I’ve been getting a lot of really similar questions lately, so I figured I’d answer them like this:

Q: Follow me?!

A: This is not my main blog so you’ll never see FYB follow you, sorry! 

Q: I used to dance then quit, can I still be a ballet dancer?

A: If you enjoy dancing, dance! 

Q: I just started dancing at 14/15/16, can I still be a ballet dancer? Is it too late?

A: If you enjoy dancing, dance! 

—-

Although I appreciate that you respect me enough to ask, I can’t appraise your ability to become a professional over the internet, nor do I want to. If you love to dance, continue to do so regardless of how likely you think it is that you’ll make it as a pro. Here’s my humble advice:

  • Take as many classes as you can
  • Try out different pedagogies & teachers, see what suits your personal style
  • Attend summer intensives & workshops when possible
  • Work your hardest in every class
  • Maintain a positive & optimistic attitude, let the competitiveness that is innate to the ballet world drive you but try to keep it from overwhelming you (one tip I have in this department is to foster other interests, don’t let ballet be the ONLY thing that can bring you joy because realistically, it’s not always going to)

Hope that will help someone!


"Do you know what it took for Balanchine to put me, a black man, on stage with a white woman? This was 1957, before civil rights. He showed me how to take her [holding her delicately by the wrist]. He said, ‘put your hand on top.’ The skin colors were part of the choreography. He saw what was going to happen in the world and put it on stage.”- Arthur Mitchell on Balanchine’s AgonSeen above: Original Cast Members Diana Adams and Arthur Mitchell

"Do you know what it took for Balanchine to put me, a black man, on stage with a white woman? This was 1957, before civil rights. He showed me how to take her [holding her delicately by the wrist]. He said, ‘put your hand on top.’ The skin colors were part of the choreography. He saw what was going to happen in the world and put it on stage.

- Arthur Mitchell on Balanchine’s Agon

Seen above: Original Cast Members Diana Adams and Arthur Mitchell

(Source: theballetblog, via wisps)

Anonymous said: when you know you're ready to wear pointe shoes?

Your teacher will tell you. 

Suki Schorer, faculty of the School of American Ballet, works with a young dancer at the 2012 SAB summer session auditions in Seattle. Photo by Greg Gilbert.

Suki Schorer, faculty of the School of American Ballet, works with a young dancer at the 2012 SAB summer session auditions in Seattle. Photo by Greg Gilbert.

kenz-oh said: I don't think Miko Fogarty is from Switzerland. I'm pretty sure she lives in America. But I could be wrong…

She competed in Prix de Lausanne as a Swiss competitor. She says so in this video (@2 minutes) & the source of that picture I posted cites her as Swiss. I couldn’t find any other source, such as a Wikipedia page, but I’m guessing she was born in Switzerland & remains a Swiss citizen? Something along those lines, I’d think. She does live in the U.S. (California), but that wouldn’t necessarily make her from the States by birth, ya know? Also, I think her mother is Japanese, but I’m less sure about that. I think it’s discussed in First Position.

Anonymous said: I like your blog, a lot. But if you aren't a pre-professional ballet dancer, I'm not sure how I feel about you giving advice to dancers that need it. Did you dance in a studio company?

I started this blog several years ago because I was dissatisfied with the quality of ballet content on Tumblr; this isn’t an advice blog.

It’s also not my personal blog, so any message I receive that I elect to answer, I do so publicly. There’s no back alley advice giving going on. As I’m sure you’ve probably noticed, most of the questions I receive are related to starting ballet late, or whether or not the individual has the potential to make it professionally. I always advise those people to continue to seek their dream, regardless of perceived skill level, & that I have no ability or desire to appraise their artistic potential over the internet. I have never claimed to be some all-knowing source, & I try tell the asker to consult their teacher when necessary. I don’t give dangerous or misleading advice (not that I really get questions that would elicit potentially dangerous advice…), & if my response is based in personal experience, I let it be known. 

Also, as I’ve stated before, I was a pre-professional dancer. I decided to go the academic route instead.