The biggest mistake a ballet dancer can make? Thinking only one path leads to a goal. Our first-ever career issue is all about choices. Letting yourself be flexible will take you farther—and in more interesting directions.
Our cover dancer, Boston Ballet’s Brittany Stone, one of our “Stars of the Corps,” discovered a passion for ballet after training as a comp kid, and seized a JKO opportunity she’d never planned on. In “The Upside of Downsizing,” Ballet San Jose’s Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun describes how she traded her high-profile soloist slot in San Francisco Ballet for a long-term dream: to have time to train as a teacher so she could open a school in her native Thailand. And in “Free to Be…,” New York City Ballet principal Daniel Ulbricht found that managing the logistics of a pickup company hones intellectual skills he never gets to use performing.
Even once you recognize that a ballet career can be more than a straight trajectory from corps to principal to retirement, how do you know you’re ready to take the professional plunge? Serious pre-professional students often turn to trainee programs with established companies to test the waters. Browse our “Trainee Program Guide” to see some options. And if you do make the jump, and end up with a slot in the corps, be realistic. As several dancers explain in “Anatomy of a Paycheck,” living on a first- or second-year salary takes a lot of planning.
Of course, success may look exactly like what you dreamed, but as Beckanne Sisk reveals in “Ballerina, Reality Star,” it comes with its share of frustrations. How to deal? Don’t lose sight of your artistic and personal goals. It’s nice to be recognized with casting and praise, but it’s critical to keep growing. Every step on the path, whichever you choose, takes you closer.
Also In This Issue...
Dancers love fashion. They know what looks good and moves well on them. We’re launching a new department, “Studio to Street,” which asks the stars to break down their style—in and out of class. First up? New York City Ballet powerhouse Sara Mearns.
“For me, cheaper clothing is more fun. I can get more mileage out of something from H&M or Urban Outfitters than a designer piece.” —Sara Mearns
The Girl Mostly Likely To…
Pointe went behind the scenes on the “Breaking Pointe” set with Beckanne Sisk.
“The transition from student to professional can be difficult. You no longer have a teacher nagging you constantly; it’s up to you to keep pushing yourself.” —Beckanne Sisk