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Ballet Talk for Dancers

2002-2005 Parental Transition Support Group


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Ditto on that Syr. I seem to obsess on my daughter's little problems and how she's dealing with them while she just ignores them and seems to go on from there. I have many sleepless nights. Also most often I say the wrong things when she is doubting her abilities. I feel that because she just picks up and moves on that she isn't taking care of the business at hand that needs tending to. But at the moment my philosophy with my children is "make your own mistakes and learn from them". Unless of course it is something really important that will affect them greatly, such as applying to college rather than the wait and see what happens with dance and then not have something to fall back on. Parenting is a lot harder than I thought it would be!

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O.k. - who else is silently suffering the high anxiety roller coaster of the season of son or daughter doing company auditions and/or college applications. Don't worry - we will definitely NOT swap stories until matters have run their course. I just want to know who wants to be in a non-communicative cyber support group with me for the next couple of months. :rolleyes::sweating::angry::D

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Over here in Europe I'm discovering how wrong I was to think that it would be easier when I could leave DD to go to auditions with her friends and not have to accompany her. Whatever I am doing I know exactly when she is due to start the audition class and am clock-watching from then on trying to second guess whether not having had a phone call yet is a good or bad sign!


Reading a thread on SI auditions which suggested that 17 and 18 year olds are better at coping with the stresses of rejection I thought "How little they know"!



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Guest Vicarmac

I have one that is only 14 (almost 15) so we are not there. But I am the one on the thread about little kids being rejected that said I thought it was harder the older they get. Now you are talking about when I think it is hardest of all because this is the most important ones yet and they know it.

Mine already feels pressure she did not at 11. A rejection then, even if public, hurt but she felt like what did it really matter she had all the time in the world and was just learning after all. Now she is the age where she wonders if it means she is barking up the wrong tree etc.

Syr, I remember writing to you back when mine was first auditioning at 10 and yours was just starting to embark on going away during the school year. Now college or a company Huh?

Keep us posted we will commiserate with all ups and downs. And to all that have DDs or DSs going through this good luck.

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Hi Syr! I have wondered if any other parents on this board were going through the college application and audition trials. There have not been any posts. It is so overwhelming and time consuming. My daughter is finally finished. She is waiting for one last acceptance or rejection from a college dance department. Then, we wait for financial aid info. She has decided not to audition for a SI. That has helped the schedule. Since she has been accepted to her top choice ballet college, she is now not sure she wants to try the professional circuit. College life is something she has wanted to at least experience for awhile. I find it fascinating all the different roads these talented kids are taking! I would love to hear how the future is working out for others. Count me in on the support group. Best of luck to everyone!!! :wink:

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I'll be right there with Vicarmac, encouraging and hoping for the best for all your dancers at this important juncture in their lives! As Vicarmac said, the older they get the more we all realize how high the stakes are!


Please do let us know when all the anxiety is over and plans are set. We do want to share in your relief and celebrate with you! :wink:


Something I would like to hear about is the level of assistance (if any) your dancers received from their home schools in looking for pro work and applying to colleges.

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17 year old son, great grades, stellar SATs but would not apply to colleges - yikes. Current plan is to go to the summer program at National Ballet School in Toronto and hopes to get accepted into their post-secondary program for this Fall. It is very difficult to have to wait that long for a firm plan. He can stay here at his current school for a grad year if NBS does not work out so he has a backup but he is anxious to go somewhere else for this "finishing" year.


He did not feel ready to hit the audition circuit this year.

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Guest Solballets Mom

Went through this last year. Good news! You and yours will survive the experience. Sending out my very best wishes to everyone. May all your journeys be enlightening, as your dancers navigate new directions and opportunities and the parentals rediscover themselves in the process.

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Hi, I would love to join this support group!!! We have been on the same emotional roller coaster you are on. I think the first part of the ride is almost over as we finished our last college audition Saturday. I have wondered if I was the only one who reads these boards going through this at this time. i guess we have just all been so busy it's hard to find time to post. This year our SI auditions were limited to 3. Check is written but not mailed for SI, and she has been accepted into 2 of the 4 colleges she auditioned for and we are still wainting on responses for the other 2. Company auditions are starting this weekend for us but again we are limiting how many and how far to go. It's been fun to this point. I have truly enjoyed the time her and I have had together. I pray every evening that in the end it will be clear to us what direction she should choose and I know in the back of mind soccer would have been much easier!!! Good luck and I would love to hear about everyones adventures down this same trail.

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  • 3 weeks later...

AFAmom wrote:

Hi Syr! I have wondered if any other parents on this board were going through the college application and audition trials. There have not been any posts. It is so overwhelming and time consuming.

