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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Auditions: for practice


Guest ddatbarre

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Guest ddatbarre

I don't know if this has ever been discussed before, but I was wondering. If an advanced student of at least 18 goes to a company audition, are they obligated to accept a position if offered? If they don't, will it be held against them if they want to try the following year? Is it acceptable to go to an audition just for practice even if what they really want to do is continue with training for another year? If they are not accepted, should they bother again the next year? Thanks

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No, you are never obligated to take any employment you don't want in any field of labor. And blacklists are illegal, not to mention too much trouble for a company to maintain.

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Guest ddatbarre

Thanks Mel. I didn't mean legally obligated. I just meant that I think I read someplace that one shouldn't audition for a company unless they planned to accept a position if offered for ethical reasons. And I didn't know if it was different for company auditions than SI's as far as not accepting an offer if you wanted to try it again the following year.

Edited by ddatbarre
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Hello, ddatbarre, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! :flowers:

 

Actually, while it is certainly not illegal, I would not do it if I had no intention of accepting an offer. They could easily remember you the next year, since so few positions exist and very few offers made. But not only that, it is, IMO, just a bit unethical. You take up a space in the audition, and the time and attention of the auditioners, get their interest, and someone else loses out. I don't think it's fair. Auditions are huge for companies, with very, very few places available. If you don't want one, don't go. (This does not apply so much to SI auditions, but for pro jobs, it should!)

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That's a least true for some companies, who don't maintain a blacklist, but might have someone on staff with up or down powers who can remember people who don't accept job offers. It's risky to try to find out which ones those are! For uncompensated positions like a trainee, the ethics would of course be a bit different.

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Or, you could ask the auditioneer up front if it was allright to take the class for experience only, not to actually be considered. You never know- they may say it's ok.

 

Clara 76

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I feel pretty strongly that if a dancer is not interested in getting a position with the company whose audition they're attending, they should not take the class. That also goes for anyone who might ask permission to take the class. Even if it's granted, it's not fair to other dancers.

 

With very rare exception, audition rooms are packed like sardines. Student dancers may think certain SI auditions are crowded; once they do their first company audition, especially the NYC ones, they discover what the word "crowded" truly means. Dancers have to fight their way to find any space for themselves. It's dangerous sometimes, dodging other people's legs and arms while trying to do your own best work. Other dancers who really don't intend to accept any offer that might be made ought not, out of respect for the true auditioners, take up space in that room at all.

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I think there is more room for clarification here:

 

If an advanced, company ready dancer is auditioning without any intention of accepting a contract (i.e. she has decided to go to college but she just wants to see if she could get accepted, etc.), then NO, she shouldn't do the audition.

 

However, there are dancers who audition for more than one company, perhaps Company A is first choice, but would take Company B or C... Company A offers a contract as does the others (yes, it happens) and thus the dancer turns down the others contracts.

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But that is quite different from going and taking up a space with no intention of accepting at all. Dancers must audition for many companies, usually, as there is no way of knowing where they will be accepted. So turning down a contract is not the problem when they are turning it down because they chose a different offer. The problem would be only if they had already accepted another offer.

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Cabriole, yes, I agree with you and that's yet another reason why I believe a dancer who's auditioning "just for practice" shouldn't. Because there are so very few ballet jobs, dancers who are intent on getting a contract MUST audition practically everywhere. The need for a job fills the floor at nearly every company audtion.

 

I think sometimes dancers think of it as akin to SI auditions. There are always a small number of dancers who do them just for practice. As long as the audition space is available and the dancer has asked the SI auditioner in advance and gotten the approval, then I think it's OK - not great, but just OK - for the student dancer to take up some space as long as there is plenty of room. But I don't think it's OK at SI auditions for SAB or Boston or any of the other sites with packed auditioning rooms.

 

But it's a whole new level when a dancer is seriously seeking employment :unsure:

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Guest ddatbarre

OK, I understand. But what if the dancer would accept a paying apprentice or corp position but is offered a traineeship, whether paid or unpaid and she knows she'd rather train someplace else if that were the case? Is it a different scenario if she turns down a traineeship?

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One can't control what one is offered, so I don't see a problem with turning down a traineeship IF the company said there were corps/apprentice positions available and decided to fill them with other dancers.

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I agree with Hans; you can't control what is offered. A dancer goes to an audition for a job. The contract that is offered may or may not be negiotiable, but one is not obligated to take every offer.

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Absolutely not, but they just should not go to the audition if they will not accept ANY offer! If they are not interested in trainee, and feel they should get apprentice or full company, that is fine. Go for it. Just don't take up space if you already know that you will say NO to any job with this company.

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knock, knock.

I don't see why a company audition shouldn't be treated like any other job. You don't apply (audition) unless you PLAN to take the offer. Now should the offer come, and circumstances have changed (even if it is just changing your mind) you can decline the offer. In many career fields, declining an offer might not be a good idea, but that is for you to figure out.

 

BUT- it is not a good business practice to "practice interview (audition)" you are taking up the space of someone who wants the job, knowing you have no intention of taking it if you are accepted. Be it in a business interview (HR can only interview so many people) or a dance audition.

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