Why dance so hard
Life from dancing? Live with dancing!
I dedicate these thoughts to everyone out there who gave in to their passion and stayed true to art without stagnating in self-expression and narcissism. I thank you, you who fight and dream day after day in front of the mirror that does not spare you. You renounce to continue dancing and modestly carry the dream on to young and old students. If you share your skills, your passion, at eye level with those entrusted to you, then you have done everything right.
- Training - your body is the tool
- Stage - your dreams will come true
- Pedagogy - you pass on your passion
Depending on the dance form and dance profession, there is a different one trainingrequired. There are reputable state and private ones Universitiesfor classical and contemporary dance for dancers, choreographers and teachers, training to become a tournament dancer, dance sports trainer or dance teacher. Dance teachers can also do training with the dance teachers association. Of course, a dancer always needs musicality and a sense of rhythm. When it comes to dance, it is still important to start early and to be very committed to the dance from the very beginning in order to have any physical and expressive chances. Later you have to be very ambitious and ready to make sacrifices, e.g. with regard to mobility and family, for the activity as a dancer. Because the competition is particularly tough here, but the success is also particularly inspiring.
Thank god there are many ways to become a dancer. Contemporary dance, with all its wonderful facets, also offers other paths to success. Many young people only discover their passion later and attend first hobby courses, then professional courses, and experience the enjoyment of movement to music stronger and stronger. The unbelievable physical exertion remains natural, regardless of the style in which the interest was aroused.
The tool to dream with the body is hard training. But the joy on stage and in the dance hall cannot be compared with anything.
Dancers are people who mostly dance professionally. There are many professions that can be practiced as a dancer here: competition dancers dance classical standard dances, belly dancers are the attraction at private parties, ballet dancers work in companies and modern dancers perform in dance theater. But you can also work professionally in the field of dance as a dance teacher, dance therapist or choreographer.
Dancers are always very sweaty and physically demanding jobwhich demands a lot of discipline from them. fitnessand the willingness to work intensively on your own body and your own mobility are therefore indispensable prerequisites. But passion is also important to them jobas a dancer, as you have a lot of energy and time for usually relatively little moneymust invest -
As with all artistic professions, the applause is the real reward of the dancers.
You are mostly self-employed and are repeatedly booked for individual performances or courses, etc. or open your own dance school, as I did. Dancers often have several professional pillars in order to compensate for low fees and insecure order situations. But there are also permanent commitments with one theatreor in an ensemble as a classic position for several years. Today, dancers can usually only be on stage until their mid-30s, so you always need a plan for the second phase of your professional life.
My child is going to be a dancer
Many little girls dream of becoming a ballerina. First a hobby, a fun and pastime. The daily bread, such as pain, discipline and subordination in the group, quickly separate the wheat from the chaff. At least if you have dedicated yourself to classical ballet.
The typical “ice skating mother” is described again and again, pushing and ambitiously demanding her child, even though the daughter or son is not really enthusiastic. I would like to tone down some of the clichés that I myself often heard as a ballet mother. My gifted daughter embarked on this difficult path to becoming a ballet dancer absolutely independently. She recognized her talent herself, the professors extended the scholarship twice a year, we were proud.
Yes, of course it's not that simple. Parental influence is much more subtle. Up to puberty, the values and desires of children are very much shaped by upbringing and performance thinking; the child cannot always defend itself against these indirect demands. But a development phase quickly comes in which it is downright important to rebel and rebel against your parents. Get up every day, even on Sundays, when everyone is sleeping in, and go to the ballet hall - no free time after school - and this always tired body ... only a person who is passionate about dance and who has dedicated his soul and spirit to music, continued to do that until I got my ballet diploma when I was 18. How often did my husband and I sit in parenting lesson before the exams at the last training session - how often did the skinny child come up to us with a white upper lip, glowing cheeks and trembling legs and one thing was clear: she won't do that for us. All she had to do was lift her leg a little less and the next semester would be lost and she could go shopping with her friends in the afternoon. No, the passion, when the music begins, nobody could take it away. Until the end, pain, a lot of frustrations and, above all, constantly starving to stay light for the lifts - and then the big performances in the opera, the applause and the satisfaction. The sense of achievement remains indescribable.
Because a dancer absolutely wants it, parents are proud!
The cliché has to be carefully analyzed from time to time. These judgments often seem too quick to me.
Many of the dance teachers who work week after week with the students in our dance school never wanted to go on stage. Others, on the other hand, already have a successful career
behind them or performing at the same time alongside teaching in various ensembles or as soloists. It's the exciting events in concert halls or the leading role in a film that make the heart beat faster, but the stage often also means: a company party, a street party, a battle or a small video. Yes, now you start pondering - the dancer also has to earn money - he has to live on something. My great admiration now belongs to these dancers in all styles, who always inspire their audience with the same enthusiasm. In the long time in which I have worked so intensively with dancers, I hardly know anyone who stagnated in their starry airs. The dancing itself is the reward of our work. The fee does not count when we express our feelings with the body. The stage cannot be the goal - the dance itself is the goal. The short moment, often only a few minutes, should be the greatest happiness? Yes, exactly.
The fascination of dance remains in the dancers' hearts, regardless of the stage, and the interested audience gives us courage and strength for our work. The performance is the reward for the effort.
