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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Auditioning- Nutcracker Conflict

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If you are in Upstate New York why would you drive to Winnipeg to audition? They are auditioning in Toronto, London and Ottawa in October. It would be a much shorter drive and very little chance of snow(we hope).

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Quick note: I'm actually from Saratoga Springs, NY, not Potsdam (but have had friends who have lived there in winters, below 0 weather with VERY bad snow, I also stayed by Lake Ontario area for a while which was also pretty bad). Saratoga can be bad but not that evil (afterall we did have a bad snow storm and a tree fell into the front of our house, yikes!) but yeah, Saratoga is known for horse racing and the NYCB spends it's summers there so that was the only time I have been able to see a ballet lol.


I think I will take the good advice given and stick with it (it isn't that horrible, all the people who got the role are in the 2nd highest level, it's not like a beginners role, I guess I just wanted something different? Also our Nutcracker is different than the Traditional, it's actually set in Omaha, which is weird) but I love my teachers and they are so supportive, I'd hate to make their jobs anymore difficult. I'm just upset that MY rehearsal day happens to be on that Sunday, (had it been like Saturday it would have been fine, I could have left after rehearsals). The ones in Montreal, Quebec in January are my only option now, I could fly home, rent a car (which luckily in NY is 18 to rent a car, yay! LOL) and drive up there, alone, which will stink but at least I can go in person. It's going to cost me extra money for this, which ultimetely sucks, but I don't want to be cast in bad roles throughout student company season cause I dropped this role, at least for the student company I will get corps and solo roles I'm sure of it.


AT my school you have to sign an agreement after being assigned a role, they don't force you to before so, but I think I signed it (I totally forgot, I sign my life away daily). There are 8 total performances over the course of 3 days and the professional company does all the principal roles (of course). My teachers are the principal dancers. I have a private tommorrow and I plan to talk with my teacher (whom I love and adore so far, she is wonderful and helpful and has been a good judge of my abilities in terms of recommending classes, letting me take the advanced barre also, which feels good) as far as my goals go and what I need (I already dance more than 95% of the girls at my school, only the girls in the pre-pro program dance as much as I do). But she hasn't so far told me to stop dancing because of my situation and at the rate I dance I think she knows what I want, I'm just afraid to go up to her and ask "should I drop dance and concentrate on music?" since she hasn't worked with me as long as I have been dancing now and when I danced before. I'm afraid she wouldn't know exactly what to say, is there a way I could ask this without sounding like a fool and wanting a *real* opinion, cause honestly, it's something becoming heavy on the pocketbook and basically leaving me with no music practice at all (hey, you try to work, do school, and dance 12 hours per week + rehearsals and squeeze music in lol). But would consider as a two day a week thing at the 2 adult "recreation" classes if she told me it was impossible, I'm just glad I have the musicality and body for it, makes it somewhat easier. But I'm not advanced, only intermediate, and I sometimes struggle to do certain things (especially petite allegro) but some advanced things I can do (the slow, pretty, graceful stuff and some grand allegro) but I am still only doing 2nd year pointe (though I haven't been doing it for 2 years I am already at a level of doing the 2nd year stuff, some center work, but not like fouettes, ha). So I don't really know anymore. I think the thought of leaving Omaha and going out in the dance world is what is starting to hit hard, it was different with music (afterall, I have done that as long as most people have been dancing), I don't fear music at all, but dance I am starting to *worry* about. Someone I know told me I shouldn't since I've come this far in a short amount of time, that maybe in 2 years from now I'd be really advanced, I dunno. I tell people how long I have been dancing and they are surprised, they think I have been dancing longer, maybe not since age 3 but they definitely don't think it's been since age 17, lol. Which is the ultimate compliment for me right now. :)


As far as what Nadia says, yes I am very aware of their program and have found that it's what I need. I really just want and need to dance more than I do now (about 13 hours per week I think since I dropped int. pointe and added more int classes, but minus rehearsals and rehearsals add more hours) and I believe they have more dancing than my current school has, and my current is the biggest program within a 2.5 hour radius (next would be KC ballet). I considered moving for CPYB but I don't think it is at all for me, I also considered the same for KC Ballet but I hate the area and don't think it's for me. Besides RWB I am auditioning for Nutmeg and The Rock since I want something that offers freedom in academics (being a homeschooler and deciding to put college off for a couple years since I think I want to go for music, not dance, at Berklee in Boston, which was my goal since I found the school). Are there any somewhat full time schools in Boston where I could audition first to know if I'd get in with a good schedule (like 20+ hours?) I know Boston Ballet has a program but was wary about the program since their intermediates don't dance that much (about the same as I do now) so I am just curious. That way I could go to Berklee and dance so I could prepare for both careers. I think a music degree would do me better in life than a dance degree (since I aspire to dance professionally, not teach :D ).


