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Paving the path to a ballet career

As a young ballet student, you may have dreams about becoming a professional ballet dancer one day. If you are auditioning for summer intensives and competing in ballet competitions, you are already beginning to take the necessary steps to work toward that goal. You may also be enrolled in a pre-professional ballet program, or are interested in one, so that you can strengthen your year-round training.

Whichever stage of training you’re currently in, there are some important things to consider with your parents and teacher if you have professional aspirations in ballet. Young athletes with serious goals need supportive adults in their life to coach them through making big decisions, establishing personal time management, and prioritizing their schedule.

Some dancers find that once they’ve made the commitment to a deeper study of ballet, they actually realize it’s more work than they expected, and they decide they no longer want to pursue a professional career in ballet—and that’s OK! You never want to feel like your ballet training is a chore, so it’s crucial to find the right life balance and the right goals for you.

If, however, you know deep down inside that being a serious ballet student is right for you because you desire a ballet career and you’re willing to put in a high level of commitment, then you want to make sure your dance studies have a place on your priority list. You want to feel excited about putting in the time and hard work needed to advance your training!

It’s normal for dedicated ballet dancers to realize that there are sacrifices that need to be made along the journey to reaching their professional goals. Success in ballet does not come without some compromises! You may notice, for example, that there are times where your ballet studies will have to come before social commitments—maybe you have to miss a school dance or a friend’s birthday party. When that happens, remember the reasons why you’ve chosen to make ballet a priority in your life.

Achieving professional success in ballet will require a super-strong work ethic, but with the right planning and a positive attitude, you and your teacher can work together to ensure your ballet studies lead you down the path you want—the path that’s suitable to your strengths and commitment.

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