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To Dance or Not To Dance - In Ballet Or Pointe Shoes

Dianne M. Buxton
 


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Students often used to ask me “should I pursue dance as a career?" My first thought was always - “if you can live without dance, do something else. If you can't, then pursue it".

Sometimes Dance just doesn't let go! It may not be the practical choice for you. Yet it just doesn't go away.

If you're young, I would say dance now, because it is a physical training that needs to be done while you're young. Especially ballet. That doesn't mean flunk high school or anything, but I know that grades can be re-created at a community college, and an academic career can ensue from there. However, the physical ability that a younger person has is not there later.

What is your real goal? It is good to take time and define your goals.

***To qualify for a 4 year dance department university that could lead to a professional performance career?

***To “run away and join the dance circus"? Talk to your teacher, or your parent, tell someone you can confide in, that you are having a hard time living without dance. Maybe you can take a class or two a week in your last year of high school and still get fair grades. Maybe you can schedule it into an education degree if you are in college.

Defining goals is not easy - adults have trouble with it all the time. Try to ascertain what your true physical capacity is. Dance is a muse and does not just go away. I know that sounds a little spooky, but that is a fact.

Like, if you know anyone who is studying cello or piano, for a career with a classical orchestra - it's the same thing. There is no balance, as balance is usually defined in our culture ("some of this and some of that") That sounds scary to some people. But it just is that way with the arts.

I hope this doesn't sound too abstract - it's just that dance is one of the soul level “spirits" that calls some of us. It may take you in any direction - it's hard to ignore. It will make sense. . . one day. . . just explore all your options.

Dianne M. Buxton is a graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada. She taught at, and choreographed for The National Ballet School, York University, and George Brown College, in Canada, and taught at Harvard University in the U. S. Click here for ballet shoes, pointe shoes, strengthening exercises, dance news, dance books, diet and health for dancers, DVD's and more.

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