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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Audition season through our eyes


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We're done!


Well, we just came home from the last of DD's audtitions for this year. This was her first year of auditions even though 14yo. She did six and found each of them helpful and worth the effort. She got one "No" (SAB) one "Yes" ABT Al, and one yes with $cholar$hip and still waiting on the others. It was fun (armed with Ballet Alert intelligence :helpsmilie: ) and not too nervewracking. The waiting on the "results" and the conflicts with deadlines, etc. would have been much more frustrating if I hadn't gotten the "heads up" from this board.


I made a couple of ballet mom friends in those waiting rooms, too - now if only I'd thought to find out if they were B-Alert folk! :)

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An update from the prairie: DD had her audition for the SFB summer course yesterday in Denver. A snappy 538 miles (thank you, Mapquest) from home. So we drove out on Saturday and stayed at a very nice hotel downtown. It had a pool which is what DD looks for in a hotel. Audition for her age group was at 1:00 and she really enjoyed the class. The teacher had curly hair and spoke very softly. Is that Ms. Govrin, the teacher some of those on the SFB summer intensive thread liked so well? Only one combination on pointe though, which I thought odd. Or, if as some people have suggested, that for 13-14 year olds, potential is what is being sought, then maybe it doesn't matter how proficient they are on point yet, that they feel like they can "coach them up" later?


Long drive home last night. DD crashed in the back seat after supper and slept the last 3 and 1/2 hours home. Dad, on the other hand, got so caffeinated that even though I was in bed at midnight, I was awake until 1:30. (Got to work out the caffeine dosages out better.)


And finally, the mail came today with something for DD from PNB. The envelope felt thick, which I thought was a good thing. From my professional school days, the "many are called, few are chosen, this means you" letters were one page and the envelopes were not thick. But we didn't open the envelope. (We don't want to set an example that it is okay to open mail addressed to someone else). When DD got home, she opened it and, drum roll please, she got in! Needless to say, she was quite pleased.


I guess this takes the pressure off for the SAB audition sunday. Now to pay for it all..... :blushing:



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Well this is our first year with the auditions. DD went to her first one 2 weeks ago for Olando. Very nervous. Another mom offered to do my dd pics and then forgot to bring them to the auditions. As nervous as my daughter already was I didn't think she would even go up with everyone, but she did. I sat downstairs and kept watching the stairs thinking she would back out. Long 1 1/2 hour. :) When she did she was very happy and thrilled with the whole thing. She doesn't think she did her best and with the picture fiascoe we doubt she will be getting an ok. Last week went to Ballet Austin audition. Went much better and I took someones advice and left this time. Came back just as they were coming out. Apparently went well since we got a call today from Austin with a congradulations. :wub:

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We have a weekend off from auditioning and boy, I'm glad. I had forgotten how tired this time made me. Although she has gotten the acceptances she wanted, she still plans to audition for the remaining two on her list . She says to see what happens and to get a feel for the programs as well. Both are places she has not auditioned for in the past so I'm sure it may help her.


Glad everyone is surviving!



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A weekend off from the audition circuit, about this time of year feels like a holiday, doesn't it? :blink:


With only a few left, scattered over the next month, our auditions are winding down. So far, so good on the acceptances, with one of her top choices already in. But, we are still waiting on a couple of her top picks, so the stress of the waiting game now replaces the stress of the auditions themselves. :rolleyes:

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My dd completed her auditions January 22nd! :blink: She only did 4 auditions this year. So far very positive results from 3 of them-one with a scholarship! I did end up having to call one of the schools (that will give out early results) to help us in the decision making process. Now if that one school on the west coast (just kidding LCMtech) would let us know early we would be done! Good things come to those who wait.........

If we had all of the results in at the same time I guess it would take all of the fun out of the whole process!


Now that the auditions and results are coming in I have moved into the How are we going to pay for this panicked mode! :rolleyes:

Edited by LRS
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Reflections on DD's audition tour of 4:


DD carefully and thoughtfully chose four SI auditions, none of which she had auditioned for last year. One was held locally, the others were out-of-state, each about a three-hour drive away. Two were held in the same city on consecutive days in different studios blocks apart. All four auditions had a very different feel and impact on DD. All four were well-known/well-thought of programs with a selective air about them. DD had strong reactions to each of the four audition classes.