Blah blah blah, it's all becomming to stressful! It's a good thing I'm not the type to crack under pressure lol.

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Well, I am flattered that you singled me out by name, I was mirroring the concerns of balletbooster and dbleon. All of the schools that you are mentioning have very high audition expectations. You profess to be a 17 who has been dancing for 4 or 5 months, and to be frank, the girls that you'll be competing with are already technically at a near-professional level. I think that all we (but I can't speak for the others) were saying is that you should keep realistic expectations when making a decision like this - don't give up what you have when you may need a little more initial training before going for the big name schools.


But it sounds as though you have made your decision, so I will not belabor the point. :rolleyes:


Glad you have a mentor, and I hope the advice that she gives you is sound, and provides you with resolve.

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Congratulations, hkLola, for deciding to stick with that role! :rolleyes: It's the mature and responsible thing to do. It shows commitment, it shows a recognition of the value of teamwork, that all roles are important because each one, even the very smallest, tells part of the story. It also gives you an opportunity to learn alot from:


One of the most important aspects of student performances is taking a small role, or a least-liked (to the dancer) role, and turning it into something wonderful, something memorable. With your musicality, you are in a supreme position to be able to do that. I have seen student dancers take roles they were extremely disappointed to have been assigned, and transform the role, making it their own and MAKING the audience, by virtue of the dancer's musicality, turn their attention to THIS dancer, not the one with the bigger role.


I've seen it so many times that I often realize that the smaller or what some might call the lesser roles are that way because the dancers in them haven't breathed life into them. In fact, I remember a time when, in my daughter's Nutcracker years, there was a particular role no one really wanted to get. But then one year, a dancer made everyone watch her. She was doing the choregraphy assigned to it, but she lived and breathed that little piece, and her radiance swept the audience right off with her. After that, dancers wanted that role because they saw how it COULD be danced. It becames a desired, but still small, role because that dancer had shown everyone the possibilities.


You have the potential to be that dancer and wouldn't that be wonderful?


Finally, keep in mind that the student years ARE the time to get accustomed to doing roles that are not particularly desirable. I can guarantee you that even the top dancers, with very rare exception, who get all the juicy roles in a ballet school will be confined to corps work in their first couple of years, and possibly forever, and MOST professional ballet dancers are not dancing their dream roles. Most are corps dancers.


So a student dancer who has accepted lesser roles with grace and determination to make it her/his own is the kind of dancer a ballet company will be interested in.

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Nadia, I'm 18 and most people who dance with me daily actually think I've been dancing for years (since I'm new to the school I have played the 20 question game about my dance experience with a lot of the friendly girls and they are pretty surprised) but I danced when I was younger and have a VERY strong artistic background (arts, music, some dance). I'm also doing 2nd year pointe and taking 2 of my classes per week with adv/prepro and able to keep up for the most part. (I don't know some things, that's what privates are for so I can catch up quick quick quick). The musicality has helped me a ton because I really like classical music and I can let the music run through me and so long as my feet agree I do pretty well lol. I think what frustrates me the most is when people get off the music! Cause everyone follows that person it seems and I wonder if I'm the idiot for not following either. Musicality can't be taught and I have found that is why most of the girls at my school won't make it. Afterall, music is how I know what I am doing and remembering combinations, without it I'd be lost. heh


Thanks vegansmom, I realized all that and I was told by a couple friends to be glad I got a role since there are probably people they never casted anyways.


I like corps roles. SO long as the other people know what they are doing! LOL, and wouldn't mind doing corps for many years professionally. I always thought the corps looked beautiful, I think of the roles I want and hope to do someday are corps from Swan Lake and Giselle. :shrugs: Those are beautiful roles!


Everyone wants principal roles but want to be in big name companies. I'd much rather dance principal roles at a small regional company, I think we as dancers need to pick or choose what is most important, being an ABT corps or being a principal at something regional ballet or even local.


So I think I'll take a plane out and go to the Montreal audition, better start saving money! I only planned to send a video to The Rock (already spoke with them) and Nutmeg (who never seems to answer an email after 3 months, starting to wonder about them).


[Last sentence edited out by moderator.]

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