As August is here and summer is slowing coming to an end, I start to think about the beginning of a new school year. The excitement, anticipation and often dread that comes with change brings a spark to the air. And often, it causes my older students to start thinking about what they want to do in college and for many, that answer is musical theater.
If that is the case for your child in any way, shape or form, let me lay out what must be done in order for them to get into a highly respected and beneficial program. YOU HAVE TO START DANCING NOW. No if, ands or buts, get their butts to ballet. I feel as if I say this until I’m blue in the face, but after having spent the majority of last fall working to get students into programs, I was reminded of what I always knew–that if you want a career in musical theater, you have to be able to dance.
Now, I’m not talking about being a prima ballerina. But coordination and familiarity with each style of dance is crucial. When you go to your college audition, the choreographer may very well TELL you the sequence of movements, NOT show you. Therefore, you have to be familiar with the language that they use. Taking ballet makes that happen. Ballet is your foundation, with which other styles can be built upon.
Artistree is one of the few studios that offers dance for musical theater for ages 7th-12th grade. I completely understand that your 14 year old doesn’t want to take ballet with a bunch of 7 year olds. So if it’s not here, then find somewhere they can start to get basic technique, which will build their confidence overall as a performer. The awareness of their body and the space around them only lends itself to any acting or vocal technique they may already have. Trust me, they will be so glad they put on those dancing shoes.