One audition was taught by a local instructor/dancer and observed by the SI official. The SI official was very gracious and personable at the registration table and introduced the program and class well. The audition site was very comfortable and provided more than adequate room for waiting, stretching, etc.


However, within the first 5 minutes of the class beginning, DD was ready to leave. Within that first 5 minutes at barre, it was readily apparent that the adjudicator was interested only in observing about three dancers with a specific body-type. The rest of the dancers were totally ignored; skill/technique level for all but the three or four dancers was irrelevant. DD felt very uncomfortable as the class continued and felt "humiliated" in general. (DD's level of dancing was not an issue).


DD said the local instructor/dancer gave a nice class, but it gave no flavor of the particular SI to the dancers. DD had declared that she will never subject herself to the experience of attending that SI's audition again, adding it to the list of a couple others for the same reason.


Her next audition class was taught by one of the SI's primary teachers. DD anticipated enjoying the class, but was totally unprepared for how much she would enjoy the class. The auditioner and her assistant were very friendly and kind throughout. The audition site was comfortable with room to stretch and leave belongings for the number of dancers that attended (about 15), but if many dancers had appeared, it could have become rather cramped.


In class, DD found the auditioner to be very interested in observing/evaluating all the dancers in the class. The auditioner offered corrections and individually worked with various dancers. She was very warm, nurturing and friendly. DD felt that the auditioner did make "cuts" as the class went along, but she had no problem with that approach. She felt that that was exactly what an auditioner needed to do as the class progressed given the purpose of the audition class.


DD came away from that audition class feeling that she had had a taste of what the SI program had to offer. She felt it was definitely a place she could learn and improve her skills/technique in a very nurturing, caring, exacting environment. She had gone into the audition with an interest in the program, but came out of the audition with a very real, excited interest in the program and ready to attend.


DD then attended her dual-weekend auditions. The first audition was adjudicated by one of the primary teachers and an assistant/dancer. The auditioner and assistant were very friendly and out-going at the registration table. He joked with several of the dancers and continued to banter if the dancer responded. The audition site was very comfortable for the number of dancers attending. There was plenty of room to wait, stretch, leave belongings.


The class itself was more challenging than other classes, however, DD found it very fun and exciting and not beyond her skill/technique level. The auditioners continued to be outgoing and personable. The lead auditioner teased and joked with the dancers, encouraging them repeatedly to "Relax!" DD felt that these auditioners also looked at all the dancers, and then progressively narrowed focus as the class progressed. The audition went longer by about fifteen minutes than scheduled, yet DD would have stayed all night. She absolutely loved these auditioners and hasn't stopped talking about how fun they and the class were. She went into the audition with some interest in the program, but came out with a very real desire to attend. She says it was the most fun class she has ever taken.


The last audition was the one she had most looked forward to in her "tour". However, from the first moment she stepped off the elevator at the audition site, she had a negative feeling. The audition site was a rather dilapidated building/studio that was way too cramped for the number of dancers anticipated and attending. It was all but impossible to walk through the waiting room, much less wait comfortably, stretch, or leave belongings. (Think overcrowded elevator!) Actually, DD had to sit on the floor with her knees drawn to her chest before registration occurred. Once registered, the dancers went into a too-small studio for barre placement. The dancers felt very cramped and uncomfortable. Some dancers had to do barre near a space heater. The closed, hot air in the room made DD feel slightly nauseous.


The registration woman was non-conversational, not even a brief smile, and very abrupt. The auditioner barely introduced herself and told nothing about the program. DD's impression of the auditioner was that she did not want to be there, that she resented the dancers for causing her to be there, and that she only wanted to be done with the class. The class itself was easy and boring. The combinations were uninspiring and uninteresting. DD had so looked forward to auditioning for this program, but during the audition class only wanted it to be over. The class and the auditioner's demeanor did nothing to inspire DD to dance her best.


