Many people may not realize what a day of a dancer may look like. As any other job we have a set schedule. It may often change due to stage calls, rehearsals with the orchestra or people getting injured.
Basically, the day is divided in two or three parts which are: the class, rehearsals and a show.
Let’s dive in!
In every company the day begins with a warm up class, it’s like a ritual, a way to disconnect from the world and reconnect with your body.
Class is the most important part of the day in my opinion.
In Ballet de Nice Méditerranée where I am currently working, the class starts at 10am and finishes at 11:30.
I personally like to do some stretching and workout before to be able to warm up properly during the class.
The class is divided in two parts. There is the barre and the center. Each part consists of exercices which work on a specific part of the body and gets harder as you go along.
Without it, you could get injured if the rehearsals are hard and tiring. In others words, it’s the best way to stay in shape and healthy.
- After the class the hard work really begins with rehearsals which are essential to build up a production.
When we start learning a piece, soloists and corps de ballet members have separate rehearsals.
The ballet masters are the ones guiding the rehearsals. They know the choreography, the counts and the style. They give us corrections on the technique and artistical emotions we have to give to the audience.
The process of learning a new piece can be heavy, everything is new and can get confusing. You have to put every piece of the puzzle in the right place.
Before a rehearsal begins, I have to go through the steps and remind myself the corrections otherwise I forget some details and I’m not as productive as I could have been.
Once the ballet masters have taught us all the steps, soloists and corps de ballet members have rehearsals together. Final touches are added to put the piece together, run throughs are made before stage rehearsals and performances.
Rehearsals are 70% of my day. Without them, it would be impossible to perform, to feel confident on stage and enjoy my dancing.
- After rehearsals, my day may end up up with a show.
Performing is why we’ve put in all the work. It’s a mixture of emotions, nerves, excitement. Sometimes you don’t know what’s going to happen, this is why I like to stay focused before the show and do the things I have to do in peace, like going to hair and make up, warm up, prepare my things back stage and get dressed.
Once the curtain goes up, I feel like in bubble, nothing can stop me, it is impossible to interrupt the performance. It can take me a few minutes to feel confortable and not be as stressed, and really enjoy my dancing.
However, my days don’t always end up with a show, I don’t get to perform everyday or every week. We don’t have a steady schedule of performances.
This is why, every year there is a meeting with the artistic directors of each department (ballet, orchestra, choir) and the main director of the opera house to establish the schedule of performances and gives to each discipline as many shows as possible.
Most of the time I really get to grow as an artist on stage, and realize how lucky I am to perform. Performing is the essence of our art and passion.
My days can look quite atypical compering with any other job but it seems quite natural to me and to be honest it’s more than a job, it’s a way of life. At the moment I don’t see myself doing something else, I still have some goals to reach in this career like dancing my favorite pieces, get to dance some nice parts, meet amazing people… It’s and adventure everyday, I discover new things about myself and my conception of the world plus I’ll never know when this dream might end so I have to enjoy every moment of it even when I have doubts and it gets tough.
Let me know if you have questions, hope you liked what you read, and wishing you a very nice week 🙂
Your Alex Inside Motion.