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kirovgal

Auditions: DVD and Video making

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2continu43

How many auditions should a fresh out of pre professional school student be "shooting" for?

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Momof3darlings

That is a tough question to answer. In general, the pre-pro student should audition for as many company auditions and post grad auditions (if dancing post high school is the goal) as they possibly can and then add a few more to the "possibly can" list. At this stage in the game it becomes more than just about "are they a talented dancer" but added to that is "are they a talented dancer who dances the way we like or feel we can mold, is the right height, would fit in with our program, looks like other dancers in our program, and wow's me enough at the audition for me to be moved to offer something, etc. etc. etc.". Since any one of these (and many other options) can make or break the actual receiving of a position, it is necessary for the dancer to do as many auditions as they possibly can to increase their odds of having something at the end of the audition season.

 

With that stated, what many parents (including myself) have done is to set an audition budget for the dancer and then with help, allow them to work within that budget. It is important when setting that budget that you don't forget to save money for what should happen if they should be one of the blessed ones who do in fact get a job. Otherwise you may be looking at having overspent on auditions and then having to beg the banker to help get you there and get set up with housing, utilities, etc.

 

Depending on that budget, you will have something to work with in terms of how many you can reasonable do and how much working room you have (or how many sofas you can sleep on instead of hotel costs and car rentals) to make the budget stretch. We've found that other dancers and dance parents are most gracious in helping stretch that budget in exchange for the same opportunity should their dancer need it. Even looking at things like audition weekends in NYC where you can do several for the same budgetary amount are key. As well as seeing if you have any locations on your list who require pre-audition materials so that you have to be invited from those to company class. That way, you'll know they did at least like what they saw or they eliminated me before I came so it's money saved.

 

The audition circuit is much like playing the lottery. If you want a shot at the millions, the more tickets you buy the more chances you get. But when the mortgage is due, you don't want to spend that money on a ticket in case you don't win. If you have lots of extra money saved up you might buy 20 tickets, but if your budget is tighter, you might buy one.

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In love with ballet

I'm not sure if I'm posting in the correct place. I am currently a trainee (unpaid) with a professional company and I was told by the ballet mistress and artist directors not to put my all my eggs in one basket. I was told to audition for as many SI's with trainee and apprentice programs as possible. This isn't because they're unhappy with me. They encourage all the dancers to excel. They would be sad to see anyone leave.

 

So-I went to my first professional open audition a couple of weeks ago. I was cut. I think it was my age and height or I wasn't what they were looking for stylistically. I then attended the Atlanta SI audition. It wasn't planned. I marked on the audition form that I was interested in being a trainee and apprentice and they spoke to me after the audition, specifically about their trainee program. It's paid :) I am going to keep going to open auditions. I'm learning about what they are looking for. So far I have found that the audition is similar to an SI audition. It is not like taking a company class, except the level of the dancers. They dance like professionals. I no longer dance like a student, which makes SI auditions difficult and I'm not old enough for most companies. I feel a little stuck. Any suggestions?

 

Also-I looked for the thread that answers the question I'm about to pose and couldn't find it. When a company asks for a dance photo what are they looking for? Should I provide more than one? The company had professional photos taken of me for a brochure. I have been using one of those. Also-for the first time I had a professional head shot taken. My hair was down. I have noticed that some companies want photos with your hair up. Should I be using a head shot with my hair up?

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Cordelia

What do you mean by "I know longer dance like a student"?

 

Good luck In Love With Ballet!

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shimmerynight22

Sorry if this doesn't make any sense....

 

I have three DVDs of different ballets that I have been in, and want to take short clips of each to put on one DVD to send to a company I am interested in. Does anybody know how I can copy those sections off of the originals?

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Swanilda

There are places that will edit a dvd for you-- and can compile a dvd from the pieces you want to show. However, they tend to be somewhat obsessive about copyrights. Usually if one place won't work with you another one will. You might look up dvd in the yellow pages and see what comes up.

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claeri

Also, if you have a Mac (or know someone who has a Mac), you could probably rip your DVDs to the computer, and edit the footage together in iMovie. I don't have a PC, so I wouldn't know, but you might be able to do that in Windows Movie Maker as well...