The audition class ended 15 minutes earlier than the 1 1/2 hour scheduled time despite having 50 dancers. DD did feel that the dancers were all "looked at" and she did feel that she was watched. Thus, she did not feel ignored. However, her overall impression of the SI based on that audition was very negative. She was very surprised and disappointed at the tone set by the auditioner, the audition site, and the class given.


As the parent, it is very interesting to me knowing how my DD "ranked" these SIs on her pre-audition "wish list" and how she now feels about them following the actual audition classes. I see three areas that played into DD's rearranging of her perceptions/desires/wishes in these four SIs:


(1) I would think that auditioners would consider the expected numbers of dancers attending the sites and would book a site that would accomodate those numbers comfortably. After all, if it is uncomfortable for the dancers, it must really be uncomfortable for the auditioner, as well.


(2) I would think that the SI would want to put forth their best foot and would send personable personnel and would give the dancers a "sample" of the classes they could expect at the SI. Thus, auditions taught by local instructors/dancers are kind of a "bait-and-switch" at worst or just plain irrelevant at best.


(3) If an SI is only interested in a particular body-type, why not just state that! I realize that exceptions can be made, and that a close scrutiny of the SI's brochures/marketing material might show that tendency, but why not just state it clearly? One of the auditions DD attended this year and one she attended a few years ago were very blatant in limiting their "attention" to specific body-types during the audition classes. Why waste everyone else's time and money? Those classes are not fun to just take.

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What a great post and wonderful assessments by your daughter, DanceMaven! Sounds like she learned a great deal from the audition circuit and will be a very wise auditioner indeed when she becomes a veteran next year! :) As for your own observations, I think you voice questions that many of us who have been to more than our share of auditions :blink: have asked at one time or another!


I hope she gets into that program she loved so much at the audition. Do let us know how her results go. We're rooting for her! :thumbsup:

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dancemaven--Thank you so much for your thought provoking and detailed reply to this thread. Your DD sounds alot like mine in that the SI is auditioning for her almost as much as she is auditioning for the SI. She is quite perceptive. I can probably come close to naming your SI auditions from our own experiences.


Good luck to you. Let us know her outcomes based on how she felt about them. It would be interesting to see if she hit the nail on the head so to speak.


LRS---yep, counting pennies as we speak. Letters are almost all now in and time to start writing checks. Oops! There was a quarter right here by the computer that I missed. :)



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Thanks all for your responding comments. These auditions are certainly interesting social studies.


Actually, DD came away from her audition tour with "very thumbs up" reactions to, not just one, but two SI programs. She doesn't yet know whether she will have the opportunity to make any choices, but she is trying to get ahead of the game by evaluating how she feels about the programs. Those two programs are running neck and neck in her desires to attend. ("Mom, I wish I could go to both!" hint, hint. Whew, the dates are overlapping or identical, so no need to worry about parrying that request!) A non-acceptance from these programs will definitely bum her out and she'll feel a real sense of loss.


She still includes the program she originally thought would be her "dream" program in her considerations. Based on all she'd heard from friends with prior experience, the audition she attended seems to be an aberration, so she's not quite ready to throw the baby out with the bath water. However, she is less enthusiastic about it and would have to really do more reconnoissance before she would choose it over the two SIs whose auditions she absolutely loved. A non-acceptance from this program will bum her out, but not necessarily a sense of loss (especially if she gets an acceptance from one of the other two).

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Dancemaven: Last year dd has very similar experiences. She knew at the audition if the SI was something she was going to be interested in. Funny thing was, every audition that she had a good time at and loved the audition, she was accepted at. All the others were rejections. She used last years experiences as a beginning to where she was going to audition this year, with a couple of exceptions. We haven't recieved any letters yet... :thumbsup: Still waiting, but so far dd's experiences at her auditions have been good. There has been only one audition that she knew immediately that it was not her type/style.

She did go back and try the ABT audition yesterday, even after last years fiasco, with one thing in mind....to show herself she could do it. She loved the audition. :blushing: She had no intention of considering this SI but now feels she could learn a lot from it, if accepted.

She still loved her Joffrey audition best though. Mr. Magnus always makes the class fun and relaxing.

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