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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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  3. Vocabulary/Terminology

    Thank you! I will add those to my viewing list.
  4. Stretching Knees

    I hope I can express myself well - it seems whenever I extend in a developpe or a straddle, etc more than my hamstrings or my calves being tight as I would expect my knees feel a tightness. I am not as well versed in anatomy as I would like to be, so I am unsure as to whether the tightness is from a connection to the joint or possibly a misalignment or possibly something else.
  5. Dancingjet, I had no idea and I was glad that I hadn’t purchased my plane tickets (which I had planned to do later today)😳😳
  6. Last week
  7. Ballet and Level =)

    37,M. I started modern in January 2016, and ballet in September 2016. I get two 1 hour 45 minutes Balanchine classes a week, adults, at an advanced-beginner level.
  8. julisha, did you know that was a possibility? What if someone had purchased plane tickets, etc. and then had the school cancel your audition date?
  9. Taking notes

    This won't be the last time. This happened to me a lot about a year ago.
  10. DD got an email from Point Park today indicating that since she auditioned at the DTCB conference, she did not need to attend the November campus auditions and they cancelled her reservation for November 18th. She was told that she would have results by mid-January.
  11. There is no provided housing.
  12. Concerning the housing after the SI if a dancer continues on for the school year in the conservatory, anyone have experience with this?
  13. Recent information on shorter companies?

    Thank you Momof3darlings and everyone else: This has been very helpful. DD won't audition for companies until next year as she is still a junior in high school but will audition for SI's and possibly second companies this year. I wanted to start compiling a list of possible places to check out knowing that things can change at any time and have to be constantly updated. Rather than just stick to the big SI's which she has done, I thought maybe she should also think about some that could be possibly better suited for her down the road and that may not audition in her home city. She is long and thin for her size and actually looks taller so these have all been helpful things to think about. I could be overthinking this and jumping the gun, but I know next year will be stressful. Thanks again!
  14. Recent information on shorter companies?

    This conversation is really in the eyes of the beholder (AD at a given space in time) and determined by a whole lot of external and internal things. When looking at companies and their heights, it is important to look at their corp, their soloists and then their principals. In addition, you need to look at trends in their men. As an example, in DDs company the Principal women tend to be shorter. However, the corp tends to be taller or a stairstep to taller. Another company might like all the same visual height. This can change in a heartbeat if the current hires of men are either taller or shorter, thus changing the intent of a specific audition season. Everything is about filling out a visual picture called the company and that is a never ending cycle. In terms of whittling down an expensive audition season, the best thing to do is simply exclude those you know, in fact, have a preference that is posted. Then guess on the rest. It is also important to take in consideration appearance. Not all 5'2" dancers look alike on stage even if dancing side by side. One might have longer limbs and the other a longer body. Two dancers with those differences will look completely different on stage. Same with two taller dancers. If you are currently auditioning for companies, the very best thing you can do besides see if they post or will share this information is to ask a dancer within the company. A teacher may have a contact you can use. They can tell you if the Corp and Apprentices are generally one height or a mix and they can tell you if there are shorter or taller dancers in the company in what capacity they are there. If you are a new dancer, auditioning for Corp or Apprentice and those ranks are 5'7" then this will tell you alot. It doesn't rule you out, but it does tell you the path you would need there. So in other words, if a company tends to have shorter Principal dancers, but taller corp this totally may change your audition strategy. However, if a company is not ranked then this may tell you something else.
  15. Vocabulary/Terminology

    Youtube is the best. You can look up tutorials and ask questions. I have two books, the one by Darcey Bussell and The Ballet Companion. I agree, they are good for body positions, but not as good for actual steps. Sometimes ill look up terms in youtube if I don't fully understand the moves. After someone looks up a few ballet terms, more and more vids will be suggested by Youtube. A few Youtube channels I like Mydancetv Claudia Dean Coaching Salty Sugar Plum Holistic Ballet Royal Opera House, as mentioned before me Align Ballet Ballerinas by Night
  16. Meeting the cliché by breaking another

    I'll add my welcome to that of GTLS Designs. Glad you found us! And there's a very friendly & helpful Adult Students section of Ballet Talk for Dancers, where you can share the journey.
  17. Recent information on shorter companies?

