Do you live, love and breath everything ballet? Have you considered studying ballet at a pre-professional or professional level? You came to the right place! We got the inside scoop on what a day in the life of a student enrolled in the Houston Ballet Academy Professional Division looks like from JJGirl Tatiana Melendez!
“I began training in ballet when I was 8 years old, but really fell in love with it at the age of 12. I attended many competitions, both ballet and your typical dance competitions. Throughout the years of competing in ballet competitions, I was given the opportunity to be exposed to so many different ballet schools and companies. In 2015, I was lucky enough to have to have received a scholarship to attend The Houston Ballet Academy Profession Division year round program. I quickly accepted the offer and began my rigorous training in August of 2015. I am now onto my second year with The Houston Ballet Academy continuing my training to become a professional ballet dancer.
7:00AM: Before heading to ballet, I begin my day by waking up and quickly get dressed, do my hair and eat a good breakfast. For breakfast I will usually have rice cakes with an avocado and an egg on top or if I have a really early morning (some days class starts at 7:45 am!) I’ll make overnight oats.
9:00AM: My first class typically starts at 9:00AM and we always start out with a technique class. Twice a week we’ll have technique class on pointe. After technique class we have a 15 minute break and then move on to our next class.
12:00PM: I have lunch for an hour everyday around 12 or 1. For lunch I’ll usually either pack left over dinner from the night before or pack a handful of different snacks. For example, some days I’ll pack an apple, a bar and carrots with hummus.
1:00PM: After lunch we’ll either have rehearsals for upcoming performances or we’ll have classes such as pas de deux and modern or contemporary, or a pointe class and variations class.
4:00-5:45PM: Typically my classes end any between these times depending on the day. Some days I go even later if I have company rehearsals!
6:00PM: When I get home from a long day of dancing, I quickly take a shower and begin making dinner. I eat dinner first and then do my school work. I do school work for about 2-3 hours a day and once I finish, I start getting ready for bed.
9:30PM: If I have time I’ll squeeze in a couple episodes of my favorite television shows!
Tatiana’s advice to fellow aspiring ballerinas:
My advice that I would give to dancers who want to study ballet on a pre-professional level, would be to keep working hard and be patient with yourself. Ballet can be very demanding and most things don’t come easily. Also, know when you’re ready to take your training to the next level. In most cases studying ballet on a pre-professional level means leaving your home or school…so know when you’re ready and follow your gut. Most importantly, never give up!”