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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Is it just me???


Guest ckdancegirl7

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Guest ckdancegirl7

I am fifteen and have been dancing for almost eleven years. For the past three years I have auditioned for the ABT Summer Intensive and have been accepted, but my parents can't afford to send me unless I recieve a scholarship. People tell me I stand out at auditions, but I still don't get any scholarships and I see other girls at the ABT auditions who have incredible hyperextension getting noticed the most. I'm flexible but my legs and feet aren't hyperextended. I've heard that the technical level of your dancing, expression, etc. matters most to the people who judge the ABT auditions and that they don't really care about body-type, but how come the ones with high arches and hyperextension get the scholarships? Also, the pictures ABT has been using lately on summer brochures, etc. have pictures of excellent young dancers posing but it seems that they all are hyperextended. Does being naturally flexible matter that much? Is ABT starting to look for that more? It would be very helpful to me to see the response to my question. Thanks!

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This is a little difficult to have to say, but I think most of the programs look for those who are truly outstanding for the scholarships. There are usually very few scholarships available, and they will be given to those with the most natural ability, as long as they are also very well trained. I see lots of really fine dancers who I would like to scholarship, but it's just not possible. We have to be very selective and feel that the dancer has a very strong potential for the company.

 

So, not receiving a scholarship does not mean at all that you are not good, or talented, or well trained. It just means that you are perhaps not, at least in that auditioners opinion, in the very, very top percentile of the potential they are seeing at the auditions.

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Thank you for that explanation Ms. Leigh. If only the very, very top percentile get scholarships, are these the students that are most likely to be the very few that eventually get jobs? Say if a student isn't receiving scholarships at the ages of 16, 17, or 18, are they probably not going to end up professional? Reading the bios of the dancers at many companies, it seems like most of them studied "on scholarship" either at that company's school or another top program. So if an older student isn't on scholarship, does this mean they don't have the same likelihood of getting hired?

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I think the "likelihood" of getting hired by major companies might be increased for those who receive scholarships, however, I don't believe that everyone in those companies, and certainly not in all of the regional companies, are all scholarship winners. There are many dancers working today who were not top scholarship winners as students. Do those who receive them have a better chance? Probably. But that does not rule out the ones who did not receive them. Lots of people are late bloomers :thumbsup:

 

Seriously, there are many dancers who were not that exceptional as teens, but as they grew up and matured they became not only better technically, but also much better performers, and suddenly they were also in the market for the jobs! :wub:

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Scholarships to programs is not at ALL only about body types. I am 14 and only 5'4" (which is relatively short), and PNB is considered to be a "tall company", though I disagree after going there for two summers on scholarship. Scholarships are awarded based on merit and potential. Ms. Leigh has worded it particularly nicely. :lol:

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Guest ckdancegirl7

Allegrodancer, you went to PNB twice on scholarship?! Wow...I'm auditioning for PNB next weekend; maybe you could give me some tips? The audition I will be attending is the one in NYC. How did you like the program? Thanks!

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Yes, I have been to PNB the past two summers on scholarship...and I am going to probably be returning this summer on scholarship (still waiting on Suzanne Farrell and SFB, but if I get in to those, I might not go). PNB is a WONDERFUL program for all ages. I am 14 (almost 15) and I attended at age 13 and 14. The training is very rigorous, with wonderful teachers who give individual corrections. The dorms are in a sorority house from the University of Washington. They are a lot of fun! The food is made by a chef, Kermit, and is the best out of any summer program I have ever been to. Seattle is a great city, so there is always something to do when you are not dancing. Also, there are organized activities that you can sign up for.

 

Advice for the audition: Of course, PNB looks at a nice facility for ballet, good feet, turnout, and body type, but I am short, so the myth about it being a "tall company" is not true. You see a variety of heights at the program. They look for clean technique, good placement, and potential. Of course, they look for talent as well! Another great ballet website is www.pointemagazine.com. There is a message board there. In that message board, the resident director of PNB (Dave) posts regularly, so you should check it out! It would be a great place to answer any/all questions you have! I hope to meet you this summer, and the best of luck on your audition! PM me when you hear the results! :)

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