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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