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syr

2005-2012 Company Audition Journeys

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syr   
syr

Tiffany, Sarabesque and all of you BT young dancers who are out on the audition trail - I'm wondering if any of you would be willing to play journalist and give us a few descriptive reports of what it is like out there for you (not the results, so far - not as personal as that, but the whole scene_ - the schedule, making the arrangements, what it's been like at some of the auditions - how many, what the class has been like, the cuts, call backs at the end, does it appear that anyone is getting jobs? - The answer to Mom of 3's question in the other thread, etc???? How are you doing keeping your energy an spirits up. Any advice or insights for next years auditionees?

 

Care to to give us a fly-on-the-wall report or two or three? :):D

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dbleon   
dbleon

Not a young dancer, but the mother of 1!! I can only report that after 2 months on the audition threadmill my DD is feeling like she has been through "auditon warfare" :blushing:

DD spent 5 weeks in NYC, a highlight of her young life, :D she reports auditons where there was "zip" barre space, barre kickers galore, some out right nastiness etc. At most of these there were well over 100 per group, some much much more!

She reports being a grain of sand in a desert.

DD is finally coming home for some much needed R&R (4 days only) then back on the threadmill...

I have great respect for her and all the others out there partaking this journey of constant stress, rejection, and the exhaustion that comes with it! BRAVA all :D

Hopefully the parental bank accounts recover as quickly as our DK's seem to! :)

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Momof3darlings   
Momof3darlings

:blushing: Oh thank you syr! What a great thread topic! I'll be eagerly waiting for responses from our young auditionees willing to share the world out there.

 

And thanks dbleon for giving a voice to your DD's experiences. I hope she'll get a bite or two.

 

vj

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Guest sarabesque   
Guest sarabesque

I think everyone does it differently. I do not have lovely ballet crazy parents like many of the parents on this board who will read this- so I'm being very selective about cross coutnry trips so far.

 

I live in about 3 hrs drive from chicago so I try to do the open auditions there.

Ballet San Jose- full class, w/o cuts. But it was not that large of a group- maybe 30 dancers or so and the director was late and had lost his luggage so we had no numbers! Everyone was very confused for groups becuase we had to remember ournumber even though it wasn't on our leotard.

They didn't tlak to anyone there- but the girl he singled out to demonstrate was pretty young.

Kansas City Ballet/Dayton Ballet- I think there were over 100 people! Very very crammed for space. They were not expecting this so they divided us numerically into two groups.First group did bar and then both directors made cuts from that groups. Second group did bar and they made massive cuts again. Maybe 20 people were kept. There was no space! I had about an inch in between me and the guy in front of me and the sam eto the back. Note to newbies like me: don't wait for them to line you up in order- I did and then found out that we could just pick any spot so I had to get crammed in the corner. Worst part of th eaudition- they made us just walk across the floor to music. Very revealing I think of a dancers personality, musicality and presentation.

I think the dancers kept in this one were not the really young ones- and almost all the boys!

 

 

I was planning to do more but have had to sacrifce open auditions for the company class invites that involve traveling.

 

It is veyr interesting to listen to the dancers talk before and after the auditions- and I know my parents have gotten good info from this too.Some people have gone three years and no job! Some are in unpaid apprenticeships pr trainee programs with a two year only limit. Some are older and trying to switch companies, but having to do so behind their current company's back.

For us younger ones- I know myself and some other girls have attneded a couple adutions where our teachers were also auditioning cor the same company/spots! that is a very weird situation.

 

I also sent out resumes and photos and a nice cover letter to companies who did not have chicago auditions. I told them if theywere interested I would follow up with a video and or visit. I have sent out 3 or 4 videos- Louisville actually lost all the materials and i had to send them again!- 2 of the videos resulted in company class invites which I am currently completing.

 

I also picked summer auditions that included year -round trainee or apprentices options- and then evaluated my acceptance into those to decide whether it would be wroth risking the entire summer in hopes of one company. i will complete at least one more company audition before I decide on that summer choice.

 

I am doing this with minimal guidance from my ballet teachers, and a lot on my own- first time- so its a lot of guessing.

 

Geez I wish i could spend 5 weeks in NYC!

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Momof3darlings   
Momof3darlings

Thank you sarabesque for replying. We can learn alot from you. We hope you'll continue to post so that we can learn from you!!!! You don't know how much that experience will help others here.

 

My DD's audition circuit will very much be on a budget so know you are not alone. Our methods may be different but the results we want are the same. Hang in there and PLEASE, continue to update us.

 

If you don't mind, tell us how old you are or what grade you're in if still in school.

 

vj

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Tiffany   
Tiffany

This is my first year auditioning for companies. This is the first year that I felt ready and my teachers agreed as well. I am 23. I am in college, pursuing my third degree; I have a bachelors and masters in psychology. I completed my first bachelors in 3 years. I changed my mind about what I wanted to do while in graduate school, so now I am pursuing a second bachelors. My parents believe strongly in education, but not in the arts, so I have to finance all of my ballet aspirations and encourage myself. I will always admire and respect parents who support their children in any pursuit, and wish that my parents could have been so open-minded. I applaud all BT parents who sacrifice so much-time, money, etc.- to support their children's pursuit of ballet. I don't think there can ever be a drawback to doing that. I have danced ballet all of my life, about 18 years now, but started pursuing it seriously about 2 1/2 years ago. I now dance with a civic ballet/not professionally that does full length classical ballets once or twice a year. I am only doing 3 auditions.

