Career Development Plan - Getting to an overseas ballet school

by Julia
(Melbourne, Australia)

Career Development Plan - Getting to an overseas ballet school

Hi Odette,

I'm a 17 year old female ballet student from Australia. I started dancing at age 13, and am currently in a reputable school but am unclear on what I should do in the next little while. I would like to go to a vocational school overseas, either in Europe or America (particularly interested in Germany due to the free tuition!) both for the amazing experience and education, but also simply because there are so many more opportunities than here in Australia. I am unsure about how to go about this, whether I should make a DVD, go in person, etc. Because of the cost of flights, I obviously would like to cover everything in one trip if I need to actually travel to places, and the idea of planning this is quite daunting. In this sense a DVD is appealing, but I've heard that you have a better chance if you actually go to the school. Basically, I'm just a bit clueless about the whole thing and was wondering if you could please shed some light on it.

Thank you!


Reply by Odette
To:- Career Development Plan - Getting to an overseas ballet school

Hi Julia,
Thank you for your message, I am glad you contacted me. This is a question which is very good to ask and one I am familiar with to give you advice! I met many Australians in my journey to become a ballet dancer and I especially took note of the ones who did a sort of audition tour to find jobs/ offers/ places in ballet. How they afforded it, I don’t know, but I do know they had a very organized plan of where and when they were auditioning for which ultimately saved money in the long run.

It sounds like half of you is excited and already know what you want to do. Yet the other half is doubting what you want and telling you to back out. Well, don’t listen to the second one! Your gut instinct is telling you to explore and open your options, so you must fulfill this! Even if you plan out a trip that seems impossible to do, you will then be able to break it down further and work to make it happen.

I think DVDs are a very good idea. Firstly though, you want to email all the places you are interested in. Even if you have a list of two pages long! A lot of places don’t always reply, so give yourself options. To save time, just make the same duplicate email for each place (but adapt the name and who it is addressed to). If you have professional dance pictures, then attach these with the email too. If you don’t, try to take some basic shots but in a smart way so it looks professional. You need to email or phone the places first, otherwise you won’t know whether you can audition or if they even have a place for you.

In terms of a DVD or visiting physically in person, this is tricky to choose. Obviously if you can, then visit in person and make a trip out of it by doing audition after audition to numerous places. However, you would need to arrange this and be sure they know what you want – you are auditioning to continue your training etc.

If you can get a DVD arranged, then that will always come in handy. However, I don’t know if you were to only send a DVD, they would want to see you in person too for an audition.

The first and easy-ish step is to email. Until that stage, you haven’t made contact with any of the places so you don’t know what they have to offer. Start to show your interest and send an email to state your training, experience and your eagerness to audition. They may reply and guide you whether it is better to send a DVD or visit in person.

I hope this helps! That’s all for now, but keep in touch!!

Best wishes,

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