This is another reason why our dance school's annual shows and performances are so important. The brief moment on the illuminated stage, the rustling costumes and the smell of the make-up are the reward for regular training with the group. Videos and photos can only vaguely capture this experience. This triumph belongs to everyone in their hearts alone. Every student of the dance school must definitely experience and get to know this side of the dancer's life. All relatives will immediately confirm what an incredible benefit these appearances are for self-confidence and developmental progress, especially in children.
The task of the educators is to turn the training room into a stage every single day in dance lessons.
Every movement in space is a significant spectacle.
The daily bread
If you want to earn a lot of money and have important training dates off school, then you have to go to the football club. In Germany, talent for dance is still not promoted enough and the Ministry of Culture does not support the students at all. We owe it to people like Ms. Constanze Vernon that a foundation has finally granted scholarships and a university degree is possible. A soccer high school, on the other hand, is a matter of course in our society and is hugely sponsored.
In a dance school, a teacher receives an average of 30 euros for 60 minutes of lessons. For 10 years I was a civil servant teacher at primary schools in Munich from grades one to nine. I don't think I made that much per hour. But - Attention! - Now think about how you can go home after 60 minutes of exercise, take a shower and take effect after the physical strain. Now imagine training in the mirror hour after hour all day long while still correcting, speaking and motivating. In between there is no break, but endless journeys through the city from dance school to dance school. Only a few employees in our school have a car - they can afford a car. Thick boots protect tired feet in winter, while large, warm down coats warm the body for the next lesson. There is hardly any time to warm up, the pupils are impatient to learn the new steps.
The dance teacher is not insured and has to take care of his own pension. If he is sick or injured, the hours are not paid. Private life is severely affected, as most courses are attended in the evening after work. When we relax, things really get going in the dance hall. The morning is sometimes more relaxed, but the lessons have to be prepared, individually adapted to the participants and designed to be creative and entertaining.
A life as a dancer is tough, short and poorly paid - only for the obsessed
It is estimated that there are around 2,000 professional dancers in Berlin, of which only 160 were employed on publicly funded stages in 2015. The others survive with short-term engagements and also work as waiters or small actors
Source: http://www.berliner-zeitung.de/15659020 © 2016
The dancer employed at the theater seems privileged, and working with schoolchildren is a long way off at first. A report by the dancer Angela Reinhart - here abbreviated - relativizes this phase of success and makes us think.
“The illusion is perfect. The dancer simulates lightness and effortlessness far from the earth, where iron-hard muscle work can actually be experienced. You don't see the sweat of this backbreaking work on the stage, only every day in the dance hall. I danced when I was a preschooler. I started my training at a state ballet school at the age of ten and after many years and in great pain I was allowed to dance big roles. Soon I was the first soloist in the house, I was the star. When I was at the peak of my performance a few years ago, the artistic director wrote to me that he could no longer employ me as the first soloist due to reduced performance and that he would cut my fee. From the next season on, the house no longer needed ballet at all. All dancers are quit. The employment relationship was terminated after 19 years in court. A career as a dancer is short enough; it ends at around 40 years of age. I was 35, she wanted to keep dancing. The musician not only has double the salary, he also has to work significantly less than the dancer, who does eight hours a day without performing, with a maximum of seven duties per week (17.5 hours). After all, the musician has work until retirement, while the dancer basically only gets annual contracts and has to look for a new job in the middle of life. He is then often grateful for extra roles. In the Federal Republic of Germany the livelihood of permanently employed musicians is regulated, American standards apply to dancers. It is part of their self-image not to complain about their existence, but to search for opportunities to perform. I wanted to start my own business but the applications for funding had been rejected. We moved into a smaller apartment. It's hard to make money with private dance projects. I receive unemployment benefits between my engagements, but meanwhile my performance must never decrease, the body of a top dancer requires daily training - a role like Julia can only be achieved with highly disciplined work. This is also a cost factor, training hours can be expensive, and pointe shoes cost 35 euros or more. A dancer at the opera consumes up to four pairs in a week. I don't want to decide yet what my life should be like after the dance. I am currently writing a guide for dance students and professionals. But what advice do I have? Can you recommend the profession of ballet dancer - as tough, short, full of privation and underprivileged as it is today - to a young person with a clear conscience?
I have a clear answer to that:
- It depends on the level of fanaticism. You can model the body, but not the ambition. Some people just don't let themselves be talked out of their job under any circumstances. Well. But what does it look like, the reward of obsession?
- There are these moments of transformation when you stand on the stage and take off - from reality into the characters that you represent. In the beginning you have to hold on to the bar, but technology frees the soul. And you float. " (from the Berliner Zeitung)
Dancing against the youth madness
The choreographer Constanza Macras on aging dancers: Is she turning against the youth madness in dance? “We never used to have this obsessive youth craze. Women over 60 were already involved in one of my first pieces, “MIR a Love Story”, and we continued to work with them on other projects. I've been working with the same people for over ten years now - and we're all getting older. But even when new dancers join the ensemble, it is very nice to see how the people become more mature, just as the work becomes deeper and more uncompromising - but always remains very physical. For me, dance is an intelligent form that reflects society as a whole. I have just staged a piece for the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires with the older ballet dancers - some of them over 60 years old. "
My dear co-workers, great dancers and humble educators, I am so grateful to know you and to work with you. I adore your skills, your passion and the patience to bring dance into the world.
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