Ballerina or Professional Ballet Dancer?
When it comes to job titles, it can get a bit tricky with Dancers.
Every once in a while I will run into someone who introduces me as a Ballerina. I immediately correct them and say you mean, “Professional Ballet Dancer.” My natural instinct is to get offended. Why do I get offended, you ask? To put it bluntly, doesn’t the word “Ballerina” sound a bit juvenile? Let me explain.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Ballerina as a Woman who is a Ballet Dancer. The general public does not understand that Ballet Dancers can become professional like sports athletes. They also do not understand that Professional Ballet Dancers get paid. The word “Ballerina” is most often associated with a young Ballet student or the music box dancer with her hands touching the crown of her head like an ape. I don’t want to be thought of as that, do you?
In reality, Professional Ballet Dancers are not recognized for the true athleticism that they embody. Instead they are thought of as the fluff and fairy tales that we learned about in our childhood. (Let’s face it, this lifestyle is far from a fairy tale.)
This is something that isn’t going to change anytime soon, just an observation I made last week while visiting with family.
What are your thoughts?
Nikol Klein, Professional Ballet Dancer/ Author
Posted on December 27, 2009, in Life Management and tagged nikol klein, ballet, ballet injuries, Strength Training for Dancers, dance, ballerina, ballet strength, ballet audition, professional dancer, professional ballet dancer. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.