    Thank you to everyone for your comments. Pennsylvania Ballet and Atlanta Ballet have confirmed no height requirements or preferences. Sounds like DD could use 1 more inch! LOL. I will post any more information learned.
  18. Spousal approval or dissapproval.

    Edited- so sorry- I just realized I am not allowed to post here. But I wanted to share my support for all you wonderful men!
  19. Recent information on shorter companies?

    5.375 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/body-measurements.htm
  20. If auditions don't pan out

    IU and Butler have had acceptances after denials also. In those cases, the dancer received additional training and then reauditioned. The ones I personally know of that additional training came via Traineeships, Apprenticeships, etc and then a return audition. dancingjet--you are most very welcome!
  21. Music copyright

    Thank-you. That helps.
  22. Spousal approval or dissapproval.

    My wife was dragged to both ballet performances and class by her mom, that's why she doesn't like it. That is also the reason why I was really really nervous to tell her that I wanted to take ballet classes. It turned out very well. She was laughing at first but immediately she told me if that's what I want I just should do it. Now she's telling me that she really loves to see how I am enjoying to do it. She is also clear the she will never come and watch a performance however. I am also not sure if performing is something I want to pursue. The kids were another thing. They were laughing and making funny remarks all the time about tutus etc. But this wore off after a week or two. Now it's already normal that daddy is going to ballet 2 nights per week. So in the end I am a lucky guy and I only regret that I didn't do it earlier.
  23. Music copyright

    For classical variations the accepted ones are all listed on the YAGP website. The music for all of them is in the public domain. For contemporary, it would be up to the choreographer to know if the music is available in the public domain.
  24. Taking notes

    It's amazing: yesterday after I read the first few comments I sat down and just wrote down everything I remembered from last weeks class. Strange enough it was more that I could put together directly after class. Today in class I noticed that it was much easier to do the exercises even though I did miss quite a few bits and pieces when I wrote it down. I even managed to get the closing from the side of the working leg in front or back in the right order - something that I absolutely couldn't get my head around earlier! And I could focus on the technique which actually earned me a few positive comments from my teacher. I think all of your comments have contributed to this. Thanks a lot for listening and your advice! I am feeling awsome, and now I'll be going to bed with a big grin on my face!
  25. DS auditioned at SMU on Saturday. I thought I'd report on the experience for those that might be auditioning later this cycle. There were 36ish dancers auditioning. 3 boys. Registration started at 9:00 when they took the dancers back. Parents stayed in the lobby where Ms. Delaney spoke to us. She described the program as a triple threat program: ballet, modern, and jazz. The modern is Graham. There are two main stage performances each year plus a couple of brown bag performances where students can submit their own choreography to perform. There are a number of guest artists that spend time with the dancers including Desmond Richardson right now. Most dancers either double major, or minor in something outside of dance. There is flexibility to do so because many of the non-technique classes in the dance major will double count as university curriculum requirements. Dancers will hear from the dance department two weeks after the audition. She acknowledged that not every dancer has a good day on audition day. If a dancer is not accepted, he/she is welcome to re-audition later in the cycle. They want to have a class of 20-22 students in each class, for a total of 88 students in their undergraduate major. I found out from DS that after they take dancers back, they take a picture of each dancer in their dance clothes and number on. Then, they warm up. Barre work, then center work for ballet, then a modern combination, then a jazz combination. The audition class started around 9:45-10:00, and dancers were dismissed around 12:15. Dancers (and parents) then wait until the adjudicators evaluate each dancer. This took over an hour. (make sure you bring something to eat during this waiting period) Then, Ms. Delaney called out the numbers for the dancers that they wanted to see solos and interviews for. She called back about 14-15 dancers. Prior to dismissal, she also told dancers that they will be asked two questions during a short interview. The questions were something like, "why do you dance, and what do you think dance brings to the community". I might be butchering the interview prompts, because I can't remember the specific words that were used. Dancers all had a chance to think about these questions during the waiting period. Then, each dancer was called in by numerical (which was alphabetical) order. He said that there was a long line of teachers adjudicating the solos, maybe 10 teachers. He responded to the interview questions and then performed his solo. My DS brought his smart phone with him, and was able to plug into their sound system. Other dancers brought a CD. There was a mix of dance styles for solos. Some girls performed on pointe (I'm assuming Kitri and Esmeralda since I saw a fan and a tambourine), but other dancers performed in jazz shoes or barefoot. It did not appear to favor one type of dance style. My DS's last name starts with an S, so we were later in line, with a few more after him. We were able to leave around 2:45pm. This was DS's second college audition this year, and he came away with a very positive feeling about the program, and his interaction with the teachers. I should also add that we went back on Monday and was able to watch a portion of a class. We watched Ballet 2 (of 4 levels) with Ms. Peck teaching. DS was impressed by the caliber of teaching. He thought that Ms. Peck was being very particular and gave very specific corrections. The combinations were challenging.
  26. Taking notes

