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Ballet Talk for Dancers
rosetwirl

Auditions: Video vs. Cattle Calls

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rosetwirl

My dd has a job with a small company & will be auditioning this upcoming season to try & move up to a larger one. She now has some very nice video from performances. She tends to come alive on the stage & looks much better there than she does in class or at auditions. Is it a good idea to skip all cattle calls & rely solely on video auditions with hopes for invitations to company class? Of course, she’d then have the problem of not looking as great in class as she did on the video, but at least they’d already have their first impression from the video. Thoughts?

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MelissaGA

DD and I were discussing this just yesterday. Her results from videos were better in my opinion than those from cattle calls. From cattle calls, she mainly amassed a collection of SI invitations for "additional evaluation" for anything from tuition based programs to paid positions.  Some of those came with partial or full tuition scholarships, and a few with none. My preference is for DD to send videos only and bypass the cattle calls if she needs to audition this season. 

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rosetwirl

Thank you very much, MGA. I greatly appreciate your input. I’d also love the opinions of some of the moderators. 🙂

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GTLS Designs

While it is great that your DD comes alive on stage, remember that the performance is the culmination of 4 - 6 weeks of work in the studio.  Part of an audition process is not only seeing the technical level of the dancer(s), but to also see how they are in a studio setting: 

Does the dancer learn quickly/slowly?
Does the dancer make eye contact and have a general sense of confidence, or will the dance shy away and rely on others?
How does the dancer deal with stress?
Do they follow directions (filling out applications properly, line up at the barre/center properly, apply corrections given in class, etc.)?
How does the dancer use space - do they run into others, do they dance small/big? 

This is why auditions happen in a class setting... and yes, attempting to audition in a company class setting makes ticking through these questions more individual/independent.  But if you are hoping that the performance quality will tip the AD over the edge of hire vs not, I wouldn't count on that (for the reason stated in my first sentence).

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rosetwirl

Your feedback is excellent, very well stated, and very much appreciated, GTLS! 👍 Yes, she will ultimately have to audition in a class. Please, may I have your opinion on video auditions vs. cattle calls? She does have a job now and is very busy with rehearsals, performances, and teaching. Attending cattle-calls will be a hardship. Are they worth that hardship, or are video auditions an effective and perhaps even preferable alternative? 

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GTLS Designs

As with all things... the answer is: it depends.

Since she has a job, attending cattle calls is probably counter to rehearsal schedules & performances.  If this is true, then yes, audition via video.  But if she is available to attend in person (without missing work), then she should do that.

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learningdance

I don't know that answer to your question rosetwirl but I wonder how many dancers are hired from cattle calls?  Has anyone had a child employed or even in a fully costless program via cattle calls.  It just strikes me as such a long shot. Better to spend money going to a company class where there is at least an expressed interest? 

I guess I also wonder about how to get to the company class.  Isn't it more typical for a school director to call an AD and get the student's foot in the door? 

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Momof3darlings

Yes, as GTLS Designs has stated, it depends.  She just needs to do the best she can with the time and resources she has.  Ideally, she will want whatever method she uses to net her a company class audition time.  Most will want to see how someone fits in and this is the only way that can be done.  Very rarely is someone offered anything these days without that invite to come to class.  

Learningdance-you get to company class through videos or auditions most times.  Yes, a teacher may call, but most will make that call to be sure the package that is being sent or has been sent gets to the right person who will then really take a good look.  

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rosetwirl

Many thanks to all of you for your input. 🙂❤️👍

Last audition season, dd received three invitations to take company classes as a result of video auditions she submitted. No one made calls on her behalf. One of those classes resulted in a job offer. She received nothing, except si invitations, from the cattle-calls she attended. We had just about decided that she’d skip the cattle-calls altogether this season, but I thought I’d ask my question here on BT first. Based on your responses, she will attend the cattle-calls that occur on her days off and are within a reasonable driving distance for someone who must be back to work the next day. The vast majority of her auditions will be via video. I’ll report back in a few months as to how that went. 😉

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learningdance

Thanks rosetwirl

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