Editor's Letter: Decisions, Decisions
You want a professional ballet career. What do you need to get your technique and range to that level—a company school, a ballet boarding school, intense private coaching?
The bad news first: There’s no right answer. It depends on your temperament, but also on logistics, resources—a whole host of factors that come into play. That’s why we’ve expanded our “Pre-Professional and Trainee Program Guide.” This year, we include not only leading programs around the country, but also a listing of trainee programs for those who are ready for a taste of professional life, plus a look at programs that have a ballet base but offer students a more diverse range of classes. We also have a special “Higher Education Scholarship Guide” for those who know they want a college degree as well as a dance career. And to dig into the tradeoffs that different approaches involve, we have a detailed chart, “Get Serious,” that compares the daily schedules of three pre-professional students who are each taking a different path to a career.
The good news? You’re not locked into any choice. You may try one approach only to switch to another. And your plans may change as opportunities come along. That’s what our cover ballerina, Tiler Peck, has discovered. A celebrated principal at New York City Ballet, Peck had her first featured professional role at 11 in Broadway’s The Music Man. Though ballet wasn’t her favorite class initially, by the time she entered School of American Ballet she knew it was the right path for her. Now she’s temporarily returning to her Broadway roots in another musical, Little Dancer. For Peck, the secret of her success lies in that flexibility. To get a sense of how she and husband Robert Fairchild make it all work, Pointe followed them for a day in “Ballet’s ‘It’ Couple.”
So what’s the real secret of a professional career? Keep your options open.
In this issue...
“Nowadays it’s a tough world out there. You need to have a drive for this profession. Keep your eyes and heart open: Don’t concentrate on just one thing, because the world is wide.”
—Dutch National Ballet’s Jurgita Dronina