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Guest Liz'smom

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Dear Ms. Leigh,

I'm so glad this thread has come up. My daughter really wanted to attend your DC audition this year. Unfortunately, her boarding school requires a minimum of 8, in order for the van to travel to auditions. By the time March 4 rolled around, most of the students had already made their decisions, and so there were not enough students signed up to go. Perhaps next year I will fly out and drive her there myself!


FYI, I think you might reconsider a trip to Chicago. I have been helping out here with the VSA auditions for a couple of years and we have had very good turnouts in January.

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Ms. Leigh,


Over the last few months I have read many of your posts and followed the "audition tour"s season, and wished you would put Santa Monica, California (Westside Ballet) on your audition schedule for next year. I know you would find many very enthusiastic students there, not only from Westside Ballet but also from other So. Cal. schools who are in the habit of auditioning there. We seem to have most auditions but your wonderful school is missing. I know --it's another airplane flight, but once you get here, the weather is usually lovely!

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Guest balletandsynchro

Dear Ms. Leigh,


I would second Jaqueline's kind suggestion that you come to SoCal for an audition! Unfortunately, not all of us are in the position to have assistance in making a video audition, and I am certain that there are many students, especially from our area in South OC that would LOVE to audition for your program (including my DD!) :crying: Westside Ballet is a very nice facility too! :thumbsup:

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I will third that :D My dd had several auditions at Westside. The numbers for each audition were large and girls from all over So Cal were in attendance! It would be great to have you here!

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Thank you Ms. Leigh on your information regarding the handling of video's. It helps knowing that you view them so carefully and are willing to skip through parts that were not requested specifically by your company. Congrats to the girls that received scholarships - what an accomplishment!

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Ms. Leigh-


This is not GNBA, this is his son, I am using his screenname with permission as when I try to register for balletalert it will not let me. :D


I attend the Rock School year-round, and I read that you held an audition in Philadelphia in a previous year. I would have loved to attend the audition for Washington Ballet School, however when I had looked on your website the only audition locations within traveling distances were in NYC, and Washington DC.


I did travel to many auditions in NYC, however the date that I would to have auditioned on was on Valentine's day, noone really wanted to travel on Valentine's day for an audition, so I just decided to stay in because I did not want to go alone. As for the audition in DC, it was late and in March, and I had already decided where I was going then, and I did not travel to DC for any auditions this year, (I have decided I probably will do that for a few auditions next year).


As many others have said, and I agree with this, that most of the auditions are held in January and February, and even from a student's point of view, I feel that by March I should know where I am going for the summer. Also, alot of deadlines are in March, therefor auditoning after March and missing a deadline is risky.


As I mentioned, I go to the Rock School, and I didn't even audition for the Rock School in March. Instead I presented to my parents that other schools would have to know my response by the audition date in March, and I ended up auditioning for the Rock School in NYC, just so that if I had decided to go there vs. other schools I would have it all right in front of me. However, I have decided to go to Miami City Ballet School this summer.


Perhaps maybe next year you might consider stopping in Philadelphia again next year? I know many people who are interested in auditioning for Washington Ballet School, and would do it especially if it was in Philadelphia. And if you do come you will probably see me there! =)


I hope this doesn't come across as rude in anyway, and I am sorry about using my fathers screenname. I just thought it might be nice to hear some feedback from a student's point of view and make a suggestion.


Thank you soo much for your time!

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Okay, first, let me deal with the issue of using your father's name. There is no permission for this, and it is absolutely not allowed on Ballet Alert. Everyone who posts must be registered with their own screen name. Gbna is a known parent here, therefore someone else posting under that name would make things very confusing, very quickly. We have lots and lots of parents and dancing sons and daughters who post on Ballet Talk and all have their own names and are registered. You will need to sign on to your server under your own name at a time when your father is NOT signed online at all. Then go to Ballet Talk for Dancers and register. When you are registered, you may post under your own name. :D


Now to the issue of auditions. First, I do all of our auditions. I can't do the tour and DC at the same time, nor can I do any more auditions than I already do. DC is left for the end because the tour needs to be completed first. Our own students do not have to audition for our program, and most people who come to DC to audition are within relatively easy traveling or even commuting distance. I did Philadelphia three years and it was never a very successful audition. I did not get Rock students, and the best students were from places in New Jersey. Therefore, this year I held the audition at Princeton Ballet in New Jersey. It was much better, and I do not have any thoughts at this time of returning to Philadelphia.


And I'm so sorry that my NY audition was so inconveniently placed on Valentine's Day, although I'm afraid I fail to see the problem with this, especailly since Philadelphia to NY is not that much of a major trip. :o


I will leave your post above, however, no further posts using your parent's name will be allowed. Sorry! And I hope you have a great summer in Miami :P

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Guest ddepoalo
Ba2's Mom, it's something to think about, however right now I'm somewhat discouraged about the whole audition tour.  I'm not sure what is happening this year, whether it's the situation in the country and this being DC, or whether the ABT rolling admissions thing has really stopped people from auditioning, but our numbers are so down almost everywhere that I'm not sure we will even do a tour next year. 

