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Ballet Talk for Dancers


lil lindsay

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I'm sure there are others out there in this same position. I grew up training at a pre-professional ballet school, went to college, and got a degree in dance from a prestigious school with a reputable ballet program. Most recently, I've performed with a local student company in the evenings (very talented group of students, I was one of the oldest in the company), worked full time during the day, and the nights I wasn't dancing, I taught. Very busy!


I'm about to relocate, and trying to figure out to what degree I continue with my training and dancing. I'll still be working full-time (job comes with me), and I'm looking for teaching positions. A friend pointed out, "why continue serious training if you're not going to do anything with it?" Is he right? I enjoy intense classes, I enjoy dancing on pointe and working to improve, and my current teacher encouraged me to go audition for small companies; that I'm in excellent shape right now, and strong. I'm 27 years old, and I've been very lucky to still pass for 20! Do I continue with my full-time job, teach, and continue training for fun? Do I try and audition? Regardless of what age I look, or what shape I'm in, am I too old? I feel like I'm at a crossroad on where I want to be in my life, and how I should incorporate dance into my life. Ballet and teaching are passions of mine, and can't imagine life without either!


Sorry if this is all over the place, I'm hoping someone out there has been in a similar position and can offer insight!

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“Why continue serious training if you're not going to do anything with it?"


I can’t speak for you but if I were asked, I would answer that I do it because it’s something I enjoy doing, because it energizes me, and because it lifts my spirits and I wind up being a happier person. Some people spend their time and money on sports, others on travel, others on music, still others on countless activates that take time and money and lead to nothing beyond the specific activity. You simply chose dance to fulfill that need.


Perhaps it’s because I started dance late in life, but I have this sense that many people, including people within the dance world, regard dance training as preparation for being a professional. For some, it is. But the proportion of people who actually make it is so small that in a sense you can assume that no one ever makes it. Does that make dance training worthless, something that is foisted on kids, parents, and we older adults as a way for us to act out our fantasies? I don’t think so. I think dance training is an end unto itself. It gives me happiness and a feeling of accomplishment.


And to the cynic I just say that it keeps me out of trouble (which it does).

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Well, I always say - "If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well". By the way, I see no reason not to take the chance, if you're offered it, to dance in a company. First of all, whilst it's not necessary, I think it enriches you as a teacher to have worked on the stage. Second, it's great experience. You're still reasonably young and you say that you can pass for even younger, so just grab whatever opportunities come your way and dance!

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I agree with Hamorah, lil lindsay. The better dancer you become, and the more performing experience you have, the more you will have to bring to your students. :(

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I third all of the above!


The only thing I would say is just make sure you don't burn yourself out in the process, but enjoy doing what you do :)

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What Garyecht says, basically.


You love doing it, you're good at it, you get a lot out of what you're doing now. If that is enough -- and boy, it sounds more than enough to me -- then enjoy each moment. I think if you keep thinking there must be "more" you may end up unhappy, always yearning after something else, rather than appreciating what you have here & now.


I've seen it a little bit on this forum: people who fall in love with dance, and spend a bit of time eaten up with regrets for what might have been ... I'm of the age now where I think more & more, "Life's too short. Just get on with it."


It sounds like you have so much going for you, and there is an art in learning and training for its own sake. That's what fulfils us and makes us human. Best wishes to you!

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