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Auditioning- Australian Ballet School


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My dd will be auditioning for the Australian Ballet School in June. This is her first ever audition for anything, so we are completely inexperienced in the process. :thumbsup:


The only useful (?) advice I've been able to give, is that only one in 100 will be given a place in the program, so go and do your best and enjoy the experience and process for itself.


Has anyone had children audition for the ABS? If so, what is actually done in the auditions? Is it run like a class? They do also run masterclasses, which dd will attend in her home state a fortnight before. Unfortunately we have to travel interstate for the actual audition.


Any information would be very much appreciated.

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There are a few teachers/former dancers working in Australia who are registered members of Ballet Talk. Hopefully they may be able to answer your question regarding the audition process to enter Australian Ballet School.


You might also call the school to inquire about the process. Generally an audition consists of a class, which is age appropriate.


Let us know what you find out! Merde! :thumbsup:

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My sister auditioned and was accepted to the Australian Ballet School - but this was about 20 years ago (eeek - my siblings & I don't FEEL that old! :wink: ). She's since gone on to a very successful dancing carrer in Europe.


She was around 15-16 at the time, and to go she skipped the last 2 years of high school, but ballet bodies don't wait, and other kinds of education do.


From what she told me, they did a class, but they also scrutinised applicants' bodies very closely, looking at feet, backs, height, proportion, natural rotation etc. They looked carefully at how she worked with her fairly pronounced hyperextended legs. From what she told us, the whole thing was calm and very professional - inside the studio, that is. I gather the atmosphere outside the studio was more reminiscent of the rather overheated backstage atmosphere of those dratted Eistedfodds which were so prevalent in Australia (I hope they're not any more, quite frankly). so you might want to think of stategies for staying calm ...

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Thanks Redbookish


Yes, I've heard that there is very close scrutiny of the body and reading articles etc by the staff of the ABS I know that they strongly believe that the 'correct ballet body', ie long limbs, natural rotation and flexibility etc, is less prone to injury and hence this is the type of body they seek.


My dd is just very excited and happy to be testing herself - I am a barrel of nerves and the audition isn't for eight weeks!! :blushing:


I believe I will be leaving the building to go for a nice relaxed walk!!


And no, eistedfodds don't seem to be particularly prevalent any more, however, dd has been roped into performing a duet in a local competition with one of her class mates. Class mates mum enrolled them and paid, while I had managed to 'lose' the enrolment form and 'unfortunately' missed the cut off date. Oh well, we'll see!

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Guest Bryan Lawrence

Tell your daughter not to panic. She will be treated like a normal human being by other normal human beings. About forty years ago I sat on the judging panel which was picking students from the Australian Ballet School to go into the company. At that time I was a Principal Dancer with the Company. I have not attended the school auditions but I would think the way they are run would be very similar, whoever is in charge. They will really be looking for potential, not how many pirouettes one can do. It would be very important to appear healthy, happy, keen and interested in learning. Don't be pushy, but show confidence. Also show discipline by being well groomed. Remember, no-one can ask for more than one's best, so take it easy, just do your best and enjoy it.

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Thankyou for the sound advice Bryan. She is not panicking and is really looking forward to it. (Mum, however, is not so sanguine!)


Dd has been very fortunate to have been gifted with a natural ballet body and a beautiful sense of artistry. She is an exceptionally happy person who grabs every opportunity and challenge with enthusiasm.


Watching her in the end of term class, which was open to parents, my greatest sense of pride in her was the way that she took every correction during class (and there were many) and immediately did the exercise or movement again putting the corrections into action until it felt and looked right.


If she isn't accepted to the ABS, she is very happy with her current school and the wonderful teachers there, so all will be good.


Ahhhhhh - I actually feel a lot more relaxed myself now. Thanks! :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just thought I'd do an update on this.


I have had the audtition forms to send in for almost two months (due by May 27th) but haven't sent them. I was doing a little self-examination, as there seemed to be a sub-conscious reluctance on my part to actually post them. I was also considering a few issues raised in another thread (regarding negative comments).


I asked dd at the weekend - very casually - if she really wanted to audition this year or whether she would prefer to wait another year. And just as casually, she responded that another year might be good as "I want to work on my arms this year and on really controlling my pirouettes".


I actually feel a sense of relief. Dd has many experiences to enjoy and plenty of time for auditions as she matures and I feel much more relaxed!!

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Glad to hear it is all working out in an amicable way. Let us hear in the future what you and your DD decide to do. :yes:

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Guest Bryan Lawrence

Hi - I wish I knew your name.

When your daughter decides to audition she need not worry about being able to do everything. It would not be like an exam. They will be looking for potential. I can remember Dame Margaret Scott saying to me once that she took a boy into the school in order to rescue him from the terrible teaching he was having. Obviously he would have had potential as well. But they will be looking closely at the body and judging your personality, your ability to work hard and accept criticism. Standard will not have too much to do with it, presumably as long as you are not a beginner. I am afraid though that in the end the result will be due to the opinion of one person after discussion with others on the panel. Opinions can vary so you just have to be lucky and get the right person.

Did you know that my ex wife, Janet Karin is on the staff of the Australian Ballet School?

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Hi Bryan


My name is Robin and I was at Bryan Lawrence for about three years. I had little talent as a dancer and was not a particularly pleasant child, so in a way I hope that you don't remember me (as it would be for all the wrong reasons!).


Yes, I knew that Janet was with the ABS.


I know that they are looking for potential at auditions, rather than polish, but I think another year will just give dd a little more maturity. She is very happy at NCBS, is doing very well and absolutely loves her teachers (for whom I have a great deal of respect) so it won't hurt at all to wait another year. If she has what it takes, she will still have it next year.

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Now I'm just plain embarrassed :D


Dd came home from class yesterday with news that because she was going to audition, her friend at ballet has also planned to audition (and has sent the forms etc) so now she definitely does want to try out this year.


So, back to the planning etc ... :(

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  • 3 weeks later...
Now I'm just plain embarrassed  :blushing:


Dd came home from class yesterday with news that because she was going to audition, her friend at ballet has also planned to audition (and has sent the forms etc) so now she definitely does want to try out this year.


So, back to the planning etc ...  :D


Has the auditioned happened yet?


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NCBS is National Capital Ballet School.


No, the audition hasn't been on yet. It will probably be on June 15th. I read an article yesterday about a student that was accepted last year - the only one from her entire state! So, we know that it is highly competitive and the chances of acceptance are very slim.


However, my dd is excited and does not appear to be at all daunted. She knows the chances are slim but is very happy to give it a go. Her only question was "if I don't get in, can I keep auditioning every year". Yes darling, of-course you can!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just an update - although this thread is not in the under 13s which is where I belong :D


Husband drove dd interstate to attend the auditions on Wednesday. Dd said it was 'really fun' and that most of the 1 hour audition was focussed on physical examination and exercises to show flexibility and rotation (like the frog, lying on the tummy). They then did some basic barre exercises without shoes on so the feet could be examined and ended with some jumps.


One teacher led the group and there was a panel of three "severe and business like" (dd's words) staff of the school. Dd said there was one boy who was "really good", but otherwise, she felt that her ability was pretty much equal to the rest of the group. She immediately asked that if she isn't accepted would she be able to audition again next year.


We don't get the results until August September - the chances of gaining admission are so slim that we have no real attachment to the results. From my perspective, it just added to the range of experiences that dd is able to have and that help to open her eyes to the real world of ballet.

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