Career Development Plan - Is it too late and what do I take?

by Anabelle
(Windsor, Ontario, Canada)

Career Development Plan - Is it too late and what do I take?

Hi Odette,

I'm sixteen years old, and have only thought about starting ballet recently. I want to learn how to dance, because, let's face it, I don't know how to, and I want that grace and poise that dancers do. Maybe I'll even love to join contemporary dance after. So basically I have three questions. One is: is it too late to start dancing? Number two: do I have to take pre point and point to take ballet? And third: to take contemporary, do I have to have specific class experiences (like prerequisites basically)?

Your answer would be greatly appreciated! Thank-you!


Reply by Odette

To:- Career Development Plan - Is it too late and what do I take?

ballet pre-pointe
Remember, just like I did before I went en pointe, ballet students MUST take responsibility for their own strengthening prior to beginning pointe work.
Australian dancer, Lisa Howell has made a video which explains how pre-point strengthening works.
Don't leave it to your teacher!
You can watch this pre-pointe video
yourself here
(just wait for the page to load up then the video is on the top right of the page).

Hello Anabelle,

Thank you for contacting me it is a pleasure to hear from you.

In the video above, Australian dancer, Lisa Howell has made a video which explains how pre-point strengthening works. As a beginner, it is helpful to have the knowledge so you can understand about pointe work, so have a look at the video above.

I believe it is never too late to learn how to dance. At your age, it is more of a case of finding time for dance classes as well

as your academic studies. If you want to dance professionally, then it is a slightly different matter , but to dance as a hobby can bring so much fun and enjoyment.

Professional dancers start training at a young age as it is crucial to develop the technique and build strength as a dancer. For example, a vocational dance school trains dancers from the ages of 11 to 18 to pursue a professional career. It is a career that starts early which is why they learn to dance at a younger age.

As a hobby, I believe local dance schools give classes for all ages depending on your level. As a beginner, you would look for dance lessons that take you through the basics and a teacher that will guide you through the technique.

I guess it isn't a rule to take pointe to take ballet, but as you progress through ballet lessons it will eventually lead onto pointe work. I would suggest you take one step at a time, so don't worry too much about pointe work until you have grasped the basics to feel confident in your dancing.

To take contemporary dance lessons, I believe it would be similar to ballet so it is never too late to learn and of course you would have to begin with learning the basics. Many dancers study more than one style of dance, so it is a good idea to take contemporary too as it will help with the co ordination and movement of ballet.

Enjoy! Listen to the music and feel yourself moving through the movement of dance!

Best wishes,


ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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