Editor's Letter: When It's Time to Get Serious

Published in the August/September 2013 issue.

Justin Peck in a dress rehearsal for "West Side Story." Photo by Kyle Froman for Pointe.

Training for a professional career takes intense commitment. It means spending even more time at the studio, dedicating summers to further study, living in a world where only other dancers understand what it takes.

When you’re ready to make that effort, you need to think hard about the right place to study. Every serious student has her own hurdles. And her own dreams. Perhaps your home studio is the perfect fit, but Pointe’s second annual “Pre-Professional Training Guide” lists some 60-plus programs for you to consider. Take a look with an open mind—there’s never just one option.

Also check out “What’s Missing From Pre-Professional Training?” It’s an eye-opening roundup of top artistic directors’ honest opinions. Keep the problems they single out in mind as you think about your development. Remember, too, what Dutch National Ballet artistic director Ted Brandsen points out: “There is sometimes too much focus on getting into the company affiliated with your school. You need to be aware of what else is going on in the world.” National Ballet of Canada is a case in point of a company that reaches beyond its school and its borders to recruit top dancers. “Canada Goes Glam” looks at the company’s evolution under former prima ballerina Karen Kain, and talks to three dancers—one American, one Australian and one Canadian—who are flourishing there.

Finding your fit doesn’t end when you find the right training. Or the right company. Or the right partner. It’s a process you’ll go through continually, and it can lead you on surprising journeys. This issue’s Director’s Notes talks to Royal New Zealand Ballet artistic director—and former American Ballet Theatre star—Ethan Stiefel. His dream of developing dancers and repertoire has led him halfway around the world. Whether you need to hop on a plane or drive a half-hour from home to get to your next level, don’t hold back. The rewards can only equal the effort you’re ready to make.


Also In This Issue...
“Role(s) of a Lifetime”: Top stars talk about their changing dream roles.
“When I started out, I really wanted to dance Cinderella. I love the Prokofiev score, and the story is so magical. But I never dreamed that a Cinderella would be tailored to me, and now, thanks to Christopher Wheeldon, it has. It’s more than I ever wished for.” —Maria Kochetkova


A Day in the Life of Justin Peck
“There are some nights when I’m dancing and one of my pieces is being performed on the same program—and I love it when that happens! It’s a tangible representation of all my roles here at NYCB, who I am and what I’m doing.”