I want to be a professional ballerina, but I am currently a freshman at a boarding school where the dance program is nowhere near the level I need to get there. What can I do? —Lucy
To become a professional dancer, you need a combination of talent, rigorous training, excellent work ethic and high-quality teachers. Mediocre training is not enough for someone with your aspirations; if you're light-years ahead of your classmates and don't feel like your school is setting you up for success, you need to make a change.
Have a heart-to-heart with your parents, and make sure they understand that you want to dance professionally. Let them know that your current school does not offer enough to get you there. If you're already attending a private performing arts high school, they may be more apt to listen.
But if your parents insist that you stay, or if it's too difficult to transfer, discuss the possibility of supplementing your training at an outside studio after school or on the weekends. Or, if there's a dance instructor at your high school who you think understands what you need, ask if they can give you private lessons. Hopefully your parents will understand what's at stake and will help you find more advanced training.
Have a question? Send it to Pointe editor in chief and former dancer Amy Brandt at firstname.lastname@example.org.