Dear Katie: Help! I Can't Afford Dance Lessons

Photo by Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!


Dear Katie,

When I was younger, I trained seriously in dance, and loved it. But two years ago, when I was 14, my family decided they couldn't afford lessons anymore. Since then, I've been running cross-country and doing Pilates every night, trying to stay in shape. Dancing professionally is still my dream, but I'm not sure if or when I'll be able to get back into classes. Is there any hope for me?

Jenna


Dear Jenna,

I'll be honest with you: In order to be a professional dancer, you'll need to train intensively, which means being in dance classes five to six times a week. But don't lose heart! You're already on the right track by staying in shape.

Ask your dance school about financial aid. Most schools will be willing to work with talented students, but dancers are often afraid to ask. Be bold! Explain your situation, and see if they can offer scholarships or reduced-fee classes.

I'd also suggest adding some ballet barres to your at-home routine. You can find many for free on YouTube (including several on my channel). They'll help you develop, or redevelop, the muscles you'll need for studio classes—and they'll keep you in a dance mind-set.



For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.

Dear Katie
Gabriel Figueredo in a variation from Raymonda. VAM Productions, Courtesy YAGP.

This week, over 1,000 young hopefuls gathered in New York City for the Youth America Grand Prix finals, giving them the chance to compete for scholarships and contracts to some of the world's top ballet schools and companies. Roughly 85 dancers made it to the final round at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater on Wednesday. Today, the 20th anniversary of YAGP came to a close at the competition's awards ceremony. Read on to find out who won!

Keep Reading Show less
Dance News
After a string of ballet-company rejections, Jennifer Sydor (here in Laura Peterson's "Failure") found success in other areas of the dance world. (Stephen Delas Heras, courtesy Jennifer Sydor)

In her senior year at Butler University, Jennifer Sydor auditioned for more than a dozen regional ballet companies—and got a string of "no, thank you" responses. "I have an athletic build, and my movement quality isn't the typical ballet aesthetic," Sydor says. "But I'd been laser-focused on ballet. When I didn't get a ballet contract, I was heartbroken."

Her one job offer came from Kim Robards Dance, a small modern company based in Aurora, CO. After attending KRD's summer intensive, Sydor ended up accepting a yearlong position with the troupe. "I was relieved and happy to begin my career," she says. She's been working as a contemporary dancer ever since.

In the dance world, rejection is part of the package. That doesn't make it any more pleasant. But whether you didn't get the Nutcracker role of your dreams or you weren't picked for a job despite feeling like you aced the audition, you can emerge from even the most gut-wrenching "no" smarter and stronger.

Keep Reading Show less
Mind
Ballet West principal Beckanne Sisk as Kitri (Luke Isley, courtesy Ballet West)

Guess who's baaaaack?! Your resident Dance Spirit astrologers! And on the eve of the Youth America Grand Prix awards ceremony, we thought it was the perfect time to pair each zodiac sign with a variation commonly seen during the competition. After many painstaking hours spent researching, consulting the stars, and staring wistfully into the sky, we compiled our data and present you with the definitive list of each star sign as a YAGP variation! As we said last time, don't @ us if you're not happy with your pairing—the stars don't lie, baby!

Keep Reading Show less
Dancer to Dancer

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Giveaways