Girls who dance while they are growing up often dream of becoming professional dancers. But this career choice isn’t for everyone and here we are going to look at a day in the life of a ballerina.
In order to become a dancer professionally, you must absolutely live for your dancing. You won’t have much of a social life, and you will have to forgo many of the pleasures of life, and unless you really love dancing you will feel as though you are missing out on a lot.
George Balanchine put it well when he said, “I don’t want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance.”
A Day in the Life of a Ballerina
The life of a professional ballet dancing is extremely hard. You need to have loads of self-discipline and endless patience with yourself as you fight with your body to get perfection of technique. Most people think that the life of a ballet dancer is all glamour and tutus, but they don’t see what goes on behind the scenes to make ballet dancing look so effortless.
A day in the life of a ballerina normally starts between 09H00 and 09H30 with ballet class, which has to be taken every day in order to keep spot on with that technique. This class could last anywhere from an hour to three hours. The body has to be finely tuned in order to stay toned and strong. Each and every muscle in the body must be constantly strengthened and stretched. Technique always needs perfecting, and balance always needs work.
The rest of the day is spent rehearsing for the next production you are appearing in. If you don’t have a performance in the evening, you could wrap up at around 18H30. If you do have a performance, you could wrap up at 16H00, go have a quick rest then back to the theatre until 23H00 by the time you have showered and changed.
Dancers normally leave the theatre on a high, because of the excitement of the evening performance, so by the time they get to sleep it could be well after midnight. Most dancers say that being on the stage is like a drug, and this is what keeps them going with this gruelling routine.
On top of this, dancers have to deal with many injuries, sore feet being top of the list.
The next day the show goes on, no matter how sore or tired your body is feeling.
For ballet dancers. it is always a battle with the scale, as ballerinas can’t get too heavy as a fat ballerina is not visually appealing. Your body is your instrument, and you need to make sure it has a healthy diet at all times to keep up with the demands of the profession. If you can’t do without your daily chocolate fix, or you put on weight very easily, then maybe the life of a dancer just isn’t for you.
A professional ballet dancers life is all about dance and nothing else. There is simply no time for anything else. You are basically married in a sense to your career. Most people would not be able to do this, and it takes a very dedicated person to live this type of lifestyle.
Dancing is not an extremely well-paid profession unless you are at the top of the pyramid. In most cases the love of their art makes it all worthwhile for them.
If you think a day in the life of a ballerina is something you are suited to, do it while you are young, before you even think of getting married or starting a family as the life of a professional ballet dancer is all consuming.