Career Development Plan - What should I do?

by Tash
(UK Midlands)

Career Development Plan - What should I do?

Hi Odette,

I'm 17 years old and have been dancing for 6 years, and have done ballet for 3 years. I really love ballet but I feel the dance school I go to isn't challenging enough as I am one of the oldest there and my ballet teacher has only just started studying dance at university.

I would love to be able to perform ballet on stage but I feel I'm not very advanced compared to other people my age.

I cannot decide whether it would be worth me finding a different dance school to go to, as the one I currently go to is meant to be the best in my area, and the next best is a train journey away. I haven't done any grades in ballet as it isn't offered at my dance school and I don't know whether I am too old to improve my ballet enough to achieve anything in it. Do you think I should continue at my current dance school- which is lovely and convenient, just not as challenging as I wish it was, or should I try a different academy?

Also, I find when en pointe I struggle to find a centre of balance, which as you can probably guess, affects my dancing significantly. I was wondering if you had any tips on how I could improve this?

Thank you so much,



Reply by Odette

To:- Career Development Plan - What should I do?

Hello Tasha,

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

Take a look at my Personal Development Plan which are the gradual stages to becoming a professional dancer. If you are contemplating on taking up dancing as your profession, it is right to assess where best place is for you to train.

It sounds as if your current dance school perhaps isn't offering you a serious enough training if you want to pursue a ballet career to perform on stage. It is the intense and regular training that is most crucial for aspiring professional ballet dancers.

It is not too late for you to train at a vocational ballet school which offers training for young aspiring dancers from the early age of 11 right up until they are 18. It takes a lot of committed training in order to become a professional which is why most dancers go to train at vocational dance schools for their early years. It is a huge commitment, but there are various vocational schools located in the UK such as, Elmhurst School for Dance (Birmingham) and Central School of Ballet (London).

Have you talked to your ballet teacher about your thoughts? It would be really good to share your concerns with your teacher, and family, as they may be able to further guide you to help you make some decisions.

What is most important, is you do what you want and what you feel is right. This may be hard to know at first, but if you really concentrate your thoughts, you will give yourself a solution.

One thing that used to help me in making decisions, was to get a piece of paper and write the advantages and disadvantage to all my options. So, write the positive things about staying at your dance school, and write the things that are drawing you back. Then, write the positive things about going to a different academy, and next write the downsides. See what the lists balance out to be like, and really reflect on all these thoughts.

With finding your centre of balance on pointe, this could be dependent on various factors. Firstly, concentrate on correct posture and make sure your weight is not back or forward. Also, focus on engaging your abdominal muscles as this will give you the stability to balance on pointe. The core strength comes from your abdominal muscles and it's important because it helps with your general strength, balance and stability as a dancer. Take a look at my abs workout page which will give you some great tips and exercises.

It is great to hear from you Tasha and always keep believing. If performing ballet on stage is your passion, then follow your heart and you can make it happen.

All the best,


ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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