Career Development Plan-Vocational Training: A Must Have?

by N
(England )

Career Development Plan-Vocational Training: A Must Have?

Hi Odette,

I'm almost 16 and will be auditioning for a 6th form first year spot at a vocational ballet schools around England. I would love to be accepted into any of the main ballet schools-Royal, Elmhurst, or ENBS, but I know that I want to go to a vocational school known for having graduates that get spots at BALLET companies. I don't want to venture into a more musical theater or even contemporary school or company for now.

But I know that competition for spots at those few schools is fierce and extremely competitive.

My question is, do you have to have vocational training, at LEAST for 6th form, in order to get a spot at a ballet company? I can't see any other way that a student would get the amount of training they need to be in a company, but maybe you can?
I'm just worried that if I don't get into ballet school this year, I won't have a chance at joining a company, especially in England with there being so few companies to begin with. What other way is there to get noticed?

I've thought about ballet competitions, and vocational training at 18, but I'm just worried that past 16 I'll be too old to get into a school. What are your thoughts?

If I don't get accepted anywhere this year, I have the grades so far to go on track to a good university. I can't even think about giving up ballet, but I also don't want to dedicate my life to trying to get a spot at a company when I'm 18, and not getting any offers just because I haven't had the training vocational students would have had.

I hate thinking so far ahead...I feel too young to be thinking about all this! But I just want to be prepared if I don't get any offers this year.

Thank you!


Reply by Odette
To: - Career Development Plan-Vocational Training: A Must Have?

Thank you for your message it's great to hear from you. Of course, I understand completely what you're going through. I'll do my best to give you my opinions and thoughts, but always remember to trust your instincts too. This is harder when you're younger and with so many options ahead of you, but as you grow older you'll gain in confidence too so you will feel more assured in yourself to know what to do.

I can see you're ambitious to gain a place in a ballet company and want a school that is able to do so. Most of the young dancers that enter these vocational dance schools would jump at a chance to join a ballet company too. However, by the time they reach the time to graduate they have either come to the realisation that ballet is not simply not suited to them or the competition proved too much to make it happen. I just want you to know this, so you won't be too put off when you see the school's reputation for where the students graduate to. It is mostly a case of how much potential you have as a classical ballet dancer that will gain you a job, although obviously top ballet training is a huge part too.

I would say, you do need to have full time training for sixth form and/or join a vocational dance school by the time you reach age 16. In my eBook, "Virtue 6:Time" , I go through the stages much more clearly.

The other options is to get private training, like the inspiring Royal Ballet ballerina, Melissa Hamilton. You must research her story, as a vocational dance school was not the right option for her and she still made it into one of the world's best ballet companies.

There are competitions to get noticed like YAGP or Prix de Lausanne, but you would need to be at a high standard of training to enter.

Most of what I'm saying here is explained much more clearly in my new eBook "7 Virtues of a Professional Ballet Dancer". So, if you're still feeling stuck (which is completely normal!), then take a look at getting this eBook. It's totally secure and safe, but will be so worth it when you have all this info in one place for you to read. It may make your thoughts a lot clearer to what you want to do.

Best wishes,

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