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l i l y

Plan for Training

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l i l y

Hello there everyone,

I was wondering, I had a talk with my ballet teacher about my career in dance..... first I told her I was going to audition for full time ballet schools this year, I am turning 15 in 2 weeks! She said that I would get in but she thought that it was too early for me and said to wait till I am 17 years old. What do you guys think? My plan originally was that I audition for full time ballet school's this year, auditions are held late this year so probably meaning that I start in the new year making me 16 years old, I train there for about 2 years and then hope that, that is enough time to get accepted into another major ballet school, within Australian or overseas, eg. Australian Ballet School, Royal Ballet School etc. Thus meaning when I am auditioning for those places I would be approx. 18 years old, i IF I do get accepted then train at the prestigious ballet school for around 3-4 years meaning when I graduate I will be around 21-22 years old and that is when I can go around and audition for companies.

If I were to go towards the plan my teacher says then I would go to the full time ballet school at 17, train there for 2 years meaning when I am going to audition for major ballet schools around the world or major competitions I will be 19 years old ( which I think is a little too old and scared the panel wouldn't agree with my age at the auditions, tell me what you guys think ) IF I do get accepted then train at the prestigious ballet school for around 3-4 years meaning when I graduate I will be around 22-24 years old and that is when I can go around and audition for companies. 

My role model, ballet teacher also said that there is no definite guarantee that I will get accepted into a company as it is like making it into the Olympics! She said that ballet is more to gain confidence in life and learn discipline etc. and not really something as a career.

Please tell me your honest opinion on what age I should start and that if you guys think making it into a company is likely or unlikely with training at full time ballet schools and major world known ballet schools.

Thank you for all your help!!!!! :) 

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vrsfanatic

Having taught in professional ballet schools now for 40 years, 25 of those years in a professional residential ballet program, I am a bit surprised at your timeline. Perhaps Australia is different than the US?

Most ballet students finish their formal ballet training at approximately age 18 or 19 (19 in Europe), spend a year or two in a 2nd company or apprenticeship and then embark on their fully paid professional life as a ballet dancer. That puts a person at 20 or 21. Ballet companies generally hired people after that age who have experience performing with other companies not new people to the profession.

I suggest audition for professional programs as soon as possible to see if you are physically suited for the profession. Professional ballet companies hire body types that fill their needs. Of course each company is different, but professional ballet schools tend to select body types most likely to be chosen for a job. Have you had this conversation with your teacher?

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l i l y

Vrsfanatic, thank you for your feedback, by audition for professional programs do you mean full time local ballet schools or prestigious national and overseas schools? Because my teacher is saying that I should start for full time local ballet schools at 17. I'm not sure about our ballet timelines in Australia, but this is a timeline that I have made for myself as I am a late starter 😅 I have had the conversation about body types she said that for companies and major national and overseas schools I may not get in because they are looking for you to have this and that, I had most except flexbility, it's not bad but average but I am stretching ver hard this past month and have improved and are doing everyday to get to the expectations quickly. But for full time local ballet school's she said that I would definitely get in because I am good and they just want our money. 

 

So do you think I should scrap her advice and audition this year or go with what she said and wait till next year? 

Thanks for all your help!

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l i l y

Also Vrsfanatic, what do you mean by 2nd company/ apprenticeship? From my research major companies have a school they have, which students audition and train there for full time and only half get accepted into the company itself, or having the name of that school on your portfolio I thought this would be enough to get you into other major companies since you had professionally trained with a renowned ballet school? Eg. Royal ballet school, Royal Ballet Eg. Paris O'pera Ballet School, Paris O'pera etc. This is what I was aiming for, working full time at a local full time ballet school for some short years, in those years they train me we audition or  go to competitions such as Prix De Lausanne, YAGP, Alana Haines etc.to get accpeted into major ballet schools like eg. above then if I was lucky enough to be accepted and finished my years of training there then either get accepted into their company or have the name on my portfolio saying that I have trained there to get accepted into other companies world wide if things don't go to planned. 

Isn't this what happens? You are the professional please give me some advice 😅

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OldSoulDancer

I would say audition as soon as you possibly can.  I'm a late starter too, and I plan to audition for a full-time school next year, when I'll be 15.  When you start late, you need to be taking as many classes as possible as soon as you can.  Honestly, your teacher does not sound like the best teacher to have.  Ballet is absolutely not just a hobby and while it is very difficult to get into a company, I would not say it is at all like the Olympics!  Maybe if you want to get into the Royal Ballet or the Paris Opera Ballet, but there are many other professional companies!

Also, don't just set your sights on the "prestigious" schools.  If you can get really good, high-quality training (see the thread "General AGE-APPROPRIATE TRAINING GUIDELINES", some of it has to be changed when you're a late starter but it gives you a nice guideline), that usually trumps the name of the school.  Yes, companies will be impressed if they see that you went to the Royal Ballet School or whatever, but if you dance better than someone from that school even if you go to a less well-known one, that's what's going to count.  Name alone really doesn't buy you much.

Following that point, I don't know if this is too far for you, but America has some great schools here!  I can't speak for other countries, but we have so many different schools your chances are probably higher.  If you really feel like you won't get the training you need at your local full-time school, then maybe it would be a good option to consider.  But don't automatically scrap your local school.  Look at the number of classes and hours they give, who the instructors are, and what their record is for sending students to either good international schools or companies.

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l i l y

Thank you very much OldSoulDancer! Yes I do agree, their are many, many companies world wide. I just want to do this as my job. Even if it means getting into a small town company that barley anyone knows, that is fine as long as I'm doing something I love! Yes this year I am taking ballet classes every day now! I believe passion and commitment with hard work is what will get us there!

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OldSoulDancer

Way to go!  I completely agree. :D

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Clara 76

Things are different for different geographic areas, although there are some common threads regardless. 

l i l y-

When you say you are a late-starter, what does that mean? What is your current training schedule like, and how many years have you been taking classes?

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l i l y

Hi Clara 76, by late starter I mean I started taking classes when I was 12 so therefore it has only been 3 years that I am doing ballet, I do about 6 hours of ballet and some lyrical per week. 

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Clara 76

6 hours of ballet per week at age 15 is not anywhere near enough. Since you are a late-starter you should be doing more like 6 hours a day! Lyrical in the US is not a necessity for a career in ballet. Have you checked the age-appropriate guidelines that OldSoulDancer suggested? I agree with vrsfanatic- start auditioning immediately to see if you can get accepted in full-time training.  

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Clara 76

L i l y

Please be careful not to post similar questions in different forums. Your first priority needs to be figuring out your academic schooling in tandem with your ballet training. Both vrsfanatic and I have answered you with regards to your ballet training, which is currently inadequate for a professional career in ballet. It appears to me as though figuring out the one will help sort through the other, so either audition for a professional ballet school to see if you even gain acceptance, or continue on your current path. Should you gain acceptance to a professional ballet school, then we cross the academic bridge. 

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l i l y

Thank you Clara 76 and sorry for being a pain

 

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Clara 76

Not a pain, l i l y, just take a moment and read! 

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