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Seeking Advice- Beg. Adult Ballet Student


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I'm slowly finding my way back into dance after taking a long hiatus due to a car accident a few years ago that left me unable to dance for a few years. I'm looking for some advice/direction from this forum.


I've always had a passion for dance but I didn't pursue it professionally because I didn't know how realistic it was for me to "make it" plus when I was younger my parents couldn't afford to put me in a dance program so I had to learn on my own in high school when I made the dance line.


I'm in my late 20s and I've gotten a lot of encouragement from people around me to pursue my passion. Last fall I started with intense lessons to get the Ballet training that I so desperately need. I started slowly with private lessons and now I'm taking 7 hours a week of dance (2 hours of private lessons, 2 hours of ballet, 2 hours of Modern and 1 hour Jazz..). I also plan to take the Summer Intensive Program at the dance school I'm training at.


I know some would say it's too late to pursue a professional career but I've been encouraged by some of my instructors that there can be other opportunities for me to dance professionally if I really commit to learning the technique. My ultimate goal is to dance in a few musicals/stage plays and maybe travel with a stage play/production as a background dancer.


I'm wondering how long does it usually take for an adult with no previous dance training to learn ballet technique? What other advice can you give to help me improve as I continue on my journey?


Thanks for welcoming me to the forum.

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Anything is possible. David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty dissappear, right? Now, if you're asking about the probabilities, well that is certainly very, very low.


I don't want you to stop going after your dream, because there is a possibility of success, but I want for you to have a back-up plan. Jobs in the Arts in general are becoming up for the endangered species list. Factor in that you're up against tens of thousands of youngsters for each job too.


Perhaps not the "Pink Tutu and Tiara" ballet dream, but it's worthwhile chasing it if you can. Decide now how far you are willing to go for this dream. Draw lines in the sand so you'll know what to say, "Uncle".

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Thank you. I've been fortunate enough to make a living for myself in the arts so I have as much time as I need to focus on really honing my skills as a dancer. I want to transition to a full fledge performer/dancer outside of what I currently do even if it's just performing in local plays or local musicals as a background dancer.


I know that being a professional ballerina is out of the question but I'm willing to go as far as it takes to at least get a few good performances in a few productions under my belt. :)

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Can you sing? Are you getting regular professional training as a singer? Can you act and perform? Are you getting regular actor training? Do you participate in fringe/community theatre of high quality (maybe professional in all aspects except the getting paid aspect!)?


These things are probably going to be as important as dance training. With your training background I doubt that pure classical ballet performance is going to be possible at a high level, but what about contemporary dance? Musical theatre you mention -- that requires the 'triple threat' training and ability -- although I always think the emphasis is on dance & singing, not acting, when I see shows with "triple threat" performers. So think about your music skills.


What shows can you see where you live? Can you find out where the new work is, and where there are performance groups comprised of performers with varied backgrounds? Here in the UK, there are many small companies making their own performance work which is often a combination of physical theatre, dance and performance art -- Vincent Dance is a wonderful (and very successful) example. There are many more working on the breadline, but that's where you start. I think that physical theatre is a particularly British & northern European performance art (certainly I've never seen US work comparable), but I'm sure that in the larger cities in the US there is some sort of fringe performance culture -- that is, aspirant professional, or professional in all but the income.


But I doubt you'll find those sorts of opportunities in classical ballet -- even the Ballet Boyz here in England are all RBS trained. So think more broadly about performance: educate yourself in new work, because that's where there are many opportunities for a performer with a mixed background in training.

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