Advice for Dancers

Does Getting a Trainee Contract Mean I'll Never Make It?

Nowadays, landing a trainee contract is a usual step toward a full company contract. Photo by Kyle Broad/Unsplash

I feel like a loser after auditioning for a ballet company. Instead of a job, I landed a position in their trainee program. I refused it and switched to a school with a Limón curriculum, which doesn't do it for me. Now what?

—Failure, New York, NY


It's natural to do an about-face and search for something new after you've been disappointed by rejection. But you may be giving up something you love.

My advice is to put your "failure" into perspective by seeing it as a victory that you were offered a trainee position. This is now a very common first step to getting into a company, so it's not necessarily a sign that you're not good enough to make it professionally. Avoid comparing yourself to those who got a job in the main company. If your heart lies in ballet, then continue to go for it.

Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at advicefordancers@dancemedia.com.

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