What you see on stage is fascinating, but it does not reflect the whole reality that is happening behind the scenes. Men and women who spend their time jumping and spinning for our entertainment often sacrifice much more that anyone could imagine.
After reading few interviews with elite solo dancers and members of the most popular art choirs and after long years in dance environment I decided to prepare for you following list of 10 truths from life of a pro dancer.
- Hard work
There are dancers performing seven times a week in five different ballet studios or other performances and they often change their costumes in between breaks so they could play two different roles.
Morning training, endless rehearsals, costume rehearsals, physical therapy, hair, make-up and training again. Twelve hour work schedule is a normal part of life of a professional dancer.
Seven performances during one weekend. Some dancers perform from Friday night until Sunday afternoon and during the week, besides training they have other performances as well.
Dance groups appear to be family atmosphere, but often it is a fight positions and a place on the dance floor. Fortunately, at the end of the day, it always ends up in cohesiveness among the dancers, as each of the groups survives the peaks of their falls and heights.
According to the New York Times Ballet, the average salary of a dancer in the choir is between $ 1100 - $ 2100 a week, depending on experience and contract. In Slovakia, of course, it is considerably less and only the passion and joy of the dance keep the dancers doing it. Money is definitely not the motivation.
Professional dance can be categorized as a dangerous kind of art. Daily base injuries and therapist visits between dance classes. The dancer's career ends in pain and severe deformation.
- All together
Every dancer knows that you rarely get your own dressing room in a dance choir or group. They will give you a locker, a hanger, a shelf, a bench and a mirror. However, care is taken to ensure that everyone has sufficient personal space.
One would think that ballet dancers and dancers keep a special diet. If not explicitly required, their daily physical exercise is sufficient to allow them to eat what they want.
- Plan B
Dance is not the only dancer's livelihood. Each of them knows that it can't be done forever and so those who have no ambition to become choreographers, directors, or coaches build their working background in other areas as well.
As usual, success and professionalism in a certain area take their toll. Dancers, as well as many other artists, have to dedicate years of their lives to career and hard training instead of fun and family.
However, it's great to see that, despite all of the mentioned above, we see thousands of passionate dancers around the world dancing with fulfillment, joy and maximum dedication. The life story of these dancers is not sad, it is primarily about love and joy for what they do.