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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Audition season through our eyes


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Ouch, Ouch, Ouch,


Please let me clarify. I’m not suggesting parents shouldn’t watch their children dance. I just think an audition is not the place to do it (those blinds were closed by the adjudicators because they did not want the parents to watch). If your child is a serious dancer and auditioning for a SI, then they are probably taking at least four to five classes weekly – which allows plenty of time for you to watch them dance. An audition is about more than just YOUR child. As many have eloquently stated….we expect the adjudicators to be respectful to ALL of the dancers during an audition and we expect the dancers to be respectful. In turn the parents should also be respectful. Our children learn by example.


Thanks for letting me rant. The one thing we can agree upon, is the right to disagree.

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  • LMCtech


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I agree thedriver, no peeking. One SI audition though encourages you to watch if you'd like and leaves the door open. That then becomes fair game. But to peek through a closed door or blinds. Nope, ain't doing it!



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I watch my daughter during the week/weekends at her school. I have the opportunity to watch her anytime I wish. If she is having a bad class and doesn't want me there, she signals to me to leave. I always do as she asks. Sometimes I sit for the entire class and others I just sit for a few minutes. There is a comfortable couch in the lounge area and that suits me just fine on the days I choose not to watch. I have never watched an audition except for the Rock. They leave the door open and I try to position myself in a place where I can see her through the mirror. She doesn't mind. I would never try and peek through blinds. Most of dd's auditions (except for the Rock) are held at SFB and the personel in the lobby do a fantastic job of keeping parents out. The doors are locked and they will not open without a key or you have to be buzzed in. Short of an all out emergency, they will not let you through. :yes:

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We've been to several auditions where they came in before the audition and taped paper up over the viewing windows. I think this is a pretty strong indication of the adjudicator's wishes in regards to watching the audition. I also witnessed a dad at one such audition who literally laid on the floor and looked through the crack below the door (it was about 2-3 inches high) the entire duration of the audition!! :o


Up until this year, I had never taken my daughter to an audition that left doors open or had viewing windows left uncovered. But, this year, there were 3 auditions where there was no alternative but to watch the audition, as the studio either had wall to wall windows that looked out on the waiting room, left double doors open wide to the waiting room and in one case, the lobby actually extended into the studio. There were no barriers at all!


In all these cases, we had driven several hours to another city that I did not know. The auditions were in urban areas at odd hours and the weather was cold and in one case rather snowy and slippery. So, I was not enthused about getting back in the car and finding a local hangout for the hour and a half wait. In the first instance, my daughter took a look around and volunteered that it was OK for me to watch. The second audition where this was the case, I assumed I could sit in the lobby and did so. Afterwards, I was sternly rebuked by my daughter for watching, as she had not given me permission. :yes: So, for the other one, I hid behind a pillar, facing the other direction, busying myself with other things so as not to invoke her wrath :yes: and more importantly not to distract her from the task at hand. :blushing:

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Watching an audition is one thing. (If welcomed by the auditioners and vetted by my dd, I love it. Otherwise I stay far away.) But how about taking photos? At an audition taking place at our home school, the school staffer manning the desk not only had to shoo people away from the viewing windows several times, but he also had to ask a dad to refrain from taking photos! At least I assume it was a dad. He was definitely not an official photographer who had the auditioners' and the school's permission to shoot. The man did not take kindly to the request. It was creepy!

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You know, I'd thought I'd heard it all - but the snapping of photos by what appeared to be a parent is a first for me. Not sure whether to laugh or feel sorry for his likely offspring. :)


I realize I neglected to offer my heartfelt thanks to balletbooster, Victoria Leigh, momfo3darlings and dancemaven in their eloquent responses earlier. :huh::):(

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Guest balletandsynchro

Along with echoing thanks to Victoria Leigh, balletbooster, dancemaven and momof3darlings, I have to tell my oddest observation at SI audition. The first year my DD began to audition, a mother was telling to her daughter (through a window) to "turn out more." This mother was not just signalling, but also talking, as if her daughter could hear. I have no idea if the child noticed, or ignored her mother. However, the photographing parent noted above beat all!

