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Ballet Talk for Dancers

"Finishing" What is it exactly?

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Hmmmmm...... well, there isn't one easy answer. A dancer is, in many cases, "company ready", well before they land that first contract. If we are to compare to a European system, we could say that a dancer is not "company ready" until they have completed all of the Classical Ballet vocabulary, have polished it to the best of their current ability, have put on all of their bone density and are lean and mean, have learnt many current and past repertoire including variations, know how to partner in all Classical Ballet lifts, and have a complete understanding of classical and neoclassical and romantic period pieces.


For some that could occur earlier, and for others, much later. The innate sense of self and inner self-confidence brought about by a clear knowledge of what is needed to be a professional dancer could also be included.

This description of what "company ready" means is very helpful and gives me a greater understanding of what is involved in the "finishing" of a student. It does however bring me to another question, is there a preferable age range to be "company ready"? Does it matter if a dancer is not "company ready" until they are 20 years old rather than 17 years of age? Is the age range different for female and male dancers?

I would have thought it made sense to continue training (finishing) until not only has a student all the requirements as stated in Miss Clara 76's post above but is also confident in their ability and ready to audition. It's not as if a dancer can go back to further training once they have that elusive first contract if they realise they are lacking in a particular area.

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I have known a few & note I said a few dancers who discovered as company members that they needed additional training. They pursued the teachers who had the knowledge and interest to teach them. Those who attain the status of principle dancer generally do improve technically as well as the expected artistically as the years go on in a company.

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It's not as if a dancer can go back to further training once they have that elusive first contract if they realize they are lacking in a particular area.


Actually, dancers should always continue training, even when they have a professional contract.


There are many companies that do not require Company Class (though they highly recommend it), and thus the class becomes more of a "warm-up" than a "technique" class. If the dancer is not diligent, their technique will start to falter, and they may plateau in technique, artistry, and and the ever dreaded CASTING.


There are always things that can be improved. Not all teachers can be all things to all dancers. Finding a good teacher in an open class environment.... or finding a pre-professional school that allows outside dancers..... is a great way to further their training and fill the gaps that might have been created by the "warm-up class" environment.


Edited to add: vrsfanatic and I were posting at the same time - glad we said similar things :wub:

Edited by GTLS Designs
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Thank you very much Miss Leigh, vrsfanatic and GTLS Designs for your responses, they make perfect sense, especially the continued training. I think they call it "life long learning" in the real world.

I hope it will be of some reassurance to DD who thinks 20 is "so old" to be company ready!

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