Our Stories - Tiit Helimets

"Do not underestimate your capabilities"

Tiit has been a principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet and Estonian National Ballet before joining the San Fransisco Ballet in 2005, and has worked with many choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor and Val Caniparoli.

In 2008 and 2009, Dancers' Career Development awarded Tiit a Financial Retraining Grant towards his course fees for the Liberal Education for Arts Professionals (LEAP) programme.

"Because a ballet career is very short I started looking beyond ballet long time ago. I have been very interested in the management side of ballet organisation, but to truly understand this side of business I felt that it was very important to study management further. I joined the LEAP program that is run through Saint Mary's College in California. Thankfully I received support from DCD to help me finish my studies in Saint Mary's College. I am graduating this year with the Bachelors Degree in Performing Arts. Because of DCD's help I am currently working part time as the Associate Manager for the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

In my College time I learned that dancers' discipline in general gives us a head start in any field of interest. Dancers are committed and hard working people and this will be a huge advantage when one enters any college. The best advice I have is that do not underestimate your capabilities when you enter college, it is like a new full length ballet that seems difficult to learn at first and hard to polish, but I guarantee that after just couple of months you are ready to ingest this full length ballet and make it your best performance ever."

To find out more about how we can help you, contact Ellen Chambers, Grants and Careers Officer, on ellen@thedcd.org.uk or 020 7831 1449.

You can support a dancer like Tiit to navigate career transition through the boundless appeal