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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Southern Methodist University

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Did anyone attend the audition at Idyllwild? I'm curious because the weather was so bad--snow/rain throughout the area. My dd chose not to--good luck to all of you who tried out yesterday and today in SoCal!

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  • 8 months later...

My dd attended the audition in Dallas this weekend....if anyone has questions, I will be happy to answer. One comment...this was the third onsite audition she has attended this fall and it was by far the best organized and welcoming site. A few of the families have been following each other around the country and we all agreed that SMU really rolled out the red carpet.

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  • 2 months later...

Good luck to your dd! I am a music major (opera) and work in the costume shop at Meadows; I am glad to hear we treated you well. I do hope she makes it. The Meadows community is a very warm and creative bunch! :clapping:


Best wishes!


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Is anyone going to the San Clemente audition on Monday Jan. 7? They have asked us to provide our own sound equipment to perform our solo and I have a bit of a dilemma...My CD player/boom box will not play burned CDs (my music is on a burned CD because I had to slow it down). Does anyone have an idea of what type of sound equipment I should buy? I was thinking of buying iPod speakers, this seems the most convenient...I'll probably have to bring them to other college auditions as well this January.


Any ideas?? :)

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At the audition I attended, we did not use our own sound equipment. Everyone brought a CD player, but we just used the one in the studio.

However, if you DO need one and did not bring your own, there will be plenty of other nice girls there who would let you borrow theirs!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone have anything to report from the SMU regional auditions held last week in CA? Who taught the class and was it a more ballet or modern focused audition? Were auditioners allowed to perform their solos?

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I did the San Clemente audition on January 7. Leslie Peck ran the audition which consisted of a ballet barre and center and then we each got to do our solos. She video taped all of our solos and some of the center work. Be prepared to say why you want to go to SMU. Also she kept reminding us to breath and show expression in our face...show her that we love to dance. There were about ten of us there, small group.

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Thanks Jen888 for the info. Could you give a little more insight regarding the audition -- how difficult were the combinations, was there grande allegro, did they conduct individual interviews?


I hope you have a great outcome. Thanks again for your help.

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  • 2 months later...

Thought I would provide an update on the SMU audition experience of my DD. In a nutshell, I would highly recommend against doing their regional auditions. If your DK is interested in the school, IMO your best bet is to travel to Dallas for one of their auditions held on campus.


DD traveled to NYC for a SMU regional audition in mid January, and boy was she surprised to enter an audition studio without a barre! Audition had about 6 or 7 other dancers. Faculty member conducting the audition was nice enough, however provided little or no information regarding the program. Audition was entirely modern based, primarily in bare feet. Dancers were each given the opportunity to perform their prepared solos which were video taped.


Unfortunately the floors were horrible and downright dangerous for pointe shoes. DD considered herself fortunate not to have fallen during her piece because of the slippery floors. Despite the studio conditions, DD felt she had done as well as possible considering the circumstances.


About a month later, DD received an email request from SMU. They wanted her to prepare and submit a video of her solo as well as an additional modern based segment. Considering the audition was nearly all modern based and conducted by a member of the faculty who was a modern instructor, we were a bit confused at this request. If anything we would have expected a request for more ballet. Because of the timing of other auditions and other commitments, and because of the concern that SMU's program might be more modern based than she was looking for, DD declined the offer to submit a tape. To be honest, I was more than a bit put off that after spending the time, energy, and $$ to travel to NYC that they had not seen enough to render a decision.


Weeks passed with no word. DD expected that by not submitting a tape she would not be accepted to the program, and that was fine with her. Because the SMU Admission's office continued to contact her regarding her decision to attend the school or not (she had already been accepted academically) we decided to contact the Dance Department via email to confirm that she had not been accepted to the program.


Lo and behold we were shocked to learn that following our last inquiry, they had reconvened and decided to accept her to the dance program. She was pleasantly surprised, but at this late date she doesn't think she has the energy to switch gears because she has found a great fit for her at another school.


I decided to post this experience not because of sour grapes, but to let future students know that regional auditions for SMU can be a hit or miss situation depending on who conducts the audition. I had always assumed that colleges sent faculty members who would be able to make a determination as to whether a dancer was a potential "fit" for their program or not. We learned the hard way that is not always the case. If we had to do it over again, we would have spent our time and a little extra money to travel to a campus audition. Still, we feel that SMU runs a terrific program especially for dancers who love modern and ballet equally.

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We were told to audition on campus, no ifs ands or buts. In regional auditions, there is only ONE auditioner, as opposed to a panel from a few different dance genres on campus.

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IMO a school should not even offer a regional audition option unless it is a viable one. Would have much rather "been told" that the on campus audition was the only (and best) option. Oh well, live and learn.

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DON HO -- I'm with you! What an enormous waste of time and money! Why on earth did SMU want your D to submit a video tape after the auditioner taped her in NYC? I don't get it.

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My D is a senior at SMU and I have posted previously how strongly I suggest NOT to do their regional audition.


Frankly, given the quality of their program, it was surprising to me back then that the regional auditions aren't more comprehensive. When D did hers, it was at a prominent regional ballet studio, but nonetheless, was conducted by a modern teacher.


I am very familiar with their program now and cannot stress enough how much better the Dallas audition is. It's a shame that so many spend time and money to travel to the regional ones and that these auditions simply do not represent the quality of the program.


I'm quite sure had she had the same experience as your D, she would have been less than enthusiastic about the school.

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