In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org a chance to be featured!
How do I know if I'm good enough to be a professional dancer? I'm one of the strongest dancers in my class, and my teachers like me. But I live in a pretty small town, so it's hard to tell how realistic my dance dreams are.
Many current professional dancers came from tiny towns! But, yes, it can be hard to judge your progress if you're around the same dancers day in and day out. My advice would be to take advantage of any nearby master classes, and to audition for as many summer programs as you can. Both will help you figure out where you stand in the larger dance world.
In master classes, evaluate the level of talent around you, and think about where you fall in the pack. Can you pick up combinations quickly? Do you feel completely lost when going across the floor? Are the other dancers above or below your technical level? Auditions will show you the same things—and there's the added element of the result: If you're getting into well-regarded programs, that's a sign that your training is on track. Audition judges and master-class teachers are also seeing your technique with fresh eyes, so they can give you feedback that will help you improve more rapidly.
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.