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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Scared and excited


WendyMichelle

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My ballet school is starting back on August 21st and I'm tickled to death! I've been going through severe withdrawel this summer. They have offered workshops all summer long, but being an adult and having those pesky things called bills and actually having to work for a living has not allowed me to participate in any of them.

 

So, there is an open audition on Saturday, August 26th for The Nutcracker. The flier I received says "all roles available." I have never auditioned for a part in a ballet before. When I was cast in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" it was based on in class evaluation, etc. Will it be like a class type environment? Will I have to perform a piece? I am realistic about the situation and what my abilities are, so I would like to be a party parent and also perhaps a mouse or a soldier.

 

In the meantime, between now and starting back to classes...........what should I be doing (other than stretching) to get my mind/body prepared?

 

Thanks!

WM

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WM, I would start doing full barre exercises at home long before classes start again. Or, if there are any open classes, get there!

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Is this audition run by your school? Is the Nutcracker run by your school? If so, I would talk with the artistic director. I would mention that I wanted to take part in the Nutcracker this year. I would ask what they think might be appropriate and how you should proceed.

 

All roles may be available, but that does not mean they're all available for you. For example, Prince is probably not available for you. Most roles are cast according to general size and dancing experience, leaving only a few roles available for any particular age group. You would probably be put in with the older teenagers, and whatever roles they typically play.

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It is a collaborative between our school/company and another regional school/company with some guest dancers brought in for certain parts. I may be old (!!! 29) but I am the same height as the girls who were the mice and soldiers last year, and look the same age as the highest level of teenagers.

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Guest pink tights

Generally with school performances, the AD will try to place their students in the performances---even though you are a student of the school, you are an adult, so that might limit the available options. Usually with open audition/casting they are looking for party scene and similar character parts. Variations will go to special guests brought in for the performance or will be danced by the highest level teens. Professional companies usually limit open casting to 'children' from the attached school and community.

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Party scene is really what I'm looking for and is probably my best bet I think. All I can do is go try.........will never know otherwise if I don't, right? =)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick update........we had registration yesterday for the coming year and I spoke to the AD about the audition. She started going through this whole thing about she would have to talk to the AD of the other company, even though it DID say it was an open audition. I finally cut her off and said, "I know what my abilities are and I am not wanting to be the Sugar Plum Fairy..........I was thinking more along the lines of a party parent?" After that she became very excited and said it was hard to find people to fill those rolls and it would help so much having me there and having that "maturity" onstage and to be able to cue the small ones when it's their turn. So I still have to do the actual audition, but at least now she knows what I'm in it for.

 

=)

WM

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  • 3 weeks later...

Oh, yes! It turns out the AD and the AAD had spoken prior to classes starting back about me. The first night back we had a little meeting afterwards where the AAD discussed some of the things the girls needed to know/do for the audition. I got a quick minute with her afterwards to ask if I needed to show up and she said no, that she and her Mom (the AD) had already talked about me being a party parent. Nothing has been cast yet..........I think they are waiting until after Labor Day to announce the parts. So as soon as I know something, one way or the other, I'll let you know!

 

=)

WM

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Well, the AD and AAD are getting very strict with the girls. They are only allowing them to miss two classes before they have to start doing make-ups. If they don't make their classes up their parts will get cut and re-cast. They have yet to announce anything because several of the "main" girls have other activities like cheerleading, drama club, etc. that is keeping them from coming to all the classes now. So now everyone knows what the deal is and what they have to do.

 

Tonight after class I was hanging around because I thought we were going to do conditioning. The AAD started showing some choreography from the Arabian scene. I was marking it with the girls. We split into two groups and did it. Then the AAD split us into groups of three (she put me in a group) and we did it. Then they did a piece from the Flowers scene. It was a rather long bit and I couldn't pick it all up in a split second and everyone else knew it so I just sat it out. Then they were doing a section from the Russian dance that involved multiple fouettes (I'm just getting pirouettes back). Before they did the Russian part the AAD said, "I can see it now........you guys are going to want to re-audition every night instead of doing conditioning!" I looked at one of the girls and said, "this is an audition?!" It was. They did the Russian scene, then I hopped back in during the Marzipan piece they did. The AAD couldn't figure out why it looked so good going across the floor then realized I was in there and had been an extra body. She was saying what a good job everyone did. Then (I would like to think to test me and see what I was made of) she switched up the combination and made it much more difficult. I didn't beat every single brise but I held in there pretty good, especially with the pique arabesques and other stuff she threw in. Afterwards she said that everyone had done a good job, then looked at me and said, "and I mean EVERYONE."

 

So..........tonight also marked the first time that I made it through an entire class. Last year I had the toe thing going on that kept me from doing petite and grande allegro. The first two weeks of this year my eyes were whacked. But I've had my surgery and all is well so I was determined to get in there and gut it out. The AD taught tonight and to her surprise she caught me going across the room doing saut de basque, saut de basque, saute, balance turn, soutenu turn, then start over again. When she realized it was me she started screaming, "YES WENDY YES YES YES!!!"

 

I have no idea what any of this means. If I get to be a party parent that's all I really wanted. But maybe tonight I showed them a little something they weren't expecting. Maybe I'll get to do a little something extra. Maybe not. Hopefully we will all know in a few days.

 

=)

WM

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Wow Wendy! How amazing! Sounds like you really wowed them! :)

 

Hope your feeling proud of yourself because it sounds like you really did yourself justice. I'll keep my fingers crossed that they have something special lined up for you.

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I was happy with what I did. I think they may announce it Saturday, if not then then certainly within the next week.

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Do you know if you would be able to be available for rehearsals for various parts? Do the AD/AAD know that too? Rehearsal availability can play a big role in casting.

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Yes, they know I've altered my work schedule to make it to all the classes and stay until the very end.........rehearsals included.

 

The AD (mother) has always been nice to me but the AAD (daughter) wasn't last year. They have lost all but two of their grade 7 girls (when I've inquired as to where they all went the two remaining referred to the AAD being very mean to them). So far this year the AAD has been extremely nice to me and during my first class with her last night she even gave me some corrections. So I don't really want to push myself on them. Know what I mean? I feel like they know I'm there and am going to be there so I'm just going to let the chips fall where they may.

 

After a discussion last night we found out that beginning next Saturday there will be rehearsals after class is over with. So, with that being said, I feel like they will have to make the casting announcement tomorrow or Monday to allow for notice to the parents about what the rehearsal schedule will be.

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