Career Development Plan - Contemporary or Ballet

Career Development Plan - Contemporary or Ballet






Dear Odette,

Its been a long time since I last had a query to ask but I have been feeling awfully doubtful and confused recently, here's why: I have always loved and still love ballet and recently decided I wanted to train hard to become a ballet dancer but I recently was accepted into a contemporary dance program which of course I am thrilled and very grateful, but I keep asking myself, well does this mean its the end of the road for ballet?

Thinking realistically and practically, contemporary may be a better option for me as I have good lines and performance skills and not so good, ballet turnout or a desirable ballet physique. Also, I LOVE contemporary dance and find it so amazing to watch because the dancers are so strong and I love doing it myself.
This is all great but I sort of feel like What happened to ballet, is this a way of giving up? I don't know if I have had a wake up call saying "contemporary dance is for you, not ballet" because this is the first time I have auditioned for a modern dance course and got in whereas I had auditioned numerous times for ballet courses and have been unsuccessful in all attempts.
I think I really need some advice because I love ballet and contemporary so much but feel negatively about BOTH at the same time, and I believe you are the best person to seek advice for my dancing queries.

Yours faithfully
Orla

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Reply by Odette
To: - Career Development Plan - Contemporary or Ballet

Hi Orla,
Thank you for your message, sorry it took me a while to reply. I see you're in a place of making decisions and reflecting on your choices in dance, which can naturally be a



confusing or questioning matter. Trust me, there have been many times I've been in a similar situation too and every dancer will face the time when they have to make some tough decisions.

Firstly, it's fantastic news you've been accepted into a contemporary dance program. Well done! I know ballet has been what you've always gone for in the past, but this just shows you are talented as a dancer and there is a place that can see potential in you. This is what's most important. From what I've experienced, it's no good being in a place that is not suited to you even if you're longing to be there, because actually you would progress far more in another place.

I wouldn't completely rule out ballet, because anyway it is extremely beneficial for a contemporary dancer to have a strong foundation in ballet. Also, I'm sure most contemporary dance program's will include ballet into the training too. Don't think of it as giving up ballet, but this could possibly be the next step for you to fulfill your dancing passion.

If you feel disheartened by the thought of stopping ballet, then don't be too hard on yourself because it is an extremely tough field in which even the most talented dancers drop out. If you want, you can still keep auditioning for ballet program's and see what offers you get. Otherwise, you do already have this fantastic offer in contemporary and you will still be dancing each day to be one step closer to your future goals.

I hope my thoughts here have helped you. Remember as I always say, follow your gut instincts and trust yourself. You will know deep inside what you really want to do, so take some time to really reflect on this.

Its lovely to hear from you again. Please do keep in touch!

Best wishes,
Odette

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