Should I quit cheerleading in order to become good at ballet (and *possibly* a ballerina)?

Question by haanah lily: Should I quit cheerleading in order to become good at ballet (and *possibly* a ballerina)?
I just joined competitive cheerleading a month ago (I’m 13 years old by the way). But now I really want to join ballet in September because I’m extremely flexible, disciplined, and it is my dream to be a ballerina. I know I’m very old to start dancing, but I have done hip hop and jazz for two years. I also took a ballet class one day a week for a year, although it was not very structured. I don’t know what to do because I’ve realized that dance is my passion because I remember when I was 10 years old I wanted to be a ballerina more than anything so I stopped figure skating. I should have never stopped dancing, but now I do not know what to do because competitive cheerleading costs money! I’m sure my mom would take me out of cheerleading- she never wanted me to do it, although shes supportive. But I know girls from my school on the cheer team and I would just make a fool out of myself. What should I do? Thank you.
By the way, I’m 5’7″ would I even have a chance as a ballerina? I have very long legs, but I’m not even sure if I would have any chance as a dancer anyway. I’m a back spot in cheerleading.

Best answer:

Answer by JerryJ
Cheerleading is pretty demeaning, so I’d recommend sticking with the dancing.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

2 Responses to “Should I quit cheerleading in order to become good at ballet (and *possibly* a ballerina)?”

  • Johannes Bergstrom says:

    Follow your dream. If ballerina is what you really want then there is a good chance you will be a good ballet dancer. Dance something you don’t really have a passion for, will probably not make you either happy or very successful, since the competition is fierce. Good luck and follow your heart!

  • mintchips49 says:

    Most ballet companies put a cap on height at 5′ 7″ or 5′ 8″. There are a few exceptions. At 13, you probably still are growing.
    I have to be honest with you. Someone starting at your age would have to be so incredibly gifted to be able to have a career in the ballet, let alone become the ballerina of a company. That is the title given to the one top best dancer in a professional ballet company. Some companies don’t award any dancer that title. There has only been a small handful of dancers that have been able to have a career in ballet starting at 13. If you think you have the body and facility (talent) for ballet, then you should try to audition for a top ballet academy. Going to a local studio at your age would not get you there and is a waste your time if you had any potential for a career. The problem is that most world class ballet academies where you would have to study to achieve your dreams, wont accept an untrained ballet dancer (once a week for a year is untrained) over the age of 10 or perhaps 11. Misty Copeland did it starting at 13, however she was extraordinary and worked one on one with her ballet teacher for a 2-3 months to get her up to speed for professional training. Her teacher knew when she first saw her that she had extraordinary gifts and started with her right away. Dancers on track for a career dorm at their schools and take academics as arranged by their academies or are home schooled so they can dance all day and graduate by 16. 16 is the age you would apprentice with a company. If lucky six months later you are asked to join as corps de ballet.
    To stand a chance for this you would need to be in the 2% of the population that has a ballet body and facility. That means 90 degrees of natural turnout from each hip coming from your hip rotators not your ankles to give you a 180 foot stance. It means both a high arch foot and instep (top bump.) It also means long stretchy achilles tendons. You would need long legs (you have that), long arms and neck, short torso, slightly hyper-extended legs along with a few other things like a great line and natural facility for ballet and musicality. Next you would have to move from your home and take 30 hours of technique classes a week and even more in the summer. Being that you are starting so late, you would have to work harder than the other girls who have all the attributes but started at the right age. Girls with the body and facility, starting at the right age and training at such schools like School of American Ballet, don’t all reach the professional ranks. There are s few jobs and many well trained dancer. To get work, even in the corps de ballet, you have to be among the best of the best.

    If you love dance and don’t want to make such a commitment to give up your life to this or don’t have the facility or musicality for it, then why not dance for the joy of dance. Dance can always be part of your life. Professional careers in the ballet are so short and when they are over, you have to find something else to do. Even in the biggest companies, the pay isn’t all that great either. Find yourself a teen beginner ballet class and start enjoying dance.

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