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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Audition season through our eyes


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LMC--I think you may have missed to original intent regarding student feelings. I don't think any of us expect our DD's to be coddled during auditions. Or even to get any pats on the backs at auditions. I don't expect that at all. In fact, I expect my DD to go in, do her best and take her punches whatever they may be. However, respect goes in both directions. I'm sure because you are a true professional it's hard to fathom how some people can be, but it is not just sour grapes, some are just plain disrespectful to the dancers (laughing AT dancers, turning their back through all but one group across the floor)


There are plenty of very professionally run auditions and some which are fun because they are auditions and class all rolled into one. Some are more cut throat than others but cut throat again is one thing, disrespect is another.


I remember when I first came to these boards many moons ago, there was a discussion about the wording of a "thank you but no thank you, you stink" letter from one of the bigger programs. One of the regulars here worked at that program and did not see what all the fuss was about either. I pulled out that letter and said, "this" is the exact wording of your letter, "this" is what my then 12 year old "read between the lines" of your letter. She had received no's before but this wording stung hard and was unnecessary. Luckily this man IS a professional a saw that it was an unprofessionally worded letter. He got that letter changed. The SI has a new NO letter and I have HUGE respect for the program and for him!


At the end of the day, let's all give and get respect, no matter what the outcome. Personally, I don't expect warm & fuzzy. But I don't expect mean and nasty either! Remember we are talking about SI auditions, not company auditions.



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Well, we are almost done....not quite. :thumbsup: We have survived several weeks of auditions with none, I am very happy to say, that have been "horrible." Each audition dd came away with something from the teacher and a feeling that she did well. We have 3 acceptances so far with letters due from 3 more and 2 more auditions. DD received an acceptance to ABT today but I don't know to which one. B) She is at ballet until 8:30 tonight and has made me promise to not open any letters that come. I didn't open it....I just peeked a bit..... :blushing: ....and saw the first line about congratulations we are delighted to inform you that you have been accepted....and thats all I could see. :o I have to wait until later tonight to find out where! :wacko: My husband has made a very lovely romantic dinner for two for Valentines Day, so I will have a glass of wine, a delightful meal with a wonderful understanding man (I was jumping through the house after I peeked) and wait for dd to come home and officially open her mail. I am not even going to tell her I peeked! :)

We still haven't decided which program is at the top of the list. DD's teacher has given us a lot to think about regarding SI's and thier importance for a 13 year old. We have decided to wait until we have all the information in front of us and then decide....although we now have that "deadline" to consider. We can contact PNB to find out results early if we need to and the other 2 programs should have sent thier letters by now or relatively soon. UBA is next Saturday and they have a pretty quick turn around as well. The audition for Nutmeg in March is more for information regarding their year round program, down the road.

It seems like this audition season is going on forever! I can't wait to have a whole weekend to relax and sleep in! :sleeping::yawn:

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The one thing I have noticed that is different about this audition season is the increase in the number of PPs (Peeping Parents). I have seen parents, mainly moms, stand at the audition window for the entire 1.5+ hours. I’ve asked DD if this bothers the dancers and her response was – “No, as long as you’re not one of THOSE moms”. This Saturday the window in the audition studio had mini-blinds, which the adjudicators closed before the audition started. But that didn’t stop a group of moms from peeking through the cracks in the blinds. For the life of me, I just don’t understand why they watch. :)

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We can't expect all auditioners to be caring people.


With all due respect, LMCtech, not only do I believe I can, but I do, expect that. Personally, I think it is very disrespectful of the auditioners to accept a dancer's class fee, then totally ignore everyone but a specific body-type beginning with the first barre combination. I'm still looking for that "clear statement" regarding acceptable body-types in those particular SIs' brochures.


I realize those SIs have the option of conducting their auditions in that manner (and DD is getting more adroit at spotting them from the photos included in their marketing brochures). My point, however, was simply that, given four separate auditions for four very discerning SIs, my DD came away with strong, but varied, reactions to all four. From a marketing standpoint, I'd think the programs would want all dancers to come away from the audition class with a favorable impression of the audition process, and by association, the SI---irrespective of the individual dancer's perception of her own dancing on that day or whether ultimately she received an acceptance.


Two of the auditions DD attended were conducted in a manner that were very different, but were both very positive toward all the dancers attending. As a result, the auditions left her with a strong favorable impression of the individual SIs. Thus, the auditioners were very good ambassadors for their programs---whether or not DD receives an acceptance from either, she would speak highly of those SIs' audition process.


The third SI's auditioner was not "warm and fuzzy", but DD nevertheless felt the dancers were accorded their due. Whether or not she receives an acceptance from that SI, she nonetheless feels the audition process was an honest endeavor. The primary point there was that the accommodations selected for the audition were lacking and did nothing to further the process and possibly, hindered it.


The fourth audition was conducted in an insulting, disrespectful manner. That program did not do itself any favors in terms of showing why it is accorded such prestigous status. Rather, her opinion of that institution is now very dim. "Unimpressed" just doesn't cover it. Personally, I see no reason for leaving that kind of impression with a roomful of accomplished dancers, who all talk to their friends and cohorts. But apparently some SIs do.


But, in the end, you are exactly right: If the auditioner is mean, disrespectful, or uninspiring, DD will definitely choose not to attend that SI!


Respectfully, I will agree to disagree with you on this issue.

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Well, dd has finally completed her 2005 auditions. I would like to thank all of my new friends (moderators, dancers, parents of dancers, others) at Ballet Alert for the advice, and most importantly, the education that I have received from this website to prepare and assist my daughter for this year's auditions. Last year, we didn't know anything, and went to several auditions that were recommended by our studio director. This year, we felt so much more confident and informed in making selections and decisions! This website has been great!


