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Momof3darlings

Journey: The Ones Not Chosen

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Momof3darlings

I thought this was a very nice article to discuss here and certainly helpful to parents to understand more about the journey. Very inspiring tales.

 

The Ones Not Chosen

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its the mom

I really liked this article. I think it's always wonderful to have a target company that you'd like to work for, but I think it is imperative to be open to others. Both of my dk's did not end up where they had planned, but feel that being open has served them well. It breaks my heart to hear of some young dancers who must absolutely dance for a particular company, and when they don't get hired, give it all up.

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cheetah

Thanks. This is a great article. I appreciate that the dancers were candid in their comments. Our DKs need an incredible amount of resilience to withstand this lifestyle and profession. If casting for the school recital seems arbitrary it's nothing compared to getting your contract renewed, getting promoted, or even getting cast in a performance at all. There's so much more I could say about this. Maybe one day when we get our DS to write his "book"

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ToThePointe

One of my old students went through a similar situation.

 

First of all, she started late at 11 years old. There was always doubt in her mind that she would ever catch up. Some of her greatest assets were determination and perseverance.

 

She was first offered a contract with a regional company out of state at 17. Her parents decided she was to finish high school and she did not accept the contract. The next year there were no contract offers and she joined the PBT Graduate Program. She was then an apprentice with Milwaukee Ballet II. She was cut after a year, with no other offers. She came back and went to college for a year and started taking classes at Los Angeles Ballet. They offered her a position, and she is now in her third season as a company member with them.

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pointeprovider

Their perseverance is inspiring, and it paid off. However, it struck me that they probably had parental funding in order to keep on training and auditioning for years, in some cases. cheetah, your analogy to school program casting makes me frightened, but you are probably right!

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Curandera

Really great read. Thanks for posting.

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lsu

Really enjoyed this article.....but ToThePointe....your student getting a contract at 17? That is amazing. She must be quite a dancer! In today's market, I really haven't heard of anyone so young being offered a contract with a regional company. Kudos to her determination.

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tangerinetwist

Thank you for posting. I have been on vacation and haven't yet looked at my issue. However, one of the young ladies featured in the article is someone I know and who regularly takes class with my teacher when she is in town. She is a lovely dancer to watch in class, and I am so happy to see her receiving some well-deserved attention.

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ToThePointe

Lsu,

 

Remember that at this point, she was seventeen, seven or eight years ago. I can't quite remember if she was at PBT for one or two years.

 

That being said, yes, she is a remakable dancer.

 

Pointeprovider,

 

Yes, dancers are lucky when their parents can continue to support them through it. It can make a huge difference in one's journey.

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pointeprovider

ToThePointe, congratulations to the dancer whose story you related.

 

With DD having now reached the age of trainee/apprentice/second company, and understanding that those positions mean different stages at different companies, I have a question regarding hiring expectations and realistic hopes.

 

Most companies seem to have 2-year maximum time frames for trainee, and for apprentice (not sure about second company). Do first-year trainees or apprentices ever get promoted over second-year? Is it expected that the dancer complete 2 years? On the one hand, we have been told by some people that "love" is immediate and recognizable; in other words, if the artistic staff doesn't like you in the beginning or very soon after, they never will. We have seen some first-year trainees hired over second-year trainees within the same company. But, if a first-year trainee or apprentice is encouraged to remain for a second year by the company (assuming that some kind of informative conference or feedback takes place), wouldn't it probably be with some promise or at least a good chance of moving up to the next level, whether that be company or second company?

 

For those of you whose DKs or students have reached this level on their journey, how does it usually work? What should a first-year dancer in such a program realistically hope for? Would they be treated equally in terms of casting and possible promotion, or must they prove themselves over 2 years? Thank you.

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Guest coupe66

Wow, this was a wonderful article. Thank you for sharing it here! My ds and I have been having this conversation a lot, as he is now at the age where looking for apprenticeships, etc. is the next step on his agenda.

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cheetah

Pointeprovider - it will depend on the individual company. Some dancers at that level get lots of performing opportunities - more so than some company members - but are not promoted to the company the next year. Some dancers are promoted after having very few performance opportunities. I think it's really very arbitrary. Your AD can change his or her mind about artistic vision and the next year your DK won't fit in at all, so the apprenticeship/traineeship isn't renewed. Sometimes a dancer doesn't fit with the company based on personality. Any number of things can happen.

 

Even in a company it can seem just as arbitrary. With our DS, we continue to view things one year at a time. It's tough. But because we know so many dancers like those three portrayed in the articles we all know that one year out is about as safe as we can speculate.

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ToThePointe

Because I'm relating an experience of a dancer without her relating it herself, I'm trying not to give too much information. I just wanted to share that perseverance (with the grace of support) can overcome.

 

What happened to her, from my understanding, is the there was and A.D. change that wanted a different esthetic.

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Balletbun

This article is exceptional and I hope most teenagers read this. I find it incredible for the dancer who took off a year and enrolled in SAB for further training. That is remarkable and obviously paid off. I too, like pointprovider, have dd reaching the age of second company. I look at it as training, and strictly more training. Day by day opportunities, performances and tours. Each dancer should certainly have a feeling good or bad of whether they are liked by faculty and AD or time to move on or stay if allowed for the incredible training offered. I certainly would not think that just because a dancer is in a second company, trainee or even apprentice would give them a free ride into that company. This is hard to swallow, but oh so true.

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pointeprovider

Regarding SuzanneL's post, I would like to clarify that I don't think of traineeship/apprenticeship/second company as a "free ride" into that company. It is definitely training, and, in some programs, performance opportunities, but those are not always with the company. I do think that they should be strongly considered for that company, but of course the company still holds "cattle call" auditions and probably allows some candidates to come and take company class as an audition, also. They can still hire whomever they wish, and that person might be from elsewhere. We know of dancers who have done companies' trainee/apprentice/second company programs for years and still not been hired at the end. But, we do know of many who have been hired out of such programs. That was why I was asking about some of the ways that our members have seen it happen. SuzanneL, I understand what you are saying, and I wish it were otherwise, but you could very well be right. The bottom line is that it is training, even if we wish it were more.

 

Edited to add: Regarding the dancer who enrolled for a year at SAB to further her training, it struck me that, SAB being as selective as it is, especially with older dancers, she was lucky that they accepted her at her age. It obviously did pay off for her, but that story might have had a different ending if they had rejected her, as they do to so many who would love to train with them at that age and for similar reasons.

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