How To Become A Ballerina
Career Video: Ballerina
Many people show a talent in dancing at a young age. Some people dream of becoming a professional dancer. Becoming a ballerina is difficult work, but is achievable with a lot of hard work. People who want to become ballerinas start off with dance lessons when they are young, usually before eight years old. If you love dancing, a career as a ballerina may be perfect for you.
Why Become A Ballerina
Young girls see ballerinas and wish they could be them when they grow up – it looks like a glitzy and glamourous job, dancing and looking beautiful. In reality, being a ballerina is a lot of work. A ballerina is a professional athlete like any other. Training for this usually begins in childhood, with a young child taking dance lessons in ballet and other forms of dance. At some point, it will be observed that a person has remarkable ability in ballet. If you have extraordinary passion for dance and talent, you may want to further pursue this as a career.
Many people want to land a job with a dance company, but there are many dancers and few spots available. Training begins early, with most people beginning ballet before they are 10 years old. These people learn new, more advanced skills as they move through their coursework. By the time they have reached adulthood, a person is ready to apply for enrollment in a professional ballet school.
A ballerina travels with a dance company. They put on dance performances. A ballerina must feel comfortable performing in front of large crowds of people, having their performances critiqued and criticized. They need to have a passion for wanting to do better. Because this job is demanding on the body, a ballerina’s career is short-lived: rarely do ballerinas work past their thirties. This is a great career choice for somebody who loves dancing and has the physical capacity to make it their career.
Ballerinas must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Ballet Dancer
- Proper Body Type
- Physically Fit
- Handles Rejection Well
Ballerina Work Environment
Ballerinas perform with dance companies. This involves a lot of preparation, learning new dance routines, and rehearsals. Dancers spend many of their days practicing, or performing in front of crowds.
This career is demanding on a ballerina’s body. Injuries are common, especially to the feet and legs. Dancers work long hours, dedicating themselves to their careers. Their bodies are only in peak performance for so long. By the time a ballerina has reached their forties, virtually all have retired. Many go on to work as dance teachers or choreographers.
When a ballerina joins a dance company, the contract determines their pay. Different dance companies pay different amounts of money, depending on how famous the troupe is, the length of the contract, and other factors.
Salary of the Joffrey Ballet was an average of $35,585 in 2012, according to PayScale.com.
Salaries in metropolitan areas tend to be higher than those in more rural areas. Some ballerinas may join multiple companies in order to make additional money. As with many careers in the arts, ballerinas enjoy this career because they love to dance, not because of the money.
Ballerina Career Outlook
Professional dancer positions are expected to increase by 5 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is average compared with other occupations in the United States.
There is a lot of competition for dancing positions, with far more jobs than positions at dance companies. Ballerinas receive their jobs by auditioning. Because of injuries and age, ballerinas end their careers by the time they are approximately 40 years old.
There is no degree required to become a ballerina. However, there is extensive training that goes into becoming a ballerina, and it starts at a young age.
Step 1: Take ballet classes. Many girls start taking pre-ballet between the ages of four to eight years old, and moving into ballet classes. It is typically believe that, as with any sport, the sooner you start learning the skills involved, the better off you will be. As you go through the coursework, there are more advanced techniques involved, such as pointe.
Step 2: Enroll in a ballet academy. If you find that you have a passion for ballet and are serious about pursuing this as a career, you may want to consider transferring to a ballet academy to continue your studies. Different schools accept students at different ages, some starting as young as age six. A professional academy such as this will give your child access to some of the best trainers and classes and an edge in the world of dance.
Step 3: Consider a dance internship. Dance companies often have internships for people to come and dance with them for a short period of time. This is a great, once in a lifetime experience to see what it is like to perform with a real dance troupe, and see if this is the right career for you. It is also an excellent way to make connections inside of the dance world, which could lead to jobs down the road.