Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dancing Professional Ballet - Is It Too Late?

I get this question from time to time, sometimes from dancers whose experience with ballet I know, and sometimes from those I have not seen dance, or even walk for that matter. So here are my thoughts as of today:

Dancers competing for a professional job will have done 10 years of training already. They will have had the advantage of training over physical limitations, while young enough to overcome them, to some degree, or altogether.

I don't like to be discouraging but must be honest.

But here's something else to think about - what soulful or artistic quality in you loves ballet? Could that aspect of yourself be expressed through another media that does not require:

a) an extraordinary physique by birth
b) the circumstances under which to be trained by an exceptional professional school starting at age 9-10
c) the political savvy to survive all that? (seldom mentioned, but not to be discounted)

That wonderful artistic energy in you could come out some other way without challenging your age, your body, the reality of the profession, et al.

I hope I am not disappointing anyone with this perspective. But I believe there is something in you, even though you love ballet, that can come alive without ballet. And you are better off figuring that out, even if you experience a disappointment right now.

Believe in your life.

1 comment:

  1. So well-stated! I love the suggestion to find "what soulful or artistic quality in you loves ballet" and discover how one might express this in another way. And truly, there's nothing wrong with allowing ballet to fulfill that artistic need which may not be met in other parts of life. In fact, often adults find that ballet can inspire them to find artistry and enjoy discovery or even hard-won rewards in other aspects of their life. But it's hard to do this when holding so tightly to 'what ifs' or 'what do you suppose my chances are' or perhaps unrealistic expectations about becoming a professional and what that life is like.

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this, Dianne! Thanks!

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