OR better yet, enlist a tech savy friend to do it for you! :unsure:

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Pointe1432

For a PC my husband generally uses Adobe Premiere. But this is a rather advanced software and has almost too many options for someone like myself. He often recommends "Nero" for the less experienced user. It is pretty simple and user friendly.

 

~Pointe1432

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dancermom5

My dd is has company auditions this year , many companies just take video auditions to pre select, I was wondering if anyone has tips on creating a professional looking video from past experiences . Also if anyone knows the admission process on selecting the candidates she comes from a really good small school but we are a tad worried since she doesn’t come from a three letter school does that count towards the preselected process?

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Monet

Showing good clean technique and artistry is much more important than a professional video.  They want to see her, the real her.  After my DD excepted a contract, they asked her to send a bio, which contained all her past training.  About 2 weeks after she had started the AD said something to her about not even realizing all the great places she had trained at.  I only say this because it was all in her resume that she had sent with the video and handed in again at the audition, so I feel it had really no impact on her being hired.  They liked what they saw, not what they read.  They obviously didn't even look much at where she had trained, they probably didn't care at the time, I am sure they were more concerned with how she actually danced.  So I would not worry at all about coming from a small school! Just send in a good clean video.  The comments my DD received back most were compliments on her clean technique, not one person commented on the professionalism or anything about the video.  Have a nice headshot so they recognize her if invited to an audition, again nothing fancy.  Trust her abilities! She will do great!! Best wishes!

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dancermom5

Thanks so much ❤️

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Miss Persistent

We do a lot of student videos and these are the tricks I've learnt that you don't think of until you make a mistake and film the whole video only to look back and realise.... oops!

  • Clean the studio, cover all mirrors and windows to the outside. Have nothing distracting at the back of the room.  Put signs up on doors saying you are filming/no entry etc 
  • Check that the angle at the barre is flattering - just off on a diagonal is usually nice. Straight on or straight to the side can show up alignment/posture issues worse than they are.  Make sure if you are moving forward or back at the barre, as well as extensions in 2nd stay in camera shot - but that you aren't so small on the screen they have to squint to see you!
  • For center, position the camera to get as much of the studio as possible without moving it all the time and check where the limits of where you will be able to dance to - it's no use doing great batterie if we can't see your legs!
  • Think about your background - don't wear black tights against a black curtain, or a white leotard against a white wall. Be sure you can be seen easily.  Wear either what is specified or something flattering to you. Clean shoes, neat hair, fresh tights etc etc
  • Do a test film (on the day) of 1 exercise and then watch it back quickly. Check the lighting, see that you're not dancing in shadows or the camera is overwhelmed with light etc.
  • If you are filming for multiple companies/courses, film everything now, then edit later to give everyone only what they want. You may end up with three versions of the "same" video
  • Don't sweat the small stuff.  If you try and make every exercise PERFECT you will never get the video done.  There will always be small mistakes - but unless you're flat on your butt don't re-film again and again and again because it will likely deteriorate through pressure.  The first take is often the best.
  • You may want to film things in a non-traditional class order and edit back together later. For example, if Grand Allegro isn't your strongest, it may be best to film that somewhere in the middle before you're exhausted, then go back and film adage/pirouettes or whatever you're better at (or vice vera! Film the adage first and get it out of the way!)

We usually put a brief section at the front of the student introducing themselves "Hi my name is XXXXX, thank you for taking the timing to watch my audition".  Put your name and contact details in a frame at the end just in case.

A lot of companies/schools are asking for Youtube or Vimeo links these days so make sure you export in format that works for that.

Otherwise, chookas and have fun!

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Elf Font

Miss Persistent, this is so incredibly helpful! Thank you! When you are positioning the height of the camera, in general, what do you think is the best height in relation to the dancer? Would you position the camera so it is approximately at the level of the waist? 

 

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Miss Persistent

I would position it at "eye-level" as such.  Put it on a tripod around head height, and just have a look and see they are in the middle of the frame roughly.  It should look as if you are a teacher standing at the front of the room observing.  As a teacher and an examiner, I can tell you from experience that things look very different when you sit down!!  I would go just for conventional - there is no advantage in my opinion in putting it at waist level (in fact, it is potentially a detriment).

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