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8 things ballet dancers won’t tell you about a career in ballet

Molly Longman

Molly Longman

Adult Learning Editor, IDP Connect

First published on April 24,2018 Amended on April 24,2018

Here at Floodlight we have fond memories of our childhood ballet classes. Learning to passé, pique and pirouette has always been top of our to do lists, so we bit the bullet and went along to a ballet course. An hour later we left exhausted, aching and questioning how our five year old selves ever did it. Catching up with our instructor, we quizzed her on the eight things ballet dancers won’t tell you about a career as a dancer. Whether you are looking for a new way to get fit, or thinking of going professional, have a read of this!


1. A great instructor is key

Don’t expect to learn all the techniques and moves all on your own, no matter much how much talent you have. Having an instructor that you trust is crucial to making it as a ballet dancer.

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2. They learned from watching other dancers

Watching and learning is how a lot of amazing dancers got their start. Have a muse. Learn from others’ mistakes. Always be watching and aware, so that you can keep up with the competition, while learning a thing or two.


3. The competition is fierce

The ballet isn’t all swans and pirouettes – the competition is cut-throat, and you will be up against a lot of equally talented dancers for positions in companies and for roles you wish to perform. Know that you have to have a tough skin, and be willing to accept rejection at first.

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4. You make life-long friendships

Even thought the ballet dancers you work with are technically your competition, you still work with each other every day and will find life-long friends in them. They are the only people who know exactly what you’re going through, and can relate completely. More often than not, ballet dancers are a family who build each other up, even when they are competing.


5. Your feet will hurt

Proper shoes are absolutely necessary for a career in ballet, as your feet will hurt. Take care of your feet and wrap, rest, and soak them when needed (which will be often).

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6. You must stretch, stretch, stretch

It’s important to stretch your entire body before any practice or performance, as most injuries result from improper stretching. These can put you out of the game for long periods of time, and even end your career.


7. Posture is half the battle

If you have impeccable posture already, you’re well on your way to being a great ballet dancer. Dancers are known for their amazing posture, which is part of why they radiate confidence. 

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8. Smiling equals success

A smiling ballet dancer is a good ballet dancer. It’s important to keep a smile on your face, when performing, practicing, and even when you’re just going through the steps alone.


Do you feel ready to take your first pas into the ballet world? If the answer is yes, take a look at the ballet courses on our site and get inspired! 

Molly Longman

Molly Longman

Adult Learning Editor, IDP Connect

Molly is a student at London College of Fashion, and is our current editorial intern. Her passions lie in writing, running, and eating peanut butter straight from the jar. She loves to learn (almost as much as she loves her dog), so she’s devoted to providing you with the best information on courses to help you become a better you.

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