Career Development Plan - 18 years old with potential for ballet?

by Ellie

Career Development Plan - 18 years old with potential for ballet?

Hi Odette, my name is Ellie, i'm 18 years old and i come from italy (: I love ballet and many different styles of dance and currently train in acro, ballet, modern, hip hop, videodance, gymnastics and tap.
I started dancing when i was 15 and just for fun, seeing all the progress i was doing i started taking dance more seriously and i now train about 13 hours a week ( i can't afford more and can't find a job because of the bad economics here in italy).
I have great passion for it, i breathe dance, i think of dance before i go to sleep and when i wake up, i also exercise at home, i love it i couldn't imagine myself doing anything else.
I also have some potential: great leg and back flexibility, timing and rythm, energy, perfect dancer body. I am very dedicated to dance..
I want to become a professional dancer and if i don't manage, i want to become a dance teacher.
I applied to many dance colleges and universities and i was wondering if at my age they are going to look at my potential and passion or if they are going to look at my only four years of training?
Do you think there is a possibility i will make it? Is potential something that will really help me start training in a professional school or i'm just to old to be just potential i already need to be trained by my age..
thanks so much!


Reply by Odette
To:- Career Development Plan - 18 years old with potential for ballet?

Hi Ellie,
Thank you for contacting me, it is great to hear from you. There are lots of factors to consider when dreaming to pursue a career in professional ballet, including your true love of dance which you always have to believe in.

However, if you look at my personal development plan, you will see there is quite an orderly plan for how young ballet dancers make it to professional. You absoluitely need passion and potential, but you also need those years of solid training and with teachers you can support you.

At your age of 18 to become a professional ballet dancer, there is a lot of tough competition and often when you audition it is not easy to see how hard you work and your burning passion. Therefore, it can be easily judged on how strong you are in technique as well as where you have trained.

There is absolute possibility that you can make it in the dance world, because there are still many options even if it is not pure classical ballet dancing. As you say, there is teaching and also other styles like contemporary, jazz and musical theatre.

Professional ballet schools will mainly train students up to the ages 19, before they enter their ballet career. There can be exceptions to train at later ages in places like the UK or US, but it depends on your ability and whether you can be lucky enough to find the right school for you.

I would not give up, but keep strong in your passion for dance and keep your options all open in what you want to do in terms of dance.

Talk to your ballet teacher and parents to find out what could be possible in your circumstances, as well as how they would be able to support you.

Best wishes,

Comments for Career Development Plan - 18 years old with potential for ballet?

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Thank you !
by: Stina

Hi, Odette!

I wonder if you know any Schools around the world that accepts 19 year olds ? :)
I'm in my second year of high School and my highest dream is to become a ballerina.
My only problem is that I wasn't a dancer with potential until 2years ago.. I've been dancing since I was six, but never really improved before I started pointe work. Suddenly my body and my soul understood the ballet and my passion is huge for it. Now I train every single day to get as good as I possible can, just to hopefully one day accomplish my dream !

When I have pointe class that is the best thing of the week, but I really don't like the fouetté pirouettes on pointe. So I also wonder if you have any tips on how to improve them?
Do you think it is is possible for me to ever become a ballerina, or will it be too late to search a school after high school?

I really love your page and I read every article and all the questions on the page !! :) your tips are really helpful and very inspiring.

Regards, Stina!

Reply to Stina
by: Odette

Hi Stina,
Thank you for your message it's great to hear from you and your lovely compliments. As you might have read from my personal development plan page, there are quite particular stages with what ballet dancers must follow to become a professional. So, by aged 19 is already the peak stage for most young dancers where they have completed their training and now looking for a place in a company.
However, it more depends on what level of training you are at now and the standard to whether a career could be possible for you.
I am familiar with the schools in the UK with places being English National Ballet School and Elmhurst School for Dance. This places vary with the age of which they accept dancers to train, so it's worth taking a look at their websites just to get an idea.
Take a look at this page which has ALL sorts of advice for turns like pirouettes and fouettes -
Become a pirouette expert!
Best wishes,

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