is very critical, and without a focus, commitment, and an "on track" program, it is highly unlikely to happen.


That said, if a child of that age is happy doing what she is doing and where she is doing it, and does not express extreme desire to be dancing 24/7, then you probably don't have to worry about it. :thumbsup:

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I think that's exactly where we're at, Ms. Leigh. Happy as a clam (whatever that actually means!) dancing various disciplines 10 hours a week or more when there are upcoming performances which is often, and loving dance and her friends. I'm thinking she will choose to minor in dance while pursuing another career path such as physical therapy which she has recently expressed interest in. Maybe some day she will be attending to professional dancers with injuries (unfortunately)! I know this board is mostly for those with serious ballet career aspirations, but could you possibly lead me somewhere where I might find info on college choices with (decent) dance minors? Particularly in Georgia and surrounding states? Obviously most of what I have found on Ballet Talk has to do with dance majors, and I am sure my daughter will want to dance throughout college.


Just as an aside, I have seen reference somewhere on the board to an old thread or sticky or something having to do with the "truth" about the percentage of ballet students who actually end up with professional careers, around 2%??? Does anyone know where this is/what I'm referring to? I would be quite curious to read it, although it seems my daughter is on a different course.

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