Career Development Plan - Too Late to Become a Dancer at Aged 14?

Career Development Plan - Too Late to Become a Dancer at Aged 14?

Hi, I'm in year 10 at secondary school so I'm now 14 years old.I used to dance ballet,tap and modern from the age 6-8 or 9 this was on and off as I wasn't very committed at that age and eventually quit. I've danced all different styles of dance on and off throughout my life such as hip hop, street, ballroom, contempery just for fun and of course the ones I listed before I went through the examination progress. I've always had a strong passion for dance and have always said to my mum I'm either going to be a dancer or a performer on the West end.In 2011 I took up tap and modern grade 4 but it was much too difficult and I didn't enjoy it as everyone else in my group had been doing it much longer than me.I quit.This year I have started my GCSE options one of which is dance, we do cover pretty much everything except from ballet. But over the past few years my passion for classical ballet has began to thrive again, the intricate movements and the pure beauty of the dance genre is breathtaking. I joined my old local dance school again last month and have had 3-4 lessons now (a lesson every Saturday 12-1). I've started on grade 5 I find it quite easy but still have a long way to go before dancing en pointe which would be a lifelong dream.I live just with my mum so we don't have a lot of money, so even if I was so lucky to get into a dance college I don't know if I would be able to afford it and I don't think I'd be good enough to get a scholarship no matter how hard I try.Anyway my question is, do you have to be dancing en pointe to audition for a dance college and have I left it too late to take up ballet again to become a professional?


Reply by Odette
To:- Career Development Plan - Too Late to Become a Dancer at Aged 14?

Thank you for contacting me, it is great to hear from you and about your story. I also stopped ballet when I was 5, but I started again when I was 8 years old along with other styles like tap, jazz and modern. I found tap very difficult, but I realise now it was a good challenge to pursue because you always have to be versatile as a ballet dancer.

I am pleased you have found your passion for ballet again, you must always remember it even on the days when you are finding your classes tough.

I think it depends where you are auditioning to dance colleges which will be the answer to whether you are expected to be on pointe. When I was 11 and auditioned for vocational ballet schools, there was no pointe work required, but now you are slightly older it could be a possibility.

However, each ballet dancer works at their own pace and if you have only just recently began ballet again, there is no rush to start pointe. You must build up the strength in your technique first and start when you are ready.

There are examples of professional ballet dancers who start ballet at a later age and still made it. You must research dancers like Melissa Hamilton and Misty Copeland, who began training seriously during their teenage years.

It would depend on the training you have, as well as the teachers who are supporting you. To give you an insight on the stages to become a professional, take a look at my personal development plan, which will give you a clearer idea.

Best wishes,

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