Editor's Letter: Take Your Next Step

Published in the August/September 2012 issue.

Misa Kuranaga rehearsing "La Bayadère." Photo by Sabi Varga.

Racheting up your training can mean tough choices. You might have to dedicate more hours, learn new techniques or leave home to achieve your goals.

Pointe’s first pre-professional issue helps readers consider their options. Our pre-professional training guide offers a detailed list of more than 40 competitive programs that prepare dancers for ballet careers. Each entry breaks down the school’s technical focus, its affiliations, its performance opportunities and its alumnae. It’s a great place to start your research.

But there’s no one path to a professional career. As Emily Kadow, one of San Francisco Ballet’s newest corps members, notes in “Go Your Own Way,” attending a variety of programs positioned her better professionally. Whitney Huell, now a Ballet West corps member, found that a college track made most sense. And Joy Womack chose to tackle the challenges of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy, which led to several job offers. You need to explore before deciding what fits you best.

Every dancer has made her share of tough decisions. But she makes fun ones, too—like which energy bar to stash for rehearsals. Don’t miss the stars’ bars of choice in “The Dance Bag Diet,” a peek at the snack habits of several top dancers. Plus, find out what it takes to be a better understudy—and perhaps get a big break—in “Company Life,” and learn how Sara Mearns handles the Lilac Fairy’s mime in “How It’s Done.”

Going from student to pro is a process. The best dancers know that learning never stops. We hope this issue helps you take the next step. 



Also In This Issue

Cover ballerina and USA IBC gold medalist Misa Kuranaga told writer Ashley Rivers:
“Competitions helped me build my career. Competing develops your confidence and mental strength onstage. It all depends on how you do it. I don’t try to compete with anyone around me, not even my partner. I just try to do my best. If your personality suits competition, then it could be one of your tools to get more guestings or to be seen in another country or by another
director or in a new role.”

Our behind-the-scenes photo essay, “Ashley Bouder at Work,” follows the New York City Ballet principal into a rehearsal of Liebeslieder Walzer with Tyler Angle.
“I’ve known Tyler since we were 10; he came to Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in the summer. When we did finger turns together, I had to plié on pointe because he was so much littler than me. Now he’s over 6 feet.”