Hi Miss Leigh :wink:


Have you ever considered Southwest Florida for auditions? Washington Ballet is on my daughter's list of places she would like to audition for next year. My plan is to have her attend the one (if there is one) in Atlanta or in DC. But closer to home would be nice too!



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Donna, I did Tampa about two or three years ago, but it was not successful enough to justify return. I did Miami this year, but not sure if I will return there or not. Sorry :wink:

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Guest ddepoalo
Donna, I did Tampa about two or three years ago, but it was not successful enough to justify return.  I did Miami this year, but not sure if I will return there or not.  Sorry :wink:



Thank you for your reply...I can certainly understand the necessity of planning auditions according to turnout. I know that Southwest Florida is growing (especially Lee County) so perhaps in the future is will be a good spot for auditions. We are in Sarasota and I know a couple of schools do auditions in the area, but I'm not sure if turnout is good or bad.



Thanks again,

Donna :)

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Ms. Leigh, I read your post from 2002 regarding a poor turnout for auditions. Hove the turnout numbers for 2003 and 2004 increased? Are more DKs sending videos? My DD auditions in Seattle and I don’t think the turnout has declined – if anything it seems to have increased. There were a couple of times this year they had to add an audition class because the numbers were too big for the studio (it’s a VERY large studio). My DD’s studio is encouraging the DKs to do video auditions because of Saturday rehearsals for the April and June performances. If you are on the West coast would you consider adding Seattle to your audition schedule? I realize California would probably get the Saturday audition time but maybe Seattle could be on Friday or Sunday. Thank You :)

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Guest Vicarmac

My daughter did the Tampa one the year before last, 2002, we missed the Miami one. I think all these places trying to pack a bunch in early and then doing the rolling admissions is probably having a toll on others. Esp a little less known but fine program like Victoria's or say Ballet Austin. Last year Austin was an early one and had a great turnout this year it was a little later and so many had committed (also burned out on the auditions or so it seemed from ones we knew who didn't do it this year) already to places that it seemed to be a much smaller turn out this year. The same thing probably happened to your Miami one, even though it wasn't very late--there had already been so many to go to in January and SAB was over here in Lee County that day too. It used to be only the March ones seemed late but, at least this year, Feb 7 seemed almost later and by the next weekend when Ballet Austin did theirs it seemed everything was about over. Even if they don't make you commit as soon as ABT so many tell you right away it has to hurt, not only the later auditions, but it makes it hard to wait for the results that come in March. In fact we had to stall a couple that will let you so we could find out about some of them.

Hi ddepoalo, I'm in Lee County, there does seem to be more people going to auditions from this area all the time. We have had PNB, SAB, Miami, here. Nutmeg of course does your town and Naples. Kansas has been in Naples the last two years. A few go to St. Pete like NCDT and Chautauqua.

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Ballet Austin's audition was very late in SF. There were only a few dk's that turned out for the 12-15 age group. The older group was packed because Steven Mills was present for their 2nd Company auditions. DD was notified of acceptance via a telephone call 2 days after the audition, but because of the timing, declined. She had already accepted another SI offer. (with a huge deposit). :) Sorry Back to the original topic....

I realize Ms. Leigh that you cannot come to SF or anywhere else on the West Coast. That is why we have decided to send a video for next years auditions. The thought of all that running around to so many auditions is too overwhelming to contemplate. :D

Plus, after doing quite a bit of research over the past year, we have begun to narrow our choices down to what programs might be more suited for our DD at this point in her life. Many of them do not come out west, so an audition video will be the only way to be considered.

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Guest balletandsynchro

Likewise my DD will be making a video audition for a couple of intensives for next year, including WSB. One of DDs closest friends submitted videos for three intensives, and was pleased with the results. I guess we will be taking the plunge next year! :)

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To answer an earlier question, most of my audition numbers were way up this year, and they were up last year as well. Miami was not so good, but it was our first time there.


If February is late, then I have no clue what the answer is. There is only one of me, and only a few weekends each month. I simply cannot do them all in January. It's the worst month in the world to travel, and I refuse to start any earlier than I did this past year, which was the first weekend after school started in January. If ABT and others with rolling admissions are going to swamp the early auditions and create those early deadlines, then there is really nothing I can do to fight that. I do not want to go to rolling admissions, and I can't be gone from the school the whole month of January. I do weekend auditions only. So be it. I do the best I can. Things may change a bit this year, however, since we have a new School Director who may want to do things differently. We will see.


I do not do the West Coast, and have no plans to do that, however, that too could change with the new Director.


As to video auditions, the acceptance ratio on videos was quite high this year. I was pleased with a high number of them.

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