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About Ms. Leigh


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Guest dancer04

Although I am not a mom or a dad I wanted to comment on Ms. Leigh. I was at the OKC audition and absolutly loved it. Like she said, it did not have many students there but I am not sure if that studio could have held many more comfortably! I could really see Ms. Leigh's love for teaching at the audition and I really enjoyed being able to now put a name with a face. It helps a lot. I am looking forward to going to DC this summer as I received my letter yesterday and was accepted. Ms. Leigh, on an average how many out of state students get accepted?

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Hollo Ms Leigh, we spoke before about my daughter sending you a video to see if she was ready to audition for companies. She danced in the opening ceremoies of the Olympics and was even on camera for an "8 count". She had a great time. Since then she has been out auditioning for companies and is doing very well. She did want to audition for The Washington Ballet butjust could not schedule the travelin. I'm wondering about what some thoughts are to this question. Suppose a dancer was offerred a position of corp in a smaller company vs a position as an apprentice in a larger company. She would get to dance more right away in the smaller company and then move to a larger company later. Or start as an apprentice and wait her turn with a larger company. What do you think?

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Victoria Leigh

Thank you, dancer04! It was fun to meet you, too, and I appreciated your traveling all the way from another state to the audition!

 

Generally, or on average, about 2/3 of the students who audition are accepted, but of course not all of them attend. We usually have about 26-30 in the dorms, and then there are some who stay in other places with friends or family. (The OKC audition had a lower ratio of acceptances, however. This year has been a bit different, and I have a high rate in a couple of cities, and a lower rate in a couple.)

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Victoria Leigh

Mom, congratulations to your daughter for getting accepted to a company and apprentice to another! That is great, but also certainly a hard decision. There are so many things to look at here, and it's really hard for me to advise her without ever having seen her and knowing her potential to make it in the larger company. My first instinct is to say go with the apprentice position, but I think she first needs to examine the repertoire of both companies, and also her own desire in terms of whether she wants to do the kind of work in the smaller company, or work her way up while learning the repertoire of the the larger one. There is never any guarantee that the apprentices will make it to full contract, but I think their chances are better than if they just show up for an audition later, even with experience. I don't know. It can work either way, and I think it's a decision that only she can make. But it's a really nice thing that she has that choice too!

 

We had a very good dancer here a couple of years ago, in Washington Ballet. She started as an apprentice, and then was offered a full contract, but that came at the same time as she was offered apprentice in a much bigger and more classical company. She had always wanted the other company, and after a lot of deliberation, she chose to take the chance and leave a full contract here for the apprentice there. In this case it worked, and she is now full contract there. But it was a gamble. She was fortunate and it worked out. But there is never any way of knowing.

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Thanks for the reply, and yes it is a tough choice. What about the comnpanies like Austin Ballet that say come for the summer and we will watch you and then decide. That seems to be even a bigger gamble.

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Victoria Leigh

Yes, that would be a bigger gamble. If she has something definite, then I would accept that. A lot of companies do this, the "we will watch her over the summer" in terms of their trainee or apprentice programs. It's legitimate, in terms of just graduating students, as most of them do need some further time in a trainee situation. But, if there is something that is solid, or definite, then that would be a better choice.

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I was shocked/surprised at the relatively low turn out in Phila. Rock had auditions the day before, and I know many, many local kids were attending (not mine), as there were 3 age groups. If the master class was any indication and/or the company was a reflection of the philosophy and teaching (wow! what a performance they gave!)- the teaching at Washington is technically excellent and versatile. Why not more drawing power? Could be the timing, but if everyone starts moving up, there will be auditions in Sept. I would suggest a unified approach, as per college admissions, but since many schools are in it for $$$, this probably will never happen. Barring this miracle, more PR? Why should this be needed, tho, with the company attached?!

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Victoria Leigh

I was surprised at the low number of students attending the audition, too. That was disappointing, however, most of the students who did attend were very good, the pianist was EXCELLENT!!!, and I really enjoyed teaching the class.

 

Although our overall numbers have been low, there has been a high ratio of good students in most of the cities, and, I think a high number who were there because they are seriously interested in attending our program. I had a lot of students in every city who had traveled from quite far away to attend, and I found that most encouraging. So, I am still optimistic about a really fine SI this year, as I have seen some lovely dancers everywhere I've been!

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Ms. Leigh,

 

My daughter was lucky enough to attend your class when you were in Atlanta and loved your teaching. She will also be coming to DC this summer, as she was accepted and hopes you will be one of her teachers but, you may not teacher her group she is younger. I was disappointed with the turn out for you, being up against ABT that day didn't help. I really hope that doesn't completley discourage you from coming back to Atlanta next year. We would love to see you in this area maybe with a little more PR and hopefully scheduling that won't conflict, next year would be much better. We are certainly spreading the word and girls from our school are now sorry they missed you. I am sure that after coming there this summer we will have even more good news to spread.

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Victoria Leigh

Thank you, kms! I really enjoyed the audition in Atlanta, and that was actually an incredibly good number of students for us, especially since we were up against ABT that day! That was the one audition that I was really happy with, and very surprised that I had that many students. I was also very happy with the quality of the students there. Atlanta will definitely remain on my schedule for next year!

 

P.S. A note to everyone: For some reason some browsers are not putting up the post immediately when the board puts you back to the topic after you have posted. Click the "refresh" or "reload" button before you post your message again, and it will probably show up. We have been getting a lot of repeat posts lately, ever since the last software update, and my own browser is playing this game. It looks like my post did not go through, but it did.

 

[ March 14, 2002, 08:33 PM: Message edited by: Victoria Leigh ]

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  • 2 years later...
qtpiedanzer01

i do think you should come to kansas city also. you can delete this if you want.

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l2daisygirl

i'm sorry for my ignorance, but where are the auditions closest to Dallas?

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Check out the Washington School of Ballet's website: click on the school and look around. Their audition schedule used to be posted, but it may not be any longer. :wink:WSB

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pointe2perfection

By the sounds of it, California might be out of the question for your tour next year :thumbsup: Ms. Leigh, you talk of conflicting schedules and not knowing what is on the schedule for other companies. This must be difficult for you! It is also difficult on our end. My daughter was unable to attend an audition this year at a company she was interested in due to company auditions at our own studio for their spring production of Cinderella. One can never tell about conflicts and we have to do the best we can. I guess that is why the video has become an option. My question to you is how closely are they viewed? Is it really preferred to see the dancer in person? I would love to hear your opinion on video vs in person. Thank you!

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Victoria Leigh

I had about 47 videos this year. I watched each and everyone of them very closely. I skipped over a lot of the barre work, as I really don't ask for barre work. What I ask for is specified on the website, but that is hard for some people as they need barre for other programs. I understand that, and take a brief look and then skip to the center and the pointe work. The general ratio of acceptance from video runs right about the same as that from the auditions. I scholarshipped three female dancers this year from video, which is highly unusual, but they were definitely exceptional. One was from France, one from Australia, and one from Japan.

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