Editor's Letter: Be Your Own Best Advocate

(Photo by Nathan Sayers)

At our cover shoot, American Ballet Theatre soloist Cassandra Trenary was so easygoing that it was hard to believe she was just a few weeks away from her big debut as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. It’s also hard to believe that in just a few short years, she’s gone from only taking ballet three times a week to being one of ABT’s most prominent rising stars. What’s her secret? Read our cover story to find out.

Of course, Trenary’s swift rise is unusual for such a young dancer. For those of you who are breaking into the professional world, leading roles may still be a few years away. But that doesn’t mean you should fly under the radar until then. Today’s technology makes it easy to share your talent with the world, whether through blogging, a YouTube channel or your social media pages. In “Building Brand ‘You,’ ” we look at how today’s dancers are creating their own personal “brands” to gain more visibility and connect with audiences. And you don’t have to pretend you’re a superstar to do so—the more authentic your voice, the better.

Many dancers have rewarding careers without rising to superstar level. Company life offers opportunities to grow both inside and outside the studio. I was in the corps de ballet my entire career, but I found ways to get involved as a union representative and pointe shoe manager. In “Taking the Lead,” writer Julie Diana talks to three dancers whose leadership roles give their careers greater meaning. Often it’s as simple as setting a good example for others.

As you read through our Career Issue, be sure to check out our “Professional Resource Guide.” Whether you’re looking for open classes near you or custom pointe shoes, this listing will give you the tools you need to start your career off right. In the professional world, you are your own best advocate, so get ready to take the reins!

Instagram

Are you a total bunhead who loves to write? You might be the perfect fit for Pointe. We're seeking an editorial intern who's equally passionate about ballet and journalism.

Keep reading...
Sponsored by Ellison Ballet
Rachel Neville, Courtesy Ellison Ballet

If you've got your heart set on dancing for, say, San Francisco Ballet, you should attend a school that specializes in Balanchine, right? Not necessarily: It's actually a misconception that you have to train in a particular style or technique in order to pursue a career in that style. Ellison Ballet in New York City—which specializes in Vaganova technique—is living proof: Graduates of Ellison's year-round program and summer intensives go on to ballet companies that perform in a wide range of styles, and use what they've learned from Vaganova to land jobs.

Here are five reasons why studying Vaganova technique can actually make you a sought-after dancer for any number of ballet companies:

Keep reading...
Ballet Stars
Karina González in Ben Stevenson's Coppélia. Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

Are you more of a Giselle or a Juliet?

I've always said that my favorite role is Juliet, because of her vulnerability and maturity throughout the ballet. But now that I've performed Giselle, I find her so incredibly enjoyable, from being a village girl who falls in love for the first time to the most tender, almost weightless dancing in Act II.

Are you more at home in the studio or onstage?

I love the time in the studio. The process of starting from zero to getting better each day is so rewarding. My favorite phrase in rehearsals is "Let's do it again, so I can sleep in peace tonight." I need to feel so comfortable in the studio so that when I am onstage there are no bad surprises.

Keep reading...
News
Getty Images

Dancers certainly don't need anyone to tell them how physical their profession is. But now, we have the data to prove it.

Researchers at InsuranceProviders.com analyzed data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a national organization developed through support from the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, to determine the 20 most physically demanding jobs in the country. They analyzed the level of strength, stamina, flexibility and coordination required for a host of jobs, and each category was assigned

Keep reading...