Career Development Plan - Which School to Choose?

Career Development Plan - Which School to Choose?

Dear Odette,

I am 16 years old and have been dancing since I was 3. I have been accepted at two vocational schools in the UK to continue my training and I don't know which one to choose.

One school has a very good reputation for ballet training( Elmhurst, Birmingham ), but is a long way from family, so I would have to board and the qualification is an HND in Classical Ballet.
The other offers a combined ballet and contemporary qualification (Rambert School, Twickenham ) but is near by so I could live at home for at least the first year. This qualification is an Honors Degree in Classical ballet and contemporary dance.

I am very confused as some people tell me that I should go for the better ballet training, while others say its good to be more versitile. I am also quite small(5'2") and am concerned that I might not grow tall enough for a classical career.

What is your advice.



Reply by Odette

To:- Career Development Plan - Which School to Choose?

Hello Maddie,

Thank you for contacting me, it is a pleasure to hear from you.

I understand it is very difficult to make choices, especially if it plays a part in your future career. In the past when I have got stuck on making choices, I try to balance out the advantages and disadvantages of each place to see which would give me the most benefits. This usually leads me towards the right decision.

The two schools you have got into are very different avenues of dance. Rambert focuses more on contemporary dance, whereas Elmhurst is more centered around classical ballet. You have to ask yourself which style of dance you want to do - ballet or contemporary?

Vocational ballet schools have very high expectations when accepting students, especially for the upper school. Therefore, the fact you have got into a classical ballet school is promising. Many dancers who wish to do ballet do not get into vocational schools, as they do not fit the requirements, so you have done very well to get in.

It is very good to be more versatile and I know Elmhurst studies other styles of dance such as jazz and contemporary. However, the contemporary would be not as heavily studied than in Rambert.

Which ever school you choose, it will highly depend on you work ethic to how you progress. Along with the physical ability, it's absolutely crucial to be mentally prepared for a professional dance career. It highly depends on your self-motivation to how you succeed in becoming a professional dancer. The Seven Secrets, on the 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page, will give you the key answers of how to thrive in the dance world.

The decision will ultimately depend on which style of dance you feel most passionate about.

Keep in touch and let me know what you decide. I am always here to help.

All the best,


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