Research has shown that talent identification requires multiple means of identification. This should be considered together with talent development to allow for the effects of maturation (Walker et al., 2010). Taking into consideration that no model can guarantee success and that factors such as chance and timing can be essential, studies show that if combined, several types of models could demonstrate how talent criteria can be adapted at different stages of development (Walker et al., 2010). Many psychological factors can be enhanced through training and may not be eligible talent identification criteria – but they are essential to talent development (Walker et al., 2010). Thus, research suggests that the dancers of tomorrow might be difficult to identify today if the means of identification are too rigid or exclusive (Walker et al., 2010).
Trajectories and age differences in talent identification
Studies have shown there are significant cultural differences, not only how dancer’s talent are first identified, but also how their talent has been developed (Chua 2014; Hutichinson et al., 2013). While students in the Netherlands were between 10-15 years old when their dance teachers first told them that they were talented, dancers in the USA, Russia and Mexico have been identified as «talented» at a mean age of 8,47 (Chua, 2014). Overall, there seems to be two different systems for developing ballet dancers (Hutchinson et al., 2013). Ballet training for children in more individual and Western-based cultures (i.e., American and Mexican cultures) mostly depended on the family’s economic resourses. Subsequently, this leads to only a small number of young dancers eventually being selected for the best training or participating in elite ballet companies (Hutchinson et al., 2013). In contrast, in collective-based cultures (i.e., Russian culture), children with a promising body type are selected at a young age, supported by government subsidies and enrolled in educational environments characterized by emphasis and pressure on success (Hutchinson et al., 2013).
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