I'm a ballet dancer of 13 years, but I only got serious about it a few years ago, and very recently realized that I might want to pursue ballet professionally. I've contemplated auditioning for several prestigious pre-professional programs. But now I'm a junior in high school, so I'm worried it's too late. Should I still go for it, or am I better off staying at my current studio and going to college? —Lexi


Well…you won't know unless you try, right? The biggest guarantee that you won't get into a pre-professional program is never auditioning for one. Sure, you risk getting rejected, but that's part of life as a dancer.

I understand how scary it can be when you feel like you're late in the game, though. I didn't audition for my first summer program until I was almost 16, and I was incredibly nervous. But gaining exposure to other dancers my age, as well as receiving feedback from the schools, helped me gauge where I stood in the larger dance world and make an informed plan for my future.

I also encourage you to look beyond prestigious, big-name programs. Conservatories, as well as schools attached to smaller or mid-size companies, have a lot to offer and may be a better fit for you. If you don't have any luck with auditions now, try not to freak out—you still have time. A strong college ballet program is a wonderful option to complete your training and prepare for a career.

Have a question? Send it to Pointe editor and former dancer Amy Brandt at askamy@dancemedia.com.

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Courtesy BLOCH

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The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

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