the wrong tune played til it sounded right (ladyjestyr) wrote in little_details,
the wrong tune played til it sounded right

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Learning ballet, moving on to other dance types?

I'm writing a character in her late teens who's recently stopped serious ballet classes, and I want to make sure I get the ballet-related details right.

Setting: North America (Washington state, if it's relevant), near-future (some urban fantasy elements, but not much affecting daily life).

1) First of all, is it really true that "if you grow too much, you can't be a ballerina any more"? Anne was pretty talented at ballet, but shot up to 5'10" during her teens, with an athletic rather than waif-like build. That's likely to be too big/heavy for most companies, I assume, given that she's limited in her choice of companies by her location? (I.e. she's a minor and her parents aren't going to move for her dancing.)

2) Secondly, what ballets is her school likely to have staged? I know many of the "big name" ballets, so to speak, but I don't really know if some are generally considered 'too hard' for ballet students? Or would the ballet school have professional-calibre dancers associated with it who'd take the challenging roles, regardless of whether a ballet was easy or hard?

3) Thirdly, if you're doing ballet seriously, at what point does it take over your life? I mean, assuming Anne's been having lessons since she was six or seven, I assume at some point if you've got the wherewithal to be a professional dancer you go to a full-on ballet school, and the rest of your education takes a back seat. How early is that likely to happen? Is it possible to juggle ballet training (beyond hobbyist levels, I mean) and a 'normal' education?

4) And finally, she still loves dance, and would consider some kind of dance-related career. Are there any professional dance disciplines where ballet training is of _particular_ advantage, where she'd make a particularly easy transition and all that old training would be applicable? Or are they all equally different, trainingwise, and her advantage will be limited to "generally extremely fit, flexible, coordinated and graceful"?

Searches done: Googled for ballet dancer height and weight, learning ballet at a school, ballet school companies, ballet schools, ballet school education, dance styles related to ballet, easy ballets. Read all the comm entries tagged 'arts: ballet' and 'arts: dance'. Read the Wikipedia pages on 'Ballet' , 'Ballet company', and various stuff linked from there.

Thankyou so much!
Tags: ~arts: ballet

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