Dream Jobs: Ballet Dancer

Dream Jobs: Ballet Dancer

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Imagine being a delicate butterfly one day and an elegant swan the next day, all in front of an audience. How is that possible?  For ballet dancers, playing a lot of different parts is part of everyday life. For dancers and audience members, the ballet can be a wonderful experience of movement, music, and interesting stories. If you like to watch the ballet on television or in live performances, you might want to become a ballet dancer as well. You might even become famous, like the dancer Anna Pavlova of Russia.

Becoming a ballet dancer is not something that people start late in life. It involves skills that people need to learn when they are teenagers or even younger. Anna Pavlova was only ten years old when she began to study at the Imperial Ballet School in St. Petersburg, Russia. She joined the Mariinsky Theatre Company in 1899 and was already the main ballerina in 1906. Later, she started her own dance company, which toured around the world. For some people, seeing Anna Pavlova and her company was their first experience of ballet. Even now, people still think of Anna Pavlova as one of the best ballet dancers ever.

If you have gone to the ballet, you know that the dancers often stand on the tips of their toes and twirl around.  Ballet requires an ability to balance on one foot or on toes, to twirl around without getting dizzy, and sometimes to leap into the air and land lightly on one foot. All of this movement also needs to be graceful and to appear easy and natural. Through practice, dancers can learn to be graceful and elegant. Ballet dancers are usually slim and strong, with a good sense of balance and flexible arms and legs. Maintaining good health is essential for all ballet dancers.

Understanding of the art of ballet is also important for success. Anna Pavlova’s ability to understand and interpret music in dance helped to make her famous, just as much as her physical abilities. If you want to become a dancer, you will need to understand music as well. Ballet companies in large cities often offer short courses or seminars that can help students understand what dancing is all about and what it requires. If you decide to continue as a ballet dancer, the next step is to take formal lessons. Through these lessons, you can learn the techniques of ballet and continue to practice your skills throughout your career. Many professional dancers train at the National Ballet School of Canada.


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