Career Development Plan - Can a late start dancer be a teacher?

by Kitty Jakab

Career Development Plan - Can a late start dancer be a teacher?

Hey! I'm Kitty, from Hungary. I'm so glad that I found your site, and I can write my problem. It's may gonna be a litte bit long(and wrong english), but I just have to talk with a real dancer.
So, I'm 18 years old. Recently (for 1-2 years) I started to have big passion for dancing. I'm in a highschool of art. There are dance, drama, fine art, and music classes, but unfortunately I'm not a dancer - I'm musician(pianist.) I always look at the dancer students with big admiration! I always think "why didn't I just went to dance class??WHY??"
I'm at the end of my studies, and I have to choose a university. I decided to be a piano teacher, but honestly - I'm not as passionate for music, as for dancing! Moreover, I love to play the piano, but whenever I have to play at a concert, I'm INCREDIBLY nervous. So that feeling always brought me failures. That's why I start to lose passion for that. I never see my hard work's successful results.
I'm not completely stranger in dance. I've been doing majorette(europian style) since I'm 11, but it's completely different than ballet. While I'm dancing, I always have fun and even If I'm a bit nervous, or drop my baton, I'm not sad because I love to perform.
I'm more flexible than the average flexibility, I almost do the splits.:D I have a very good sense of music (since I've been learning it for 10 years), and I always feel the rhythm.
A few months ago I went to a dance school, that has a 2 years long education for those people who decided to start dancing over 18 age - but you have to pay money for it. I enrolled for a preparative course (for a month.) I went 4 times, and at the lessons we started the beginner ballet positions and moves. (plie, releve, tendu, jeté, chassé). The teacher was not a really professional, she just graduated at the same school where I wanted to go, and she was a university student. She told me things that I feel that I'm not hopeless.
But I have doubts. Ok that I'm skinny, flexible, musician, but I have flatfoot a bit, and my right foot turns inward while I'm walking (just a bit). Moreover the teacher said, maybe I have "lordosis" . What If the teacher encouraged me just because of the money that I'd pay If I go there?
I know that in my country, a dancer can't make a living out of performing, but I always has been dedicated to being a teacher. Now I just started to teach majorette for a cadet group (8-12 years old) and I LOVE it VERY MUCH! I would gladly teach other kind of dance too!
The dance style that I love the most is modern jazz dance. I would gladly learn and maybe teach that. I LOVE to make choreographies, I did many one in majorette. I have very good ideas, since I feel the music, I always can imagine moves If I hear a song. I'm hungry for learning dance and make more interesting and good choreographies!
Now the question: WHAT SHOULD I DO?
My dad don't want me to do dancing for my main career. But only that is the thing that I'm really interested for.
Should I think rationally, and go for something realistic, or should I follow my dream?
sorry for the length!!


Reply by Odette
To: - Career Development Plan - Can a late start dancer be a teacher?

Hi Kitty,
Thanks for message and telling me about your story, it's great to hear from you and you know I'm always here to help. Well, in terms of an actual ballet career, I would say it would be very very tough to try and pursue it at your stage right now. Mainly because, by the age of 18 most ballet dancers have already finished their training and already starting their career by auditioning for a place in a professional ballet company.

However, this doesn't mean you can't still somehow pursue your dream and follow your love of dance. There is the possibility of teaching to study in, or don't forget you can still take dance classes just for the pure fun like a hobby.

I know you must love to dance, but just because you have this passion it doesn't mean it would be easier for you to pursue this career than say with your paino playing. I think it sounds like you are very gifted at piano and just like dancers spend years training, you have also taken a lot of time to get as good as you are in piano.

Remember, there are nerves in every profession and even in ballet most professionals still feel very nervous before performances even though they are highly skilled. It is learning how to deal with your nerves to produce positive adrenaline rather than panicked feelings.

It is worth keeping up dance to fulfil your passion and you must reflect yourself how you could follow this dream. Can you keep it as a hobby? Could you study to become a teacher? You could even play piano for ballet classes?

Talk to your family too and listen to them, they often know the way to go and can help support you.

Best wishes,

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thank you!
by: Kitty

Thanks for your answer! You helped me a lot. It's good to hear that from a professional dancer.
I think I'll only teach majorette, because thats the only kind of dance that I'm in an appropriate level for being a teacher. I don't want to be a bad dance teacher, just because that's what I'm dreaming for. Well, that's life - sometimes we have to let our dreams go! But I'll do ballet for hobby, because I still love it and moreover - it would develop my majorette moves too!
Keep doing ballet. You're very lucky for doing what you really love from the bottom of your heart!:)

Reply to Career Development Plan - Can a late start dancer be a teacher?
by: Odette

Hi Kitty,
Thanks for your reply, I felt especially the need to write to you again after taking more time to really think about everything you said. Sometimes, there's only so much I can say in one answer which is why it's great for you all to stay in touch!

You know, you have a very good sense of your own skills and it sounds like there are many things you are interested and passionate in like music, dance, choreography, teaching... don't forget this and don't limit yourself to what you can do.
I never think you should let your dreams go, because that's what keeps you inspired and hopeful. It is finding your own way to pursue that dream, even if it's not how you exactly imagined.

There are MANY directions to follow and you don't always know what will happen, but you must keep believing in yourself and keep up your passions.

You can be capable of many things. Let me give you an example, even though I am pursuing one of my passions which is ballet, I also love to write, take photos and create artwork.

I have still made something of my passion for writing and not let it go by creating this website, so you too can find your own way to make something of your many passions.
I hope this helps more and let's you see you can follow your dreams, but it won't always feel easy or clear.

You can achieve more than think you can, so use what you have to your advantage and really reflect on what you want to help your thoughts.

It sounds to me like you have all the skills to become a great teacher in whatever that may be, so believe in yourself and keep in touch!

Best wishes,

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