I'd also like to thank Syr for starting this thread, as I can attest to how stressful and lonely it has been to see my daughter though her first college audition, which unfortunately, was for Juilliard. I say "unfortunately" because the college guidebooks suggest that you try not to schedule your top school first, but my daughter couldn't help it.


I spent months at the computer trying to search for any inside accounts of what a Juilliard dance audition is like and I'm beginning to think I know why I haven't found anything: it's a complete mystery how they make their selections. One would expect that after five years of doing SI auditions and being accepted to most of the programs, my daughter has a fairly good sense of how well an audition went before she gets notified. She knew she wouldn't be accepted to SAB and she wasn't, while she felt that she did well at ABT's audition and got in.


Of course, Juilliard only accepts 12 women a year and anyone's chances are quite slim, but it's the elimination process that makes no sense. Applicants must survive several cuts throughout the audition day, with the first cut supposedly based on technique. This is how they word it in their materials:


<<The first section of the audition will consist of a ballet class and a modern dance class. Those applicants who have demonstrated a strong technical base during this first section will be invited back to perform a solo, not to exceed two minutes in lengh.>>



<< The purpose of the solos is to show the dancer as a performer. The solos should be chosen to show the candidate's range as well as his/her ability to project.>>


My daughter reported that the two technique classes were less than an hour each, as time was spent in the first hour to place the 52 dancers at the bar, while the modern teacher took time to introduce herself and explain that her style was her own so that no one would have an advantage in any particular style. There was no pointe section and my daugher felt that the classes were very manageable compared to some other auditions that were much more challenging. She was impeccably groomed, compared to some others who had sloppy buns. She wouldn't respond to the girls who talked on either side of her to ask her questions and only shrugged her shoulders to be polite. She also felt that she was the only dancer who smiled. Numbers were assigned alphabetically, so she had no control over where she was placed in the room.


She was shocked beyond words when she didn't make the first cut. Only today, when she found out that a friend from one of her past SIs also didn't make the first cut on a different day - someone my daughter considers to be an exceptionally gifted dancer - is my daughter starting to put this experience behind her.


My daughter finds it very unfair to have put so much work into this audition and not even be able to come out of it with any insights on what she did wrong or why she wasn't right for their program. The teachers who wrote recommendations for her (with professional experience in major companies who are still choreographing and teaching at the college level, including a Juilliard graduate) thought she was a good candidate.


So if anyone has any insights into the mysteries behind the Juilliard audition, my daughter and I are all ears.

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One would expect that after five years of doing SI auditions and being accepted to most of the programs, my daughter has a fairly good sense of how well an audition went before she gets notified. She knew she wouldn't be accepted to SAB and she wasn't, while she felt that she did well at ABT's audition and got in.

Pierrette, I'm sorry that your daughter had a less than happy experience with Juilliard's audition. I have no words of wisdom for you, but I just wanted to say that my daughter has never been able to accurately predict whether or not she'd be accepted to an SI. As a matter of fact, she was rejected from several programs where she felt she had had a good audition and presented herself well, and was accepted several times when she was sure that she'd blown it. I don't think any of us can tell what any of them are looking for...best of luck to your daughter with her other auditions.

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Pierrette, I know of one ballet student who auditioned for Juilliard two years ago, didn't get in, but is now dancing as a soloist with a well-known ballet company.


I also know another ballet dancer from last year who wasn't accepted to Juilliard's program. She too is dancing with a well-known ballet company now.


One might suppose, from these cases and yours, that Juilliard isn't very interested in ballet students but in at least one of the cases I mentioned, the dancer is an excellent modern dancer as well.


Ya just never know!

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So sorry to hear about the disappointing Julliard experience. I have no direct experience there, but two good friends of ours, from our home school, did audition last spring, so I know a bit more that I will share, as second-hand knowledge:


They both made it through the first cut (One boy and one girl. The boy had been to Julliard the previous summer and was well liked there.) They both made it through the second cut after solos and were asked to stay for one-on-one interviews. They made it through the interview cut and were asked to send in additional information (not sure what this entailed).


The boy seemed a shoo-in, as they knew him, had made it that far, etc. As it turned out, he was not accepted. The girl was placed #2 on the waitlist. She was told that she was actually vying for one of only 2-3 spaces for caucasian girls. They explained that they were very interested in diversity at Julliard and this was indeed a big factor in the decision making process. She did not make it off the waitlist and went on to a full scholarship in dance elsewhere (as did the boy). Both felt that the process was very mind-boggling and neither were quite sure why they did not make it.


So, please tell your daughter not to lose heart. It is an extremely difficult school to gain acceptance to. One of my friends was reading about colleges for her son and found some statistics that said it is the 2nd hardest college in the country to get accepted to - regardless of your major. (She was stressing out because this was, of course, the one school her dancing daughter has her eye on.) When you look at the numbers, it really seems like very poor odds indeed! :wub:

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