Career Development Plan- Is Pursuing A Professional Career in Dance Possible for Me?

by Brittany
(Colorado)

Career Development Plan- Is Pursuing A Professional Career in Dance Possible for Me?






Hello,
My name is Brittany. I did ballet for a year or two when I was little and then quit to do gymnastics and cheerleading. I ended up getting back into ballet when I was 15 just taking 1 or 2 classes per week. I fell in love with it and when I turned 16 started taking dance more seriously and doing about 7 hours of ballet classes each week. I'm 17 now and about to go en pointe. Is it in the realm of possibility to be able to have a career as a professional dancer? Please be completely honest with me. My parents dont think it's very likely at all but my dance teacher thinks it could be possible if I worked really hard and majored in ballet at a good college. I've moved up classes very quickly in my dance class and dance with girls that are pretty much my age. My teachers tell me that I have good form and I catch on quickly, I just lack some of the strength and balance that the other girls who have been dancing all their lives have. Should I go for it and dedicate my life to dance and try to make my dream reality, or is it too late and i should move on? Thank you so much for any advice or tips you can give. I've been struggling with this for a while now about what to do and I think your feedback/ advice/ honesty would really help me decide. :)

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Reply by Odette
To:- Career Development Plan- Is Pursuing A Professional Career in Dance Possible for Me?


Hello Brittany,

Thanks for your message it’s great to hear from you. There are many aspects here that sounds promising, but what mostly concerns me is your age and the fact you are only just starting pointe work. Especially for a ballet career, these are two big factors



which are very important in becoming a professional.

Ballet dancers mostly start auditioning and joining a professional ballet company from ages 18 or 19. It worries me that you are reaching closer to this age and not yet had the full-time training which other dancers have had. I know you have had a good amount of hours in ballet classes, but especially for pointe work, it takes a many more years to build the strength up before you can become a professional.

It is great that your teacher encourages you though, yet is she able to train you into a professional? Has she got ideas of where you could dance professionally?

If you could only stop time and keep on training in ballet, then there could be a chance but otherwise it is very tough. It’s not just tough for you though, there are many young dancers even with top training who find it difficult to have a career in ballet. Of course, a lot of the dancers have a good ability but it is so hard when it comes to actually auditioning and securing yourself a job in a company.

If you already had a place in a vocational dance school now, or full-time training, then you would be giving yourself the best shot. I’m not going to tell you what you can and cannot do, but you said to be honest and I hope you understand some of the facts here. Often it’s hard to know these sort of things when you haven’t gone through them yet. Don’t worry, that’s why I am here to help and of you have any more thoughts, please do let me know!

If you love to dance, then I would look at careers in other styles of dance too other than ballet. I only know that the requirements for ballet are demanding, but not sure if another field like musical theatre or jazz have less boundaries on your age and when you can start professionally.

Best wishes,
Odette

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