Career Development Plan - Too Late to Dance Professionally?

by Katie

Career Development Plan - Too Late to Dance Professionally?

Hi Odette,
I'm 18 years old and have recently picked up ballet for the second time in my life. I started dancing when I was 4, and continued until I was 14 when my family moved. I was really talented, I was the best dancer in my age group in my studio and danced with the Pittsburg Ballet for two summers. Although I've been on hiatus for awhile, I've always wanted to dance professionally. I know it's a little late in the game, but I was wondering if there is any way to achieve this goal. Is it at all possible to play catch-up? I know it would be a lot of hard work, but I'm not new to ballet and I've still retained my extension and turnout. Within a month or two, I'll be back to my old skill level. I know it's too late to be a principle, but is there any realistic chance of making it into a corps?

I would appreciate an honest answer.

Thank you so much,
Thank you!


Reply by Odette

To:- Career Development Plan - Too Late to Dance Professionally?

Hello Katie,

Thank you for your query, it is a pleasure to hear from you.

Firstly, along with the physical ability, it's absolutely crucial to be mentally prepared for a professional ballet career. It highly depends on your self-motivation to how you succeed in becoming a professional ballet dancer. The Seven Secrets, on the 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page, will give you the key answers of how to thrive in the ballet world.

It is promising to hear you were the best dancer, as this talent will never leave you. The technique of ballet will still have remained with you, so it would now be a case of you getting up to the standards of a professional.

If you are serious about becoming a professional dancer, I believe a vocational dance school would provide you with the most advantageous opportunities for you to become a professional. I know you are 18, but it is never too late, and even just one year of solid training in a vocational ballet school could give you the intense practice you need to become a professional. It is the rigorous, regular training that will play the crucial part in giving you a chance into the corps.

There is a lot of competition with dancers at the moment and you have to bear in mind that even current trained dancers are struggling to find a job in the corps.

But don't let that knock you back, just let it remind you how tough it may be. You sound very conscientious and I would advise you to discuss your thoughts with your ballet teacher and make a united decision.

Never loose sight of your dream and remember that everything happens for a reason!

All the best,


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