It is generally agreed by the greater ballet masters of the world and by the professional training institutions that the best time to start ballet training is at nine years old. There are no professional programs in the world that accept children younger than nine, however, they may offer a rhythmical movement class for younger children and at smaller community dance schools ballet training can be found for children as young as two years old. Although many dancers start as young as possible many others, especially men, do not start until very late. It is not uncommon for a man to start taking ballet at the age of twenty-two and become a successful professional dancer.
If a dancer is following a professional program from a young age, he or she will probably graduate from that program at the age of nineteen or twenty. After graduating the dancer can continue training to become a teacher or audition for a job with a ballet company.