I am considering the notion of “development stages” of becoming a professional ballet dancer. Clearly, any career has developmental stages towards becoming a fully proficient professional. However, professional ballet dancers are somewhat unique in that their development starts at a very young age, even if they do not know they are headed in that direction. And somewhat ironically, their career as a dancer also ends at a relatively young age. For my research, I would like to identify a reasonable trajectory of these stages of a dancers career. Below is a list of what I think are some obvious stages of development. It would be naive of me to think that these are the only stages and indeed that these ones are necessarily an accurate reflection of a dancers reality. Would anyone like to comment on what they think of the list and offer additions, elaborations or modifications from their own experience? Would there be better descriptions to replace any of these?
The developmental stages I have identified in (presumably) chronological order are:
- Very young novice – first steps
- Young enthusiast – becoming enthusiastic in ballet as an art/discipline
- Advanced student – professional “in-training”
- Beginning professional – Apprentice or Corps de Ballet in a part/full-time capacity in a company
- Intermediate professionals – Soloists and Coryphées
- Senior professionals – Senior and Principal Artists
- Ageing (sic) dancer – significant experience yet on the road to retirement
Your input to this part of my research would be very valuable. Thank you in advance.