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What to do after graduating ballet school? What are the options?


mola
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It depends on what your aspirations/expectations are.

 

You may wish to get a teaching qualification and teach.  You may decide you do not want to perform but would like to explore a different theatre avenue such as technical team or administration or you could change your direction completely.

 

An education at a vocational school is a wonderful education no matter what path you eventually decide to take.

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I agree with Janet, it depends on so many things; not least deciding what the graduate wants to do!

 

For instance, molarescu, do you/your dc not want to audition for a company? If not, do you still want to dance? Do you not want to dance, but would like to teach? Do you want to dance but change direction to commercial, contemporary or jazz?

 

Or do you not want to have a career in dance at all, in which case it depends on what qualification you have graduated with.

 

If you could give us some idea about your aspirations then it would be easier to work through options. :-)

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To me, there are 3 options;

Audition for companies

Get a job teaching

Do a post-graduate programme such as the one at Northern Ballet in Leeds.

 

Obviously, these options are just what I personally am looking at, and some of these, such as as the first and second, could be done at the same time. Also, it depends upon what you are looking to achieve- for example some people may choose to retrain in a completely different profession etc.

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My daughter is 16 and she still has 1 1/2 year until graduation, but as you all know they begin auditioning in their last year. So now is the most appropriate moment to think of what to do next.

 

First option is of course to join a ballet company. (Our dream is NDT)However, thinking in the long run, she wants to pursue her academics as well.

 

Is there any university programme in UK or Europe specialized in dance/ballet that gets you to become not only a dancer/teacher/choreographer but also a manager in something like dance/stage production ?

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Well dancer, teacher, and choreographer are three different careers. :-) Dancers who go on to become choreographers have to be extremely lucky and be given choreography opportunities by their Artistic Director to get started. That's not to say it can't happen but I think it's quite unusual. There are Masters Degrees in Choreography available at Central and Rambert if your dd has shown a talent for choreography and wants to continue her studies after graduating.

 

For teaching, assuming your daughter's dance course does not include the option to take teaching exams like DDI, then the RAD post graduate teaching courses would be well worth looking at.

 

Personally I don't know of any vocational schools in the UK that offer a qualification in stage management as well as full-time dance training - I assume that Stage Management would be a separate degree course?

 

Edited for clarity.

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I've just googled "Degree in Dance and Stage Management" and yes, they do seem to be separate qualifications:

 

http://www.winchester.ac.uk/Studyhere/Pages/ba-hons-theatre-production-arts-and-stage-management.aspx

 

https://www.rcs.ac.uk/courses/ba-production-technology-management/

 

And there is an option to study stage management at post-grad level: http://www.prospects.ac.uk/theatre_stage_manager_entry_requirements.htm

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An option could be for example to study at post graduate level in stage management and join something like LAB ....London Amateur Ballet ....to carry on dancing and performing. One of the LAB groups is quite advanced and is now all pointe work so plenty to get your teeth into! However this is based in London so would depend where you would train etc.

Hopefully there will be other similar groups who work throughout the year towards performances in other big cities. I know Bristol is another good place for all this and also Chelmsford. But others may be able to tell you about their areas.

 

Checkout Surrey University in Guildford as well. Maybe some places will do a dance degree and then at the same place perhaps going on to do stage management.

If you are keen to teach I'd be keen on the RAD course myself if mainly ballet orientated. I don't know whether they still do the Benesh notation course there .....which is another skill which could be useful for companies (if not dancing etc)

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I performed after I finished at vocational school and also did some teaching and choreography. I then did a university dance degree course and have since had a portfolio career which has included stage management and project management as well as performing, choreographing and teaching. Some of the other graduates have worked as dance managers. as well as a variety of other areas of the profession so I do think these courses prepare you for a range of different career options other than performing but a lot depends on the experience you bring to the course and what you feel confident to do afterwards.

 

My stage management jobs were all for one off projects of no more that 4 performances per project and I kind of fell into it after acting as a stage manager in projects I had initiated myself.  I then started getting asked to stage manage similar projects/ productions and got all my jobs through contacts I had made working on pervious contracts.

 

If you're serious about stage management though, you do need to do a specialised course in the field. It's very competitive.

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Thanks a lot everyone, all options are takien into consideration at this moment. My daughter is in a vocational school in Switzerland and classic ballet and teaching is all she can think for now. She is aware that is a small world and dancing time may be short due so many reasons. That's why we're thinking of a way to combine dance with other studies, of course Art and Stage related.

Do you happen to know what studies did Tamara Rojo pursued? I know she mentioned that while dancing for ROH she did management studies and that she planned her career very carefully.

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Some dancers have done Open University degrees, I believe. It must be hard to fit it all in, especially if you're not a principal and are dancing in every show. I don't know what qualification TR took but I understand that she shadowed Karen Kain at NBC for a while.

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I think that it's fair to say that a young dancer starting out in a company would find it very difficult to do any serious studying. Apart from classes, rehearsals and performances they have to learn the ropes of stagecraft, go the gym, address physical niggles and problems etc as well as look after themselves (shop, cook, clean, do the washing) and make friends / have a bit of a social life. Joining a company is a huge transition which makes enormous physical and emotional demands on the young person and s/he needs to throw him/herself wholeheartedly into company life. I very much doubt that TR was studying whilst she was rising up the ranks and moving from company to company. I expect that she only started her studies once she was an established principal with many years of experience behind her. Eventually, she had danced almost everything and so preparing for roles became relatively undemanding.

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Thanks again everybody,mit is very useful to see things from different angles. I have another question. If she graduates school with a dancer diploma, in order to become a dance teacher, would she need a B.A. in dance teaching/ballet education or else?

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I think she would need to take some extra qualification in teaching which these days would probably be a BA. At least to get a really reputable job that is. When teaching dance you have to be familiar with the syllabus intending to teach which is why doing this course at somewhere like RAD would be good as it is a system recognised world wide. It's not the only system though.

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DD is doing a Trinity Level 6 in either Musical Theatre or Dance Theatre (it's not been decided yet) & while she is studying she will also take a DDI through ISTD which is a teaching qualification.  She has chosen to do her DDis in Modern & Tap but she could have chosen Ballet

 

After she has worked in Dance for three years there are several 1yr/18m top up courses to convert her level 6 into a degree like this one at Arts Ed https://artsed.co.uk/evening-courses/evening-courses-home-post-diploma-ba

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Just to clarify from a point made by Katymac - the Arts Ed conversion course seems to be a weekly evening class and differs from the other conversion courses listed on the Trinity diploma website. Middlesex University offers a course for dance and musical theatre students to convert their level 5/6 Trinity diplomas into a BA Hons in Professional Practice and GSA offers the same for musical theatre students. The courses are designed to be mostly distance learning so that they can be undertaken whilst performing professionally. You must have already received the diploma in order to enrol but you do not need to be working for 3 years beforehand if you have the diploma. Arts Ed seems to be the only one that requires this. DDs friend did the first six months or so of the Ba Hons course with GSA whilst on a cruise ship - starting October after graduating in July - and finished the degree at home afterwards

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