A ballet company is remarkably similar to a business company. Both have a dress code, both utilise the pirouette (some with the help of swivel chairs) and both involve lots of dancing. Although for some, this usually occurs after four hours of drinking at the pub each Friday after work.
These remarkable similarities also extend to the employment structure. A ballet company and a business both use a hierarchal system based on a person’s experience, skills and talent (which is why I’m still employed as the toilet cleaner here at Dinamica Ballet).
When a newly graduated dancer joins a ballet company, they normally begin as part of the “Corps de ballet”. These are the dancers that you see as the backdrop, performing in synchronization and supporting the principle dancers. In a business, this is equivalent to a Sales Representative. They’re the people who read off a sales pitch after calling poor unfortunate grannies who naively answer their phone at 5pm in the afternoon.
So what’s the equivalent of the other traditional hierarchal positions in a ballet company?
- Corps de ballet – Sales Reps.
- Coryphée – The Sales Rep who has been given an extra responsibility, such as buying the coffees.
- Sujet – Team boss. The one who usually bludgeons employees with motivational speeches.
- Prima ballerina / Premier danseur – THE boss. Normally meeting other bosses on business lunches…. and post business lunch drinks.
- Prima ballerina assoluta / Premier danseur noble – Mark Zuckerberg.
And you know what? We happen to have a portable ballet barre which is the crème de la crème of ballet barres to use at home. Do you know what it’s called?
Yep that’s right, it’s like THE boss of the of the business world.