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ANSWERS 4 DANCERS.

SHOULD I GIVE UP BEFORE I START?

I am a 13-year-old girl who loves ballet tremendously. However, I live in Singapore, a small country with very few ballet schools. I want to go to a good one. How am I to know whether any ballet school is good for me? Furthermore, my parents want me to study till l finish my university program, but I am eager to go abroad and study ballet instead. I am terrified that I might not be able to pursue any career in dance when I am old. So, it all boils down to this choice: to go abroad or not. I heard that ballet schools abroad accept only people under the age of 14, so that means I only have one year in which to decide. Help.

Tough Choice

It sounds like you have lots of passion for ballet but haven't studied yet. I suggest that you stop worrying about schools and studying abroad until you get some training under your belt. Decisions about relocating are difficult enough when you've got experience. Struggling with it (without experience) seems unwise.

Go to class. Your intelligence will tell you if the school is a good one. In due time, you may learn that classical ballet really is the life you should pursue. If your talent matches your desire, nothing will hold you back--not even schools that set age limits at 14.

MY PARENTS DIDN'T START ME EARLY ENOUGH

I have a decision I need a little help making. I am 16 and have only been taking two dance classes a week for three months. I am enrolled in an intermediate ballet class. Although I've loved to dance all my life and incorporated it into gymnastics and other activities I participated in growing up, this is the first technical dance training I've had. I absolutely love it, but it seems to depress me because it feels like it's too late to learn. I feel so far behind and so out of place because the other girls grew up in ballet. I wish I could go back to when I was younger and tell my parents to enroll me in dance classes. Obviously, I can't do that, but I know I want dance to have a place in my life. Do you have any suggestions? Are there any other types of dance that may have wider opportunities, or should I continue with classes at all? Thanks so much.

Rissa

My first suggestion to you would be give up thinking it's too late to learn. If you love something, why color the experience with thoughts that make you doubt yourself?. Why not give yourself thoughts that build you up, instead of bringing you down? It's your mind; you can think any way you choose. Here's an assignment: Congratulate yourself for every improvement you make. Acknowledge it with a silent pat on the back. Even if it's about something as simple as better posture at the barre, or maintaining balance during a releve, praise yourself. Let yourself know you're making progress, even if others don't. If someone compliments you as well, even better. Those improvements are the reason you're in class, not because of what others think of you.

About wider opportunities in other forms of dance ... You're very smart to ask that question. Ballet and concert dancers are at the low end of the pay scale. On answers4dancers.com, you'll find an employment study with the variables in dancers' salaries. The April issue of Dance Magazine carried an account of dancers' unions with valuable hard data on salaries, and that issue came packaged with a detailed report from Dance/USA on dance company finances and dancers' pay.

The decision to shift into another dance form is always a personal choice. But it's good that you're thinking about it now. A well-rounded dancer (ballet/modern/jazz/hip-hop) always enjoys more employment options.

DOES MY AGENT HAVE MUSIC VIDEO CONNECTIONS?

I live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and I am 14 years old. I will be 15 in May and I have been dancing for my entire life (actually about twelve and a half years). I have entered numerous competitions and have attained many dance titles. I also have gone to New York City for lessons at places such as Steps and Broadway Dance Center. I have been acting in movies and commercials since the age of 4. Therefore, I know how hard it is to get an agent and so on.

However, I was wondering if I would use the same agent I have now for music video auditions. You have to understand Something ... Doing music videos is not just a dream for me; it is a very real goal. So please, anything you could write, do, or say to help me ... please let me know. I would be extremely grateful.

Lisa Conrey

I admire how clearly you communicate your intentions. That ability will serve you well.

Obviously, an agent's music video connections are important to a dancer like yourself. Those connections vary from agent to agent. Some are more plugged into the field than others. Since you've got a few years until you turn 18, you have plenty of time to target the ideal agent(s) for yourself. I'm sure you realize that the bulk of music video activity happens on the West Coast, right?

If you read Dance & Fitness Magazine, you've already been exposed to the agents who focus on the field (KSA's Tim O'Brien, BBA's Brian Gendece, DDO's Bill Bohl, and Bloc's Brendan Filuk). Their recent interviews reflect the way they market and introduce their dancer clients to music video choreographers.

Tony Award-winning dancer and choreographer Grover Dale is editor and publisher of Dance & Fitness Magazine. You can reach him through www.dancemagazine.com or www.answers4dancers.com.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Dance Magazine, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
Article Details
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Author:DALE, GROVER
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2001
Words:970
Previous Article:Just Imagine: Dance Training in a Perfect World.
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