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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Taking company class...


biners6

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*I'm not sure if this belongs in young dancers or in careers, so feel free to move!*

 

So, this upcoming fall i'm going to be a freshman at Duke University in North Carolina. I'm going to be supplementing my ballet training with classes at some local pre-pros, and while looking at the website of one of them i noticed that it said that many of their advanced students do corps roles and understudy parts in some of Carolina Ballet's larger productions, particularly the Nutcracker. I got in touch with the management of the company to see if I could do that, and they said that I should come take company class in September to see if I would fit into their corps. I've never taken a company class before so I was just wondering if anyone had any advice on what to expect? Will it be very difficult combinations? What should I wear? Will everyone be on pointe? (etc, etc)

Thanks!

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A company class is just a class, like any advanced class. The combinations are probably not any more difficult than what you are used to, depending on the teacher, of course. :shrug: You wear leotard and tights. Probably no specific uniform required for company, but I think it is very important to look very neat and professional, and not be covered in junk. Whether they are on pointe or not will depend on the company. Most are not. Usually only the Balanchine based companies do everything on pointe. Others will expect pointe work at the end or in a separate class.

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Just remember, as if you were joining any advanced class, that you may be dropped feetfirst into a sequential section of class, which the teacher has been working on for a long time. You won't be familiar with the material, but do the best you can with it. The worst part is, you probably won't know which part of class that is!

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That sounds so exciting! Congratulations! College and a potential company job... absolutely my dream.

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Thanks for the advice! I'm excited but nervous...I haven't done any company auditions so I'm not sure what to expect! :sweating::blushing:

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Be aware of company etiquette. When you go in in the morning, don't take a place right away (even the back corner that looks safe!) That may be where the leading dancer likes to stand! As a friendly face where might be good to stand. This allows you to talk to a dancer there and also conveys that you are polite and respectful. Never stand in front, unless the other dancers encourage you to (which they may). Be careful of your spacing, don't get in the way of others. Though you don't want junk, you will feel out of place in a leotard and pink tights.

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Hi!

I love taking company classes because there are so many dancers who are older, more experienced and better dancers. It makes me want to be a better dance...just by being in the same room as them! So have fun and good luck!

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Pretty much all of the dancers at Carolina Ballet wear pointe shoes for both barre and center work. But do what you are most comfortable...don't try to fit in, rather be yourself. Just make sure you don't get in anyone else's way or take anyones spot at the bar. Otherwise, just be yourself! You'll do great!

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I would get in contact with another student at Duke who has taken company class and ask specific questions about what company class is like, how much pointe is done, etc. That way you can at least have a general idea of what class might be like instead of being totally clueless.

 

Most of the dancers in all of the company classes I have taken or watched wear a lot of junk (sweats, leg warmers, you name it) and many wear black or pink footless tights. Some may be wearing pointe shoes for barre and others wear soft shoes.

 

You, as a guest, should stick to classic ballet attire to show as professional a manner as possible. And finally, don't get intimidated! Carolina Ballet is a great company, and just try to savor the experience no matter how awkward you feel at first!

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Thanks for all the advice! I will definitely take all of what you're saying! :(

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