How much discipline is required to become a successful ballet star – and is Louis C K Right?

Recently I was watching television when Louis C K was being interviewed by Conan O’Brien. I am a big fan of Conan and I have also heard of Louis C K – and while Louis was being interviewed the topic of dancers had come up. Louis was saying that taking up the profession of dancing is probably the worst career decision ever – I thought it was quite rich saying that as a comedian – a profession which is known as being unstable for the vast majority of comics.

As Louis discussed this he put forward his view on why he thought this – the first challenge was the fact that dancers only have a certain period of time where they can be in their prime. It is true that dancing takes a lot of strain on the body – and there is only a certain period of time where you can be at your best as a dancer. This is his first point.

The second point is that there are only so many jobs that you can do as a ballet dancer – there’s only so much gigs and so that should be a reason not to go forward with it.

He ended the segment by saying that he does respect the art of dance.

While I understanding Louis was doing a comedy routine and probably put this together ahead of time just to be funny – I wanted to point out a couple of things.

The first being that as a ballet dancer you can get other dance gigs – since ballet does not restrict you to perform only one type of dance and in fact we encourage our ballet students to experiment with other dance types. We also find that when a student is good at ballet they are able to pick up other dance types quite quickly – and ballet actually works as a good foundation.

As for Louis’ point that after a certain age you cannot dance anymore – this is true – however do keep in mind that after you have been at the zenith of your dancing career you can still go to teaching – and there are many gigs available for older dancers also – you just have to look out for them – all though I do agree with Louis that as you get older finding work becomes more difficult.

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A Quick Overview of Our Programs

Rejoice School of Ballet teaches children ages 4 through 18. Classes are held at one of four locations in East Nashville: Edgefield Baptist Church, East Park Community Center, The Martha O’Bryan Center and Glenn Enhanced Option School.


Ballet is the core curriculum and all students take ballet. Depending upon their level, students take from 1 to 12 hours of dance each week.

Classes run from August through April. In April, there is a recital that showcases all students. In April, students also take exams that demonstrate their progress from year to year.

Pre-Professional Program

After a student has taken two years of ballet, and is at least 8 years old, they may audition for our Pre-Professional Track. This track is designed for dancers, who would like to take more than 1 to 2 hours of recreational dance classes per week. These dancers will dance between 6 to 12 hours per week, depending on their level. Our goal is for them to be able to pursue dance in college or as a career.


Students who have documentation they are on government assistance pay $15 a month for classes, dance wear, costumes and recitals. Other students pay according to a sliding scale. This policy makes dance affordable for every child.

What We Do:

Rejoice provides ballet, modern, Pilates, and tap to 100 students from August through April at three locations in East Nashville. In 2014, a fourth location was added at the Martha O’Bryan Center. Students on government assistance pay only $15 a month for classes, dance wear, and costumes. Other students pay according to a sliding scale making dance afforable for every family.

How We Do It:

Rejoice hires professional dance instructors because our students deserve the best dance education possible. Rejoice is supported by individuals, foundations, churches, and businesses.


We would like to thank Silkwood Medical – for helping us through their promotion of a mini face lift in sydney in helping us to continue running our school and helping students. God bless!