Now we just need to wait for the outstanding letters! Good luck to all dancers who are also waiting.

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"For the life of me, I just don’t understand why they watch."


Oh my, you don't understand why someone would want to watch their child? I would do it in a second. Every master class (Bolshoi, Moscow, etc.) that my child has ever taken--I was always allowed to observe. Any class she has taken and I had the opportunity to watch, you can bet I was there. Would I ever try to get her attention or correct her--no way. She always loved me watching. I always asked her permission and no, she didn't need me there. I wouldn't watch the other dancers, just mine. She's a dancer....she wants to be watched. Now that she is away at residency school I get very few chances to observe her, but when I do - I am there with tears in my eyes. I think the tears have always been there, watching her do what she loves. Even as babies I would just sit and watch my children sleep--they've always amazed me--they're miracles. Now you have to be thinking that this lady must have some really messed up children. They're not. So far two have made it to adulthood and they are still the most amazing people--to me and to anyone who knows them.

Please don't take this wrong. Just as you have your reasons (and I'm sure they are very good ones) why you don't understand why anyone would want to watch, I have mine where I can't see why anyone wouldn't want to watch. Hug those kids, they're precious.


I just wanted to add that I am sure you love your children just as much as I love mine...we just have different points of view...that's what makes this world so interesting.

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This SI auditioning process can sometines be painful for both the dancer and the parent(s).


Jaded ballet mom weighing in here.


This is Mlle. Shesno's last audition season and here is what I have learned:


*she has gone to auditions and was ignored and was rejected.

*she has gone to auditions and was ignored and was accepted.

*she has gone to auditions and was acknowledged and was rejected.

*she has gone to auditions and was acknowledged and was accepted.

*she has gone to SIs and loved the teachers and not improved.

*she has gone to SIs and hated the teachers and improved a lot.

*she is the dancer, I am not.

*she has the passion, I do not.

*she knows who she is, as a dancer, as a competitor, I am clueless.

*she knows her strengths and weaknessess and I her mom know only

her strengths.

*if I could go back in time and fix all the hurts, disappointments and

injustices she would not be the dancer she is today.

*it truly does, as time goes by, get easier---it's not the

destination, it's the journey.

* if I could go back in time I would have enjoyed it more.


Just my thoughts.

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Shesno, thank you for all of your observations. My favorite one is this last one, though:

if I could go back in time I would have enjoyed it more.
Ain't that the truth!


I wish we were all in one large, comfortable room - with a great view - and we could raise our glasses to this last one and keep it in our minds - until the end of time. :yes:

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My take on the watching issue is that if my DD asks me to watch her at her studio, then I'm there! As long as I don't distract other dancers or the teacher. & she does like me to be there, so I get to watch a couple of classes a week. When it comes to auditions, I really think you have to take into account that there are many other dancers who may get distracted or nervous w/ so many parents peering through cracks in the blinds or even through large windows. My DD told me that at the SAB auditions this year the teacher tried to get parents to move away, to no avail & that some of the auditioning teachers make remarks about parents looking through (not derogatory, just stuff like "try not to be distracted, or I wish we didn't have such a large audience") & she's so glad that I don't do that. At auditions this year, there did seem to be a larger number of viewing parents & on the way home the girls were talking about the parents looking in & even pointing at girls.

Those are my reasons for choosing not to watch. The feedback from the girls & just my own ideas on independence. Would I like to? Oh ya! They grow & are gone so fast (I have 2 that are grown & gone). But, I figure this is her deal & plus, it's really fun for me to have her tell me all about it afterwards! But, no judgement on the parents who do watch, it's an individual thing & I certainly understand wanting to watch your children doing what they love.



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Guest balletandsynchro

I'll tell you why I don't watch my daughter during an audition, and it's the same reason I don't watch my synchro daughter warm up before a meet: I am too nervous! I'm afraid my girls will look at my worried face and wonder what they are doing wrong - even though they are doing everything fine! :yes: So... for my peace of mind, (and theirs too) I don't watch during those times! :yes:

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I love to watch my DD whenever I can. Not to criticize or compare. I just love to watch dance!! Especially when it's your own doing what you love to watch!! And if the doors are closed on a certain day and we aren't able to watch her, I'll watch another class. I asked my DD this morning after reading this thread if it bothered her. She said, "No". She likes me watching because she knows how much I appreciate her efforts. So, until she objects, I"ll watch. :yes:

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I agree one hundred percent! I love to watch my daughter and the joy that pours out of her as she dances. It makes me cry too...I thought that I was the only one!

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Guest balletandsynchro

Just so you don't think I'm nuts - I do LOVE watching my girls perform, or during private coaching, etc... it's those pesky auditions and warm ups that just get me! I am so proud of my girls and what they do. It's been hard having one away at Residency School - we miss her a lot, and don't get to see her dance very frequently. I'll be able to watch some of her classes this holiday weekend - see the joy and happiness DD has when she is dancing!

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Mrs. Stahlbaum

I love to watch my daughter in class when I get the chance, but not in rehearsals or auditions as it distracts her. But she likes for me to see her in class, as long as I leave the teaching to the teachers (only positive comments about her dancing allowed from mom). I think it will be sad that when (if) she finally gets really good and gets to join a company, I will only be able to see her dance in a public performance and there won't be any videos for the parents to buy and watch later.


And I loved your post, ShesNoFontenynsMom.

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