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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Auditions: NYC


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My DD is auditioning for a company position for the first time this year so we have a lot to learn. We live within easy traveling distance of New York City and were planning on her doing the majority of her auditions there.


We know that the NYC auditions are very crowded and competitive but thought it would still be OK to go there. After reading some comments on this board I am wondering if we ought to seriously rethink that plan! For those that avoid the NYC auditions at all costs, what do you do? Do you go to the audition at another location (is it definitely better at any other location?) or do you try to get auditions during company classes?


If budget is seriously limited, is it better to do as many auditions as possible in NYC or go to far fewer auditions in other locations?


Any guidance would be most helpful! :wub:

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MomofDancer, Don't be too quick about avoiding the big NYC auditions. My daughter did some large and small auditions. She just about always made it into the final group standing at the 100+ auditions and, at the second largest audition she attended in NYC, she was one of the girls asked to stay after and submit more info. (But she wasn't THE final dancer chosen for the available job :)). Her results at large auditions mirrored her results at smaller ones.


Initially she was afraid of those cattle calls but found that they were pretty accurate for the most part. The only frustration came when a company was really looking for a particular type of dancer (height, hair color, for example) but hadn't stipulated it in the audition ad. It would've been worth everyone's time if the company had pre-selected by putting that info in an ad. But that problem exists whether at a large or small audition.

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I'm pretty sure those comments you read were for younger dancers auditioning for SIs. When a dancer is ready for company, the dancer should be confident and not intimidated by other dancers. I believe the companies can sense that.


Anyway, don't get caught up in all the talk. My DD has auditioned in NYC for years now (for SIs) and has had no problems. Yes, auditions might be a bit more crowded, but the companies know what they are looking for. Remember that usually more dancers are accepted from the NYC locations so it all balances out.


Once your DD gets into a company, she will be compared to the company dancers and that will be even harder. She won't be able to avoid the competition there nor should she want to (that's part of dance).


Good luck to your DD and remind her to be confident in her abilities. :)


HTH. :)

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Thank-you for the insight on the NYC auditions. My son is in the process of lining up auditions and I must admit it is quite a project. His teacher has adivsed him not to go to NYC if possible but to try and audition at a smaller site. One of his ballet friends who is a trainee at a mid-west company suggested that he go to Chicago auditions since the pool is not as strong.


This process has been made more complicated because his school wants him to limit his time away from rehearsals for their Spring Show. His teacher has been writing and requesting company classes for him and other students so that they can concentrate their auditions into a two week period.


We hope to save money by driving him and possibly some of his class-mates to companies in our area (surprisingly quite a few!). I have also saved up frequent flyer miles and alerted our friends that I will be asking if they can give him a couch to sleep on should he be coming their way :)


I was amused when one of my friends asked if the companies paid for the audition expenses :)

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Ajg, this could be a topic for a whole new thread:

This process has been made more complicated because his school wants him to limit his time away from rehearsals for their Spring Show.


Schools exist to train dancers to become professional dancers. But then sometimes they resent the final step the would-be pro dancer must take in the winter of their final year: auditioning! Somehow or other, there must be a peaceful compromise worked out where the student can do such auditions AND not miss their final year performing with their school!


Off my soapbox.

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Not to derail this topic but I just wanted to clarify that the school (NBS) does understand that it may not be possible to avoid all interruptions - they are just trying to minimize them. And if successfull it will workout to our advantage since we will be able to string the local ones together.

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Mom of Dancer, first let me say congratulations to you and your dd in this exciting journey you are about to take! She's made it through the long hard years of training and is ready to take that next step. Good luck to you both! :D


I have said in previous posts that NYC isn't always the best place to audition and I meant it - for companies - not really si's. Yes, the pool there is much larger and I still maintain - if you can make it to a different site, it probably is a good idea. It takes the auditioners much longer to weed through the dead wood at an audition that has 200+ people. I do agree that dancers who are ready for a company "should" have the confidence and skill level that should shine through at an audition, but dancers who attend company auditions "think" they are ready (even if they are not), otherwise, why would they be there? :shrug: After a while - attending these auditions - you can easily tell who will be the first to go...


Your dd should attend every audition she can get to, in NYC and out, if at all possible. The more you attend the more you will get a "feel" for how to do it. My dd did both - NYC and other venues. Ultimately, the company that she is now a member of was the one that first rejected her - in NYC!


There are no clear answers. These auditions are like cattle calls - I do wonder what percentage of dancers who are in companies received their job offers at open auditions like that. Currently, my dd thinks the best way is to arrange to take a company class at their own studio. More stress though... all eyes will be on you all the time!


So - go, go, go! To as many as your bank account allows! Merde to your dd in this exciting time. I loved the audition process - traveling with my dd, all the highs and lows - stressful, YES - but when she got that first offer - I was so happy to be sitting in that lobby when she came out and told me.

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