No matter what style of dance you are focused on (hip hop, jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap) training is an essential part of your success. Training helps develop co-ordination, physical strength and alignment (posture), musicality, discipline, and dedication that is needed in all areas of life like work and school.
Throughout my career as a dancer and dance educator I have seen a lot of dancers and parents focus on the exposure and the experience element of dance. While I think this is great and is needed to have a career in dance, I often see the training being over looked. It is extremely important to have a good balance of all three. Exposure will get you seen and help make contact with other students and choreographers and experience getting to work with master teachers and choreographers is needed in the dance world. However training is the time when the student studies the mental, physical, and artistic side of dance. Training with teachers that know the students inside and out, know students good and bad days, and who are fully invested in each student and knows them as a person is so important. In the dance world it is very easy to be flattered and to be offered incredible opportunities. As dancers we need to make sure that we fully think about the outcome when we agree to do such things. “Will this take away from my training?” “Will I be too tired to focus on my technique?” Such questions should always be asked before agreeing to anything. Some of the best dancers I have seen will do a rigorous show and be in ballet class at 10AM the next morning. They know the importance to maintain and grow their current technical level in order to progress in this industry.
In my personal opinion one class of solid training is better than ten hours of experience. I am not saying that the ten hours of experience is not needed or a waste of time. However if your going to do ten hours of experience and skip your training time I strongly encourage you to think again. A well-rounded dancer has a solid foundation while balancing exposure, experience, and training.