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What gets me is that the parent got bent out of shape when he was asked to stop. What a pain.

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My apologies for those of us who witness such horrifying things as parents taking pictures and laying on the floor to peep through a crack. Please don't let those parents make all of us look bad. I will watch DD. But when doors are closed etc it is obvious what that means. I've experienced things such as this at Nut performances etc too. Staff had to zoom to the middle of the rows in the theater to stop people from taking pictures! I guess people don't know proper etiquette or something. Not sure. The staff needs to be respected as much as they are to respect us and our children.

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Well I have to say I was one of those parents who peeked through a crack in the blinds at one SI audition. Since my daughter dances at a performing arts school between 10 and 12 each day I never get a chance to see her dance or even find out what goes on in the dance classes. So the two inch crack where the blind was skew was the most I have seen of DD dance in class atmosphere. I was very interested to see how much time and attention the auditioners gave to each child, whether or not they were interested in them I have no way of knowing but they spent time watching each of the 57 girls in the room.


I did ask DD if she saw people peeking through and she said no. However at barre she was about as far away from the window as she could be. She did say that at a different audition, same city- different location, they could hear pretty much everything the parents by the door said when they were lined up for across the floors.


So I do hope my peeking didn't disrupt anyone else's child, because I would never knowingly do that. But I enjoyed greatly seeing my DD dance since I rarely get this opportunity.


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Oh my! He took pictures? During the audition? Oh my, my! :)

Are you sure it wasn' t just in the lobby? Oh my, my, my!



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I also saw a dad taking pictures this past Saturday at an audition. He started in the waiting area, and continued taking pictures through the audition via a large window (blinds were not closed). I was a bit surprised.


I was also surprised to see students with holes in their technique shoes, runs in stockings, and large hair ornaments. I also noticed many do not regard the suggested color of leo specified under the audition guides - some wore colored leos when it stated "black" and black leos when it stated "non-black leos preferred". I also saw some that were taking polaroids in the waiting area when the audition requirements for pictures stated " no polaroids".


Dd and I are strict "rule followers" so we were worried about spraying every wisp of hair around her bun......


Dd was wondering if not following the guidelines really impacts their decision? Not that it would change our regard for the rules - just does not make sense to do anything that could jeopardize a chance to make a good impression.


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If the decision came down to a kid perfectly presented with "all of her ducks in a row" and another kid with torn tights, dirty shoes, the wrong color leotard and the wrong photos, who do you think a school would take?


The way you dress and present your materials at an audition are considered a demonstration of your commitment to the art form and your respect for the auditioners and the school you represent. Students who look like they don't care, probably don't, and probably will be problematic when they get to the program. Any student who thinks otherwise is setting themself up for failure.

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Last year was my dd first audition season. She had asked me to help her every step of the way, when it was appropriate. She understandably was nervous and didn't know the ropes. I filled out the paper work and she stood in line to register. IF there was a "viewing" area, she asked me to watch. I think she gained a sense of security knowing I was close by.


This year has been a totally different experience. My van and I have become very acquainted as I haven't left my seat unless I needed to use the restroom. Dd has filled out the paper work, brought it out to the van if she had a question, and registered. She found the warm up areas all on her own and was even able to locate a restroom :thumbsup: She was totally comfortable doing "the process" on her own.


I think what aggravates me most of all at the auditions is listening to the parents "tell" other parents how the particular company chooses the dancers they want in the SI, how many are selected from each audition and why, and even going to the extreme of telling parents whether their child will be chosen or not based on "the knowledge" that they have. One wonders where they came upon all this incredible information? :shrug:


This season was so very enjoyable for myself and dd because I wasn't caught up in what the other parents were saying and I could enjoy my dd take on the experience. She had a very successful audition season and is now chomping at the bit for her summer experience.

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And then there's the parent who tries to dissuade another parent from taking her daughter to another school's audition. This type of parent deliberately gives out misinformation in order to prevent students who might be chosen over her own child from auditioning.



Early in my daughter's SI audition years, I was the recipient of two different parents' attempts (while at an audition) at spreading lies in order to have less competition for their daughters at the next audition. Imagine that! :grinning:

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