    Everyone has offered replies that totally connect with, and for, me. I began studying ballet 3 years ago at 76—the last 2 years at a school teaching the Vaganova method. I have a youthful, strong and slender body, and an appreciation for the order, discipline and beauty of the method. I have come a long way and can do a lot of things. My developpés, tendus and ron de jambes are pretty darn good. I've got good feet and legs, decent core, but memory for combos, not so much. I've tried several approaches (some of those listed in this thread), but as a life long visual artist with no dance or athletic background I really need lots of repetition to develop muscle memory. I'm getting better, but have a long way to go. It would be so helpful if there was time in class to write one or two of her beautiful combos down to practice at home. By the time I have it reasonably in mind/body, the 4 weeks given to each set of combos is over and a new set is to be learned. Short term memory begins to fray as we age, whether the body is good or not. If there was a memory pill I'd be taking it for sure. In the meantime, good looking attire helps to cover the gaps of self-confidence. It's good to know there are others out there struggling as well.
  27. My DD is in MelissaGA's boat -- almost 5'4", but seems to me to be always one of the shortest, if not the shortest in class (and somewhat envious of the long legs of others -- grass is always greener). It was particularly obvious in SAB's SI last year. To my eye, she looked VERY short in that SI class. I was surprised to read in Learningdance's posts above that 5'3" to 5'4" is considered average height in the U.S. (!!). I've always considered my DD to be very short (at 5' 3.75") and always one of the shortest in her ballet classes. I can tell you that she IS the shortest dancer among trainees at San Fran this year and one of the shortest in SF school classes. However, I don't know how her height would compare with the majority/average of the SF company dancers. (I was interested to read Monet's comments above regarding the differences between schools and companies). As to the OP's request, I can only say that San Fran hasn't YET seen her "short" height as an issue, but I recognize it's not the company decision, either (although I remain hopeful when I read that SF is considered a "short" company). I am guessing, however, that height is an easy and obvious characteristic to rule on when an AD is looking for the "periwinkle dress" (obscure reference to another BT4D post). In other words, an AD could easily rule one way or another based on height, which has nothing to do with dancing technique or quality. As Mobadt stated, "you just never know." But I also understand trying to sort through, categorize, and possibly narrow down company auditions. I would reiterate the suggestion to look at PA Ballet for vaganova, short(er) dancers. I know a trainee there (accepted this year) who is more European trained, but not that much taller than my DD (I think she's around 5'6? maybe slightly taller). Good luck on your search, TaxiDance.
  28. It has been our experience that while there are certain companies that seem to favor shorter or taller, many don't seem to be especially all one way or the other. I have seen tall dancers at Tulsa for instance, and short dancers at Ballet West. I would say as a general rule our experience has been that 'too short' would be under 5'1" and too tall would be over 5'8". I would however, never suggest to not consider anywhere just because you think you are either too short or too tall for them. The year you audition could be the year they are looking for someone your height. You just never know.
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