Do You Have To Start Dance Young!?

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, September 6, 2019

If you were to go in to any professional company class, anywhere in the world and ask the room, How old were you when you first started dancing? The most common answer would be, oh four or five years old. The dancers would all, most likely have a picture similar to the one below.

Me at four years old.

Sometimes, a dancer will say that they started as young as two! But what is even more uncommon to hear, is for a dancer to say that they started dancing in their teens or later.

It happens though! And you can become a professional dancer even if you start late! It is absolutely one of the most motivational stories to hear of, a dancer making it despite their delayed introduction to dance.

A few legends of dance are examples of those that started later. Such as, Rudolf Nureyev, Martha Graham and Misty Copeland! Rudolf didn’t enter a ballet school until he was seventeen! Misty was thirteen and Martha was also in her teens.

In the Royal Danish Ballet, we have one absolutely wonderful dancer, Eliabe D’Abadia, that got a late start to ballet. He is similar to Nureyev, as he didn’t take ballet until he was seventeen! Now he is going on dancing thirteen years professionally! Just amazing! I mean look at this handsome man’s jump, flexibility and feet!

Eliabe D’Abadia Photo: Daniel Stjerne

The one thing that all dancers have to do, but especially if you start later, is to dedicate themselves to dance. You have to be motivated and remain truly focused. Completely submerge yourself in to dance so you have the highest possibility of “catching up” and becoming professional.

There are many more stories of people starting late out there, once you start asking and looking around. Keith Sabado (danced with Mark Morris for 10 years and then with White Oak Dance Project) didn’t take his first dance class until college!

It is never too late to start dancing. To become a professional dancer in a company though, there is a time frame. A professional dancers “life” only lasts into their early forties. At the Royal Danish Ballet you must stop at forty years old. Many stop before.

Motivation, focus and passion is unstoppable even within a time frame. Be that next motivational story we all want to hear about!

xoxo
-Hol

What Does A “Normal” Work Day Look Like For A Dancer? Performance & Non-Performance Days.

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, August 23, 2019

Checking out the days schedule.
Thank you for the Question Lina!

A normal day for a dancer would begin by getting to the theater between 9:00 am – 9:50am. Some dancers like to start their day with Pilates, so they arrive in time to get a workout in before ballet class. Others may have a physio appointment and get to the theater around 9:15am or so. Or like me, possible go for a run around Kongens Have before ballet class, arriving at the theater at 9:40am. Of course there is also a group of dancers that sleep until they have to get up and be in class at 10am.

Basically, our day technically doesn’t start until 10am for ballet class but most are up and moving before 10am. We work a six day work week too. (Monday through Saturday)

A Non- Performance Day looks like this.

Ballet Training Class: 10am- 11:30am

Ten Minute Break (grab a snack time)

First Rehearsal Period: 11:40am- 1:30pm

Lunch Break: 1:30pm-2:15pm

Second Rehearsal Period: 2:15pm-4pm

Napoli Second Act Rehearsal with dancers Ryan Tomash & Holly Dorger. Instructor, Sorella Englund.

The theater can call dancers for what we call an, Evening Call. An evening call is for one or two hours and you get paid extra for these rehearsals.

Extra Evening Call: 4:15pm-6:15pm

It is not uncommon to find dancers stretching in the gym, or boys doing a weight training session, or a dancer fitting in some extra cardio at the end of the their day. Either at 4pm or 6:15pm. There is also always someone with their feet in an ice bucket getting rid of the inflammation from the days work.

Torture and yet Divine.

A Performance Day looks like this:

Ballet Training: 10am-11:25am

Five Minute Break

First Rehearsal Period: 11:30am- 12:30pm

Lunch Break: 12:30pm-1:05pm

Second Rehearsal Period: 1:05pm-3:00pm

Stretching with fellow Principal dancer, Jonathan Chmelensky

Can be called for an Evening Call from 3:15pm-5:15pm

Start Preparation for a Show: (Makeup, Hair & Warmup ) Approximately 6pm
Some dancers start earlier and some start later. Depends on their personal routine or role in the evenings performance. I would say on average the dancers arrive between 6pm- 6:30pm to prepare for a 8pm show.

Right Before a La Sylphide Performance

Show: 8pm-11pm

(Possibly ice an injury, ice-bucket, stretch, or put your feet up after a show.)

Evening Stretch

Late night snack.

Bed.

The girls also have to sew all their pointe shoes at some point during the work week (between 1-4 pairs depending on the dancer). You can always find a dancer sewing throughout the day somewhere in the theater. We sew during a slow rehearsal or even in our own lunch break. Sunday is also a big sewing day. (our only day off)

The dancers have access to two Physical Therapists that we can sign up for throughout the day for 30 minute slots. One masseuse is also available for 30 minute massages throughout the day too. 🙂 (YES!!)

A doctor comes once a week (Wednesdays) so injured dancers can be looked at or scanned. There is even a sauna for us to use at our own disposal.

Dancers are always doing something, pretty much. 🙂 We live busy, hardworking, but magical lives.

xoxo
-Hol