Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ballet Vs. Modeling

It seems like a lifetime ago ballet was my life. And I seriously mean my LIFE.
I started dancing before I even knew what dancing was. I used to make up dances for my grandmother.
Then at the age of 5 my family enrolled me in Ballet classes.
At first it was just a hobby, but before long I was dancing every day.
Eventually I was dancing 6-7 days a week. 2-6 hours a day.
At the age of 11 I started going away to summer intensives.

Summer intensives are sort of like ballet summer camp.
You dance all day from 9am to 5pm mon-fri. They usually last around 6 weeks.
I got the opportunity to go to summer intensives in Philadelphia, Washington DC, Miami, and Milwaukee.
I also participated in competitions in Nyc and Ukraine.
In 10th grade I dropped out of regular high school and finished school online so that I could spend more hours of the day dancing.

Ballet really helped me transfer into modeling. Surprisingly there are a lot of similarities as well as differences you wouldn't expect.

Ballet Vs. Modeling

Mean Girls
Modeling: People have the idea that models are mean and catty. While there may be one or two here and there, over all models are normal people. Models are often traveling and living in different places. It can be a very lonely lifestyle so you make friends where you can.

Ballet: Models are NOTHING compared to ballet dancers. Everything is so competitive. You are always being watched, always being sized up, and always being talked about. Even by your "friends". I've seen girls do purposely harmful things to other girls and I've never experienced such intense jealousy anywhere else.

Mean Superiors
Modeling: This would include agency, bookers, and clients. You always hear that you have to have thick skin to be a model. That people will always say nasty things to you. Overall, I don't think I've ever shed a single tear over what anyone has said to me. Sure I've been told to eat only ice cubes or put in "time out" to loose weight or told I'm not womanly enough. And I can only imagine what is said when I'm not in the room. But overall, clients keep mean comments to themselves.

Ballet: This includes teachers and directors. Maybe the "insults" I've taken in modeling don't seem so insulting because they don't even compare to what I heard in ballet. I've been told I look like a dead fish, have crazy eyes, and to stop eating. I've been poked, hit, pulled, stretched, yanked, shoved, and man handled. It's serious business training to be a ballet dancer.

Physical Pain
Modeling: I wear a size 10 shoe. And I often have to cram my feet into a size 9. Which is pretty painful. Having your hair pulled and yanked can hurt. And I'm some how always painfully cold at every job.

Ballet: Two words....Point shoes. I've had bloody toes, skin ripped off my toes, bruised toe nails, and corns. I've also suffered a few injuries such as pulled muscles.

Modeling: This is what I love about modeling the most (along with traveling). Getting in front of a camera or on a runway and feeling the rush.

Ballet: There is nothing like dancing on stage. It's an amazing feeling and I miss it dearly.

Ballet: When I was dancing I ate anything and everything. I was dancing so much that the calories didn't matter. And during summer intensives I could never eat enough. A typical summer intensive day looked a little like this...
Breakfast - eggs, sausage, pancakes with lots of syrup, hash browns, and fruit.
Snack on the bus - Dry cereal.
Lunch - Sandwich, chips, and a cookie or two.
Dinner - Chicken, Pasta, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, and a brownie.
Snack before bed - Fried chicken sandwich, and a brownie.

Modeling: Sadly I can't follow the same diet as I once could. I need to watch what I eat more and make sure I exercise. This was extremely hard for me to get used to when I made the switch from ballet to modeling. Now a typical day (when I'm being good lol) looks a little like....
Breakfast - I have a hard time eating breakfast so I usually nibble on a little bit of cereal.
Lunch - Grilled chicken either with a salad or rice.
Snacks - Fruit or carrots with hummus
Diner - Grilled chicken with either salad, rice, or vegetables.
I do cheat here and there.


photonutz said...

This was very enlightening Alyssa. I never really knew the differences.

Ariana Estelle said...

this makes me so sad! i am going through this transition now...ballet-->modeling full time..its hard!

Jones Morris said...

The reality is that London is one of the fashion capitals of the world attracting all the major brands and businesses whose first choice of marketing is modelling. Therefor most modelling agencies in London are rarely short of work and new models are advices to get well prepared before taking the decision to apply. model agency

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