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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Audition season through our eyes


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Like pointe2perfection, I am most baffled by the parents who think they know everything about a program and its selection process. At a PNB audition a couple of years ago I overheard a mom pointing out to another mom the PNB staff members observing the audition. "Those two are only secretaries and don't have any say in who is accepted." (The "secretaries" were Ms. Bolstad, the PNBS Administrative Director, and Ms. Russell, PNB co-Artistic Director and Director of the School.) This year I heard a parent telling another that "[name of program] only comes to Seattle for PR. They never accept anyone from this audition." WHERE do they get these "facts?" :grinning:


The other thing I always find amusing is those parents who are willing to let their child audition for, and attend, a month-long program hundreds of miles away from home, but who don't seem to think the student can fill out her own audition card! :)

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And the flip side of that -- the parent who doesn't recognize that a child who can't fill out the card or is reticent about registering him- or herself probably isn't ready to go far away for a month.

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The other thing I always find amusing is those parents who are willing to let their child audition for, and attend, a month-long program hundreds of miles away from home, but who don't seem to think the student can fill out her own audition card! :shrug:


I have MY “don’t do” list, which includes not filling out audition forms.


If DD can’t get out of the car, walk up to a registration desk, request and fill out the forms, and hand over my money……she isn’t ready for the SI experience.


A few years ago DD went to an audition with a friend and her mother. This mother filled out her daughter’s audition form and mistakenly put her birth-date on the form (not her DD’s). She didn’t realize her mistaken until after the audition had started - she called me in a panic asking for advice. I told her not to sweat-it I’m sure the auditioners will know her daughter is not 38 years old. :)

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As everyone discusses whether or not their DK fills out the audition forms, it would be interesting to know the DK's age. By 14, my DK did all the forms herself. I think that the age of the child can make a big difference in their comfort level for filling out the forms. At what age have others experience that their DK's fill out the forms?

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That is a funny story.


As to those "facts". That is how Ballet Urban Legends start. Parents make this stuff up to either make themselves or their dk's look better. Isn't it easier to say that your daughter was blacklisted by a school than to say that she didn't improve enought to be accepted again? It takes all the blame off the parent and her kid. It's the "big, bad school's" fault for being to mean and unfair.

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I remember one year at an audition for one of our big Canadian schools......


At this school parents are allowed/encouraged to watch the audition process. I find the whole thing a bit anxiety provoking so I sat near the back with a book. Not that I could concentrate much on the book, but it helped keep me what I hope was relatively sane. Anyway, there was another mother who came in to sit near me - her child was actually auditioning the following DAY. She was so nervous about her own dancer's audition she came to watch some of the others..... I've never quite figured that out. Now, I should say that she didn't just wander in off the street, she had children attending dance class elsewhere in the building at the time. But still - I don't know that it helped to settle her nerves at all.

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Mrs. Stahlbaum
At what age have others experience that their DK's fill out the forms?


Anyone can fill out a form, but it helps to be prepared (whether you are a parent or a student). While you are at home, gather the information you might need. We are usually clueless as to how tall dd is, what her weight is, or what the address and phone number of her school is (even though I could drive there in my sleep). Teach your children the importance of legible handwriting.


And for goodness sakes, tell them to write honest answers. I watched a mother advising her daughter to lie about her height, hoping the auditioners might not notice how tall she was :) .

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Oh yes, by all means, PLEASE stress the importance of legible handwriting AND zip codes. I get way too many cards without zip codes coming through.

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I cannot resist adding one more strange and funny audition (or audition results) story. Last year, I -- yes me, not my DD -- was rejected from a major summer program (not yours LMCTech) My dd is certainly capable of filling out her forms properly with her own name, and I know she did, but both letter and the envelope came addressed to me. Well, the other moms got a good laugh out of this...but I can still feel the sting of rejection!! :)

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My biggest headache when I was School Registrar at PNB was kids on the Audition Tour who used regional abbreviations (which they probably had no idea were regional) in their addresses. The one that sticks in my mind six years later is a kid who wrote on her audition card that her city was "C'berry Twp." No zip code. Even my best tool for extrapolating illegible portions of addresses, the USPS website, couldn't help me decipher that one. I finally had to call. Her mom graciously explained that it meant "Cranberry Township." I plead guilty to provincial ignorance; we don't have "townships" in Washington state, and "C'berry," for whatever reason, didn't evoke "cranberry" at that moment! :)

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Dear Jacqueline,


OUCH!!! Time heals all wounds, they say. Were you able to bring yourself to face the uncertainty of the audition season this year? What if you had gotten in? Perhaps you will this year!


That story is hysterical!! I love it!

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Along with parents who think they know the exact way that each SI picks its potential students, I have to add that many STUDENTS will profess to know the same thing, and further, be willing to state exactly who got into the program before letters have been delivered. This has been most disconcerting to dd, until the predictions of these students have been found to be anything but accurate. Lesson learned...only the auditioners know for sure.

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Gosh, we've missed alot of this luckily! We just go audition and impatiently wait for our letters. We're too dance illiterate around here to do any guessing about results. (and glad of it!)



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Hi Jacqueline


Perhaps the school was just trying to get parents to walk in anothers pointe shoes? :blushing:

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