Dance Advice

Dreaming of a dance career: How to make it happen

Lucy Green, soloist with Queensland Ballet. Photo by David Kelly.
Lucy Green, soloist with Queensland Ballet. Photo by David Kelly.

Becoming a professional dancer isn’t just about training hard. A dancer needs to be smart, confident and, let’s face it – lucky! We asked some of Australia’s favourite dancers for their tips on making it to the top.

Jake McLarnon, Expressions Dance Company

“Never let anyone tell you what your limits are. Use them as a challenge and grow from them. You will surprise yourself with what you’re capable of, making you a more versatile and intelligent dancer.”

The Australian Ballet's Nathan Brook. Photo by Daniel Boud.

The Australian Ballet’s Nathan Brook. Photo by Daniel Boud.

Nathan Brook, corps de ballet, The Australian Ballet

“There is no quick and easy way to have a successful career in dance. You should constantly strive to improve and evolve. It takes dedication, hard work, patience and honesty.

If I could give some advice from my experience, it would be to focus on what you can control rather than what you can’t. Be open, trust yourself, and above all else, dance from your heart and soul.”

Lucy Green, soloist, Queensland Ballet

“A lot is said about the physical requirements needed to make a dance career a success, but I think something that can prove to be even more valuable is a dancer’s work ethic and ability to work hard and intelligently. I think it’s often those dancers who have worked extremely hard and fought for a career in this art form who are the ones who exude the most passion on stage and have that ‘can’t take your eyes off them’ quality.

On top of that, choreographers, coaches and directors all look for dancers who are intelligent, work hard and show respect. Not only will those qualities help to improve a dancer’s abilities, they will also make those people at the front of the studio want to work with you.”

Michelle Barnett, Expressions Dance Company

“Always respect the body, mind and spirit within yourself and others. Keep your mind open and driven to learn. Enjoy what you do, and be thankful for the gift of movement.”

The Australian Ballet's Corey Herbert. Photo by Daniel Boud.

The Australian Ballet’s Corey Herbert. Photo by Daniel Boud.

Corey Herbert, corps de ballet, The Australian Ballet

“Like any career, ballet has its highs and lows. While it’s wonderful to be inspired by others, you should always do it for yourself. In your dance career, you have to find the motivation within to push your body and mind so you can reach a point of inner satisfaction. As my mum has always said to me, ‘Dare to be remarkable.’”

By Rain Francis of Dance Informa.

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