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Where to go From Here


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I did ballet from the time I was 3-11 once a week, and I decided to return to it last February at 14. February through June was spent trying to relearn old steps and learn a lot of new things I hadn't known before. This year, when I started again in September, I came back to ballet loving it so much more than I did last year. After getting over that initial hump of getting "back on the horse" so to speak, I realized just how much I've missed dance. 

Currently I'm dancing an hour and thirty minutes three times a week (4 hours and thirty minutes in total - the most classes I can take where I go) and 45 minutes of pointe (part of that 4.5 hours). I've improved so much since last February, but I still have a lot to learn, and even with taking the most class I can take, I still feel like I want to be doing more. 

I'd like to go to college to either major or minor in dance theory; dance or music (since I play violin) would what I want to go to school for. I'm not looking to become a principal in the ABT or anything, but if I got the chance (and I know the chance is infinitely small even with hard work), I'd love to just be in the corps of a small company.

That aside, I'm not sure where to go from where I am now. I live in New England, about an hour and a half away from Boston. Right now the issues for moving forward are 

a. Money - my family isn't poor, but there's been financial problems with family etc. so my parents don't have a ton of money to spend
b. Commute/time commitment - my parents don't want me spending hours commuting to dance because they're afraid I won't focus on school
c. Age/skill level - I'm not sure where I'd be accepted due to my okay technique and age (15)

I'd love to join Boston Ballet's program, but I don't think I'm quite nearly advanced enough to join their pre-professional program, and it costs quite a lot. Not only that, but my parents aren't willing to drive me into Boston each day for dance, even if it wasn't for the pre-pro program. The only way I'd be able to get around that is driving myself, which I should be able to do by next year. But still, money remains an issue, as well as my parents not wanting me spending that much time on commute.

I was also thinking about attending classes/a program at the Peabody Institute, but again, that's almost an hour and a half away. No problem for me, but my parents would definitely say no just because they'd be worried that I wouldn't have time for schoolwork. 

Other than that, there's a studio that goes by the ABT syllabus about 15-20 minutes away. Only problem is that I'm not sure what level I'll be placed in, and at the lowest possible level they'd place me in (I'm not sure since I don't know how much focus there is on technique at this studio), I'd be dancing 4 days a week for an hour and thirty minutes. My parents would be paying $2700 a month, and I don't think they're willing to bump up the cost of me dancing by $2500 for one extra day of dance. 

I'm 15 right now, and I will be 16 by the time June rolls around, so I want to get the best and most intensive training I can get in the next two years before I go to college/whatever. 

I'm just feeling kind of stuck right now, because it seems like everywhere I turn there's a wall staring back in some way. That said, I'd be willing to do something like get a job to pay for tuition/commute if it meant I could be dancing how I want to be. 

Any advice, personal experience, etc. is greatly appreciated.

Edited by Risballet
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Welcome to the forum Risballet. And welcome back to ballet!


People will help with good general advice and support but given that you're in the USA and most people on here are in the UK you might be best posting on another forum - Ballet talk for dancers - too. They have specialist parts of the forum for young dancers.


Good luck.

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Hello Risballet and welcome to the forum. Sorry I can't help as I don't understand how training works in the US, but hopefully another member may be able to give you some pointers. Your love of dance comes across in your post.

Have you tried Ballettalk4dancers it's a U.S. based forum?

Good luck

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Is there any possibility you could take some private lessons at your current studio?


Or are there any classes at either a level above or a level below you could take to boost your hours? (This would also depend on how big a difference there is between levels.)


It sounds as if the Boston Ballet's pre-professional programme isn't possible at the moment due to you not being able to get there, but maybe they or another major school have a summer school or Easter school you could go to.

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First of all, you write very fluently. As I read your post, I felt like I was right there with you every step of the way.

Secondly,  ... let's start counting all the things to be thankful for then go from there.

1. Good health.
2. Good parents.

O.K. stop counting right there - you can do anything now.

A part time job would help lots.  Almost all of us worked while we were going to school and here in the States, employers are currently favoring part-time workers.  I'm sure that an articulate young person looking for part-time hours would float to the top of their list. I think, you have some time to look ahead and try to scout for a job that would be the right fit.  Then, as soon as you turn 16, begin trying to get that job. You'll meet people and probably have a great time at your first job.

Also, and this is just my opinion, I think many of us try to rush through college.  College classes will be available to you for the rest of your life - but your youth will pass.  And keep in mind that most of the dance world doesn't require a college degree (except for academia itself).  Since you listed commute/time as your second concern, I think you might go slow on the college part of your life.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all the replies, and Stitch, your advice has really helped. I'm probably going to attend a summer intensive at the school I'd like to go to next year, and start looking for jobs! Also, I'll check out the other U.S. based forums.

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