 

I did a Princeton Ballet School SI (of American Repertory Ballet) audition b/c their AD was conducting the audition. I did not enjoy the audition because his style of dancing is totally different from what I'm used to, but I did learn that his company is not one that I will be interested in dancing with.

 

Alabama Ballet-open audition. About 20 girls, 5 guys. Most of the dancers had good technical training, but little expression, IMO. I was nervous, but I'm always nervous at auditions. The AD and other auditioner kept trying to get us to relax, so I must not have been the only one nervous! I didn't like the floor, it was sticky, and I had trouble turning. It was a marley floor. Other people seemed to turn just fine though. The class was 2 hours. No cuts. Barre seemed to be our warm-up, no one walked around to watch us, and there is no way any of the judges/auditioners-what is the right word?-could see those of us not in the front row. Obviously plenty of room at barre and in center. Nice big studio, seemed to be the biggest one in the building. Combinations in the center were pretty much like a normal class; turns, jumps, grande allegro, etc. Cost-$15, asked for headshot, dance photo, and resume. Will be notified by mail after they audition a few more people and make decisions.

 

Nashville Ballet-I'm going to their last open audition April 3.

 

I chose these 3 auditions because they are reasonable distance driving and companies that I think I would have a chance with. I was not guided by my teachers toward these auditions, but I did tell them about these and they approved/encouraged me.

 

A wise friend of mine who danced professionally in ballet said once that in a company audition, the dancer is auditioning for the company, but the company is also auditioning for the dancer. If the company style/atmosphere/whatever feels wrong, then you know that's one to mark off your list!

 

In an ideal world, we would all live in NYC where every company has auditions and you don't have to fly all over the country/world to audition. In an ideal world, somehow we would be guided towards the exact company that is best for us in every aspect. In an ideal world, there would be a contract for every dancer.

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syr   
syr

wow - thanks to both of you for giving us a glimpse in to this part of your world. Not for the faint of heart, as they say. Wishing the best for you!

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Momof3darlings   
Momof3darlings

I know since my time here lots of posters have come and gone on to bigger and better dance related things that they are now busy with. And sometimes there is a person still here who has kept in touch with them. If you have, how about asking for updates and a quick post from them to let us know how things happened for them and where dance has taken them.

 

I know for instance that ScottieGDE13 (a former Junior Moderator) is now in college, but I'm sure someone out there still keeps in touch and we'd love an update on how college dance has affected her life and where it is taking her. And the same from the many dance parents whose dancers have been placed with companies and felt their time here was over.

 

If you know one, how about an invite for them to come visit and update the Career and Higher Ed boards?

 

vj

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pointework   
pointework

Tiffany and Sarabesque, I really commend your courage and determination. This thread is very helpful. :):wink:

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MomOfDancer   
MomOfDancer

Yes, many thanks to all who are posting about their experiences! It's very helpful and makes this trip into the unknown slightly less daunting for our dk's who are going to be walking this path in the next year or so. :lol:

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Ed McPherson   
Ed McPherson

I spent a summer at Kansas City Ballet and have had class with Dayton. Each year I am surprised when they do their joint audition. I think its cool that Burke and Whitener are friends and are considerate enough to offer dancers the benefit of two birds with one stone but their companies and artist visions are so different. I think it can be confusing.

 

sarabesque, I had friends at the audition that didnt like the duality of the audition. They knew that Dermot and William were looking for different things and were frusterated that they couldnt do both at the same time. But I was wondering if it wasn't refreshing to see that there is such a huge variance in what dancers a company is interested in?

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vagansmom   
vagansmom

My daughter did American Repertory Ballet's audition in NYC this weekend. Something like 200 dancers and they didn't cut anybody, just chose 8 dancers to stay at the end. They also spent much time riffling through resumes while dancers were dancing.

 

Daughter reports these kinds of auditions as very frustrating. She says that when they don't cut anybody at all, nobody can dance well. It's too crowded!

 

The one thing she likes about such large auditions is that she gets to catch up with old friends she's made at all the SI's throughout all those years. She says this last one was like one big reunion. Not exactly why you'd put yourself through that big a cattle call, but you sure have to make lemonade from lemons. Luckily my kiddo's always been really good at that. :thumbsup:

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Ed McPherson   
Ed McPherson

The Ballet Met audition in Columbus was packed about 8 groups of 11 people. There was a cut of about half halfway through class, and one after class. After class there were about 12 girls and 6 guys. Mr. Charles had us do one combination of pas de duex; Pirouette, promenade, big jump. Then we moved to a small section of their contemporary rep. I believe it was from Right of Spring.

 

They asked to talk to these 18 people individually after class. I am not sure but I think they are working to build up their trainee program.

 

The studios were nice and large. The class taught was very grounded, not especially European or American. For those with eyes on Houston, I've been told Stanton sets on the company regularly

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ajg   
ajg

Thank-you for your report on Ballet Met Ed. Out of the original group can you tell me approximately how many were men?

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Ed McPherson   
Ed McPherson
Thank-you for your report on Ballet Met Ed. Out of the original group can you tell me approximately how many were men?

 

I didnt see you were a mother :blushing: , before I wrote this... excuse the bad tense.

 

 

Of course. There were 11. The training and facilites ranged greatly. as did the age. From taking class and observing the men they talked to I would say if you have a decent facility and professional traning its worth making the trip.

 

I have some friends from Pit. which studio do you train at? I am a fan of Marjorie Thompson did you ever take class from her before she left?

Edited by Ed McPherson

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