Back to Blogs

Navigating the First Day at a New Ballet Company or Program: Tips for Success

Robert Fulton - Aug. 11, 2023, 8:22 p.m.

Starting a new chapter in your ballet journey, whether it's joining a new company or entering a different program, can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking. The first day sets the tone for your experience ahead, so it's essential to approach it with confidence and an open mind. Here's some valuable advice to help you make the most of your first day and ensure a smooth transition:

1. Make a Memorable Introduction: Taking the initiative to introduce yourself to those around you is a simple yet powerful way to make a positive impression. Greet fellow dancers, instructors, and staff members with a friendly smile and a confident handshake. Remember, first impressions matter, and a warm introduction can set the tone for future interactions.

2. Navigate Barre Etiquette: Choosing the right spot at the barre can be a bit tricky. While it's generally respectful to avoid taking a seasoned member's spot, don't be afraid to ask around for suggestions. It's acceptable to inquire about available spots and choose one that suits you. If in doubt, you can always stand towards the back initially and gauge the dynamics of the class.

3. Observe and Adapt: In the initial days, take some time to observe the flow and dynamics of the company or program. Notice how the dancers interact, how classes are structured, and the general atmosphere. This observation phase will help you understand the dynamics and expectations, allowing you to integrate more seamlessly.

4. Balance Confidence with Humility: While showcasing your work ethic and talent is important, remember to strike a balance between confidence and humility. Be eager to learn and take corrections positively. Show your commitment through your actions while remaining open to feedback. This balanced approach demonstrates professionalism and a willingness to grow.

5. Respect the Company Culture: Every company or program has its own unique culture and dynamics. Pay attention to the unwritten rules, hierarchies, and traditions. This doesn't mean you have to conform entirely, but being aware of the existing dynamics helps you navigate your way while respecting the established norms.

6. Gradual Integration: It's perfectly fine to take a few days to gradually integrate yourself into the new environment. While you should certainly participate actively, there's no rush to assert yourself in the first class. Use this time to learn and understand the company's dynamics, which will eventually help you find your place within it.

Starting at a new ballet company or program is an exciting opportunity for growth and learning. Remember, everyone was once the new dancer, and people appreciate individuals who approach the experience with enthusiasm and a willingness to adapt. By making a positive impression, respecting the existing dynamics, and focusing on both your talent and the collective growth, you're setting yourself up for a successful journey ahead. Enjoy the experience and embrace every moment of this new chapter in your ballet career.