Career Development Plan - Becoming a Dancer

by Bella
(Oxford, England)

Career Development Plan - Becoming a Dancer






Hi Odette!

I am 16, I started ballet (an hour a week) just for fun when I was 13. I am just about to start my 4th year in my ballet class and I have been having half an hour Pointe classes once a week for almost a year now. I also did a GCSE in contemporary dance and have been involved in various dance clubs in school. I Have always loved dance, I Used to have a video of coppelia and would watch it endlessly as a little girl. About 1 year a go I really fell in love with ballet and now I have decided that I want to become a dancer (and hopefully a choreographer). So Next week I shall be starting my new jazz and tap class, I have also join a youth contemporary dance company and taken dance as an A level. I also auditioned for my school production of fame and got the part of iris (YAY). I have talked to my A level dance teacher about going to dance schools, telling her I wanted to do contemporary, but really I want to do ballet! but I know just how much work it is and I honestly don't know if I could ever do it, I'm almost slightly embarrassed to tell anyone because I'm so inexperienced.
I don't have the money to take anymore ballet classes and I am worried that I am Too inexperienced as a ballet dancer, Do you think there is still a chance for me and what would you recommend (also money aside, what would be the best thing to do)?
I Know everything I'm doing sounds like a lot, But the dance school I go to the teacher isn't very pushy and the standard isn't very high and that is the same for A level. ( I cant say For the company as I haven't started yet) I thought that maybe Going somewhere a bit pushier, but then I'm worried about being completely out of my depth.

also there is the problem of my body, Although I am slim, I'm not skinny. I am 5 foot 10 (foot size 7 UK) and have fairly broad shoulders and a long body. I do Have long legs but I don't have the



typical Skinny, long legged short body type physic that ballet dancers usually have, could this be a problem?

Bella. xxx

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Reply by Odette
To:- Career Development Plan - Becoming a Dancer

Hi Bella,
Thank you for your message, it is great to hear from you. It sounds like there is a lot going through your mind right now in terms of dance, and it is a good time now for you to reflect on what you want and what could be possible given your circumstances.

Becoming a dancer is not always a choice that you can decide straight away and achieve instantly. It depends on a many factors, of which you can mainly not always control. It is a lot of hard work and you need the right natural facility and a strong enough mentaility to see you through.

The first thing for you is be truthful with the others around you about what you want. There os no need be afraid or embarrassed, what's the worst that could happen? They are the people who will be able to help achieve your goals, especially your teacher, so you must build up this support network to give you any chance of what you really want.

A lot of young dancers worry about their body in ballet and fear it will hold them back. We all have our own natural body structure, and ballet training can adapt it into a well trained and athletic body. Yet this develops more with consistent, serious training and regular ballet classes.

If you want to become a dancer, then it depends on so much more than it being just what you want. Do you have access to a serious ballet school to turn you into a professional? Will your family support your goal of dancing? Do you have what it takes in your mentality?

There are a lot of questions you can ask yourself and figure out if you can become a dancer. Don't forget though, there are many areas in dance that allows you to enjoy it and still pursue your ambitions even without being in a professional ballet company.

Take some time to figure out all the options, as well as what thrills you, and I feel sure you will be clearer on what could be possible for you.

Best wishes,
Odette

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