Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
Oglefresh

1st Nutcracker Audition Advice

Recommended Posts

TipToes

Great thread! My DD has her first audition next week. She thinks she is going to get the part that typically goes to her level. She'd love to have a part usually for the girls the level above her, as the costumes are prettier. :) And I could see her getting the part most often for the girls the level below because of her size. I will try to set her up to simply dance her best and not have too many expectations. She has danced in one show before, where the girls her age did not have to audition, and got a great part likely because of her size, so that will be a good jumping off point for our talk about how sometimes things out of your control will get you a part or keep you from getting a part, how she needs to do her best in the things she can control, and to enjoy being part of the Nutcracker magic no matter what part she gets.

Share this post


Link to post
Noodles

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Oglefresh

She got a party girl role and her bestie is one of the Clara's so she is in heaven and cannot wait to start rehearsal with the company.

Share this post


Link to post
cammies

Congratulations to your DD, Oglefresh! Ours was a party girl last year--what fun she will have !! We are still waiting to audition this year; time seems to be dragging by very slowly with the later timeframe than usual.

Share this post


Link to post
BallerinaPaisley

My daughter (9 mid-October) is auditioning for her first Nut. Normally, what happens in an audition? Do they just get a piece of choreography to learn? This is a professional company that has auditions for school aged children to try out for roles. No idea how many girls/boys audition and how many roles are cast. Guess we will find out on Sunday :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Ballerinamom2girls

When my daughter had her audition for a professional production it was a technique class + the Nut variations for that age group.

Share this post


Link to post
cammies

BallerinaPaisley,

 

There are probably many different answers to your query, depending on the company, number of parts available, and sizes of the current costumes. Here are my thoughts:

1. First and foremost, since for most professional companies the costumes already exist, the children who audition must fit a costume to get a role. That does not mean they will try them on during auditions, just that measurements will be taken to assess which costume(s) the child fits.

2. Musicality is important: see post #13 by pasdedeuxmama: ours and many other auditions seem to have the younger kids skip, march, and move to music. The exact movements that are asked for may also relate to the specific choreography for the roles for her size. Obviously, an older dancer or an experienced parent in the school might be a good source of specifics, but there is no way for any of us to know those details. That said, we knew nothing at all DD's first year, not even that the costumes were sized, and went in blind and go a part anyway! The inside scoop can help, but it is not necessary.

3. Tell your DD to have fun, or at least look like it! Dancers who show joy and expression on their faces are going to catch the attention of artistic directors/teachers.

 

Good luck! We are still waiting to audition as well; it is DD10's fourth year and the schedule is very late this year!

Share this post


Link to post
BallerinaPaisley

Thanks Cammies. I was talking to some of the other dance moms at our studio and they mentioned, as you did, that most children will be sized for the costumes that already exist.

 

My daughter is really excited! Good luck to your DD and to all of the other dances auditioning.

Share this post


Link to post
silkmaiden

Excited to join this topic! DS9 just auditioned for the children's casting of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Nutcracker (it's touring production and they cast local children to play the usual child roles.) His audition was on Sunday, parents weren't allowed to watch but from what he told me they basically taught them a short variation and had them perform it.

 

He's only 9 though, so it wouldn't have been too demanding, and it was his second time trying out for the RWB Nut, the last time was when he was 7 (didn't get cast that time). This time he did get cast as a party boy/Mountie so he's super thrilled! I'm pretty sure I'm more excited than he is though, LOL.

 

From my impression, when the pro companies look for kids to fill these minor roles they don't want perfect technique/feet/body/etc as much as they want presence, acting ability and quick learners. DS2 is pretty much a total ham so it helps. One of his classmates who has beautiful facility and GORGEOUS feet (especially for a 9 yo!) didn't get a part, and I think it's probably because she's naturally shy and reticent and didn't 'sell' herself well enough.

