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Ballet Talk for Dancers

17 and Confused


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I am a 17 year old pre-professional ballet dancer. This year I will be competing in YAGP, and possibly start auditioning for companies. I want to open my own studio when I'm older.


I'm not sure that a professional ballet career is for me though. I'm not sure how to transition from a student to a apprenticeship to a company member financially, especially if the company is in a different state.



I want to go to college as a dance major, but everyone thinks I have a chance to go to a company first. I'm scared of missing out on college life, but I don't want to regret not trying to be in a company. I'm just completely confused.



If I went to college first I'm not sure where to go, or who has the best ballet program. I also would love to do photography. I just don't know what it's like to be in company, is it worth it in the end?

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Jadethedancer1. :)


I'm going to assume you are going into your senior year of high school, and just want to reassure that it is not at all unusual to be confused and a bit scared. But, what happens this year is to create as many options as possible, and keep them all open until the best opportunity can be decided. College is certainly an option, and there are very fine dance departments in many of them. But do keep in mind that one can always go to college, but if you have the chance to dance with a company, and that is your priority, then it has to come first. But you do want to investigate the college programs this next school year, and do the auditions and interviews and acceptance paper work, and be prepared for that if you don't have the option to dance full time, either as a trainee, apprentice or company member.


We have a forum here that tells you a lot about all of the better dance departments in the Universities in the US. So, you have some research to do. :)


As far as trying to go for a company right out of high school, you will need to know from your teachers if they feel that you are ready and should do auditions when those begin iin early 2014. You might need to attend an SI program connected to a company in order to possibly be invited to their training program. Those can be expensive, however, so is college. Your parents will need to be willing to give you a certain amount of time to go for your goals in the professional ballet world instead of college, if it appears that you are ready to do that when you graduate. But if your teachers feel that you need more training, it might be that the college route could work better for you.


We can't make that decision for you, of course, but you will find tons of information here which can help you.


As far as whether it is "worth it or not", that is totally your very own decision. You have to want to do that more than anything else. If it is not your absolute top priority, then I think that going a different direction might be best. But if you have the talent and training and a passion for ballet, then you will not even question whether to go for it or not.

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