Share this post


Link to post
BallerinaPaisley

Well, my DD did not get a part in the Nut at our province's ballet school production. She was too tall for the mouse costume and likely too small for a party girl/soldier or any other part. She left the audition and as soon as we got into the car, she cried and said her ballet career must be over (a bit dramatic, lol). All girls/boys who auditioned for a mouse were accepted (they were actually short 2 kids) and all my daughter really wanted was a part in the production. Oh well, maybe next year...

Share this post


Link to post
Happyfeet15

BallerinaPaisley- Oh! Your story brings back memories...First, If this is your daughter's first Nut. audition, and I assume her first year being in the school, please tell her not to throw away her ballet career on one audition! (Love the drama by the way!)

 

The size of the costumes can be a huge influence on who gets cast, and if she's tall AND new to the studio that may well have contributed to her not getting a part. There is so much more to it than we ever know. Casting rarely feels "fair". This is the first of many life lessons learned in the ballet world and probably the hardest.

 

My DD was also tall as a young girl, still is, and it did affect her Nutcracker casting. She was always too tall to be a party girl. It took four years to get more than just Angel (two years) or Soldier (Three years)...but finally..it happened! SHE was the right height, her skill level had advanced due to her hard work and determination, and all the pieces came together for her! She got to be a "Cousin"in the party scene which actually had a small little solo! Wow. and Phew! What added to the joy was how all of her classmates cheered for her when the casting came out! In fact, the entire school was truly elated for her.

 

Fast forward five years...she was just cast in a principal role where she'll perform her first Pas de Deux . She has earned this role thru years of hard work, determination, perseverance, and graciousness. Each and every year, when casting didn't go as she'd hoped, she always congratulated her peers, gave her all at every rehearsal, and kept a positive attitude. Yes, there were lots of tears, and questions about "when will it ever be my turn?" I wish I would've had a crystal ball to tell her "Just wait. In 5 years you will get the role of a lifetime!"

 

Tell your DD to hold her head up high, be gracious, work on her flexibility (which can be a challenge for tall girls) and never ever stop believing in herself. Hugs to her from the mom of a tall DD :flowers:

Edited by Happyfeet15

Share this post


Link to post
BallerinaPaisley

Thanks so much Happyfeet15 and congrats to your DD!!!.

 

She's okay now and was excited she had her first real audition. She must have just missed the cut off by a small amount for a mouse but she's okay with that now. I've told her if she chooses a dancers life, it won't be easy :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Happyfeet15

No truer words have ever been spoken.

Share this post


Link to post
DanceMumNYC

Hi! I have 2 questions: 

1- It seems that height plays a large part in the Nut auditions and roles. Typically, don't the taller (older) kids get more difficult dances and roles? I'm a bit worried because DD is very tall for her age. At the 99th percentile, she is the average height of a girl 1-2 years older than her! I look at the girls 1-2 years and levels above hers in ballet and there is a huge difference in their technique and ability. They take character classes and are en pointe, and DD has another year or so to go to be at that level. Does it make sense for her to audition for the Nut if she will only be grouped with older, more advanced girls since that's her height range? 

2- How does one professionally decline a role for The Nutcracker (or any other performance for that matter)? 

This is DD's first year doing outside* auditions for the Nut. If she auditions for different schools/companies and has to decline an offer, granted her height won't be an issue and she does well in at least 2 of the auditions, would this ruin her reputation with the school/company in the future (i.e. If she wants to audition again next year; if she wants to attend that school or their SI in the future)? Should DD only audition for one place? I read that declining Nut roles is frowned upon. Also, does one decline via email, a letter, or other? Just curious as to how this all works..  

Share this post


Link to post
Victoria Leigh

Most school Nut productions have ways of incorporating all or most of their students in the production. I doubt that your DD would be cast with more advanced dancers just because of her height. There are usually some roles where the "in between" heights can be cast. If she does not get cast at her own school, she would likely not get cast at an outside audition either. I would suggest staying with her own school and see what happens. They may have a place for her and you won't have to decline anything. :)

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×