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Offers: timetables


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I hope this is the correct place to ask this question...


If a HS graduate (upcoming in 2008) is auditioning for several company/company II positions, IF they are made an offer, how long typically do they get to respond?


My DD is looking at several company auditions (and college ones too), and I'm wondering what to expect IF she gets an offer with a few more auditions still coming up. I know she would feel thrilled to be accepted, but is there a reasonable timeframe to respond? EXAMPLE: There are at least 5 she plans to audition for within the next 3 months. From reading the salary forum here, seems like companies have differing amounts they pay - some none for the company II positions.


What if a dancer gets a better offer from a company with better pay/insurance which is the 5th company that was auditioned for? Is this all a gamble? How is this usually done? Guess the whole pay/insurance part makes me nervous!


And this is of course IF she is accepted!



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Good question, Ohio313! I don't know the answer, but moved your thread over here to Career General Discussion. While you are waiting for input from those who have gone before and know the ropes, there may be some other threads in this Forum that interest you. :shrug:

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It's a crapshoot at best. I don't believe anybody is using the old "immediately upon receipt of this letter" deadline, but upon receipt, it's wise to send an acknowledgement that you HAVE received it, and your decision will be forthcoming. (Personally, I'd weed out anybody who's asking for an immediate decision, unless it's so good, you can't refuse.) You can do a little (mind you, a LITTLE,) stringing along, too. Call the company making the offer immediately, too. Don't say yes or no, but find out the absolute drop-dead date for your decision. Don't let grass grow under your feet about this. Act at once, even if what you have to do is stall.

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It varies greatly and yes, is quite a gamble! But it does sort of work itself out time wise.


It is important to state in this day and time, a dancer who gets multiple offers and has the choices to make that you are asking about in advance is a blessed dancer indeed. It does happen but the past two years offers of any kind were a bit rare so dancers with multiple offers ever rarer and more blessed. Hopefully for all the 2008 graduates and dancers still in the trainee/apprentice ranks, jobs are aplenty!


For my dancer the shortest "thinking time" she had was 2 weeks. The longest (which came with having to stay for summer to accept an apprentice offer) was one month after the offer but the offers were indeed spread out over the months of the audition season. We did most of our research ahead of time so when the offers did come in, she was able to process them and determine fairly quickly which places she/we could afford for her to consider. Making note of the fact that for actual company positions, many times the audition is prior to the director being able to make offers. Many times, they actually have to take names of those interested in and contact them after they know who is returning to the company.


In terms of pay/insurance, there are several threads here on how different dancers were able to keep on their parents insurance while trainees/apprentices. We were able to follow those suggestions and DD does have insurance still on our policy. For many smaller companies, there may never be insurance for you to consider. For larger ones, sometimes apprentices receive the benefits and other times not. Like I said earlier, it varies greatly and welcome to the casino, start working on your dice slinging skills!


Good luck to you and your dancer. Please be sure and share with us things you've learned on the audition circuit. We had a very focused thread last year on Company auditions and what people saw along the way, I'm sure it will begin again after the holidays. It was most helpful to many.

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Yes, yes!!! Forewarned is forearmed, and I heartily agree with everything Momof3 has said! Maybe read a few books by or about Henry Kissinger while you're preparing! :devil:

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Major Mel you made me laugh and took me back many years to when a friend was offered a clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Byron White. My friend asked Mr Justice White how long he had to decide about accepting, and his honor replied, "Until the end of this phone call."

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Now, clerking at the USSC for someone like Mr. Justice White, THAT would be a "so good you can't refuse"! :devil:

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And directors are human also. I once accepted an apprentice offer with shoes and stipend, with a small company that I respected. However, later in the season, I was offered a full company contract (also a small company, but with a larger salary) and a corps de ballet title. I called company A, explained the situation, and asked for the director's advice (as I said, this was a company and a director that I respected, so I felt confident doing this). She told me that I should take company B's offer, that if you have the chance to make more money and have a better title out of school (I should have stated that reps were similar and both companies were in desireable areas of the country), you should do it. She said she' d love to have been in a position to be able to offer me the same terms, but financially she couldn't at the time. We parted on excellent terms and she wished me the best and reminded me that the door would remain open to me in her company. I went to company B. I would certainly hope that all directors would be so thoughtful and understanding and interested in the welfare of their dancers! And some really are! So I wouldn't panic too much about something being written in stone and being unable to accept a better offer.

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I think because ballet is such a different field of work we dont always think of it the same way people think of other jobs. But the same tricks of the trade work if they can be applied. When you've got a spring with multiple auditions, and you think you might be receiving multiple offers. schedule at least one or two auditions to start at smaller easier companies that you think will offer but may not be your first choice. Not only is it a good warm up but I've had considerable benefit from being able to approach the company's I truly want to work for with other options on the table.


I had a friend that was offered a position in a second company. No deadline was given as to when she should respond, and she had made sure she had the contract in hand (the contract had no date by which it had to be signed or void). She finished her auditions. A month or two later she mailed her contract in and contacted them to accept to find out her spot had been given to another dancer. She made a mild threat of legal action, and was given the job... Thats not the best way to walk into work the first day though. But if you need a job you need a job.

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Ed's words are very wise, as usual. But just a note to the person who started the thread that being male, approaching the company with other offers on the table may be looked at just a little differently than a woman in the same capacity. That doesn't mean that a female dancer should avoid bringing up that fact, but just that it is very possible that "oh, okay" might be the answer received a tad quicker because of the laws of supply and demand.

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Major Mel you made me laugh and took me back many years to when a friend was offered a clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Byron White. My friend asked Mr Justice White how long he had to decide about accepting, and his honor replied, "Until the end of this phone call."


And then there's my dad, who received a phone call in 1944, not long after receiving his PhD.


"We'd like to offer you a position of utmost importance to the war effort."


"Where is it"?


"I can't tell you that."


"What would I be doing?"


"I can't say."


"With whom would I be working?"


"I'm not free to disclose that."


My dad told the caller that, under the circumstances, he would have to decline. Two minutes later he got a call from his graduate school mentor saying, "Don't be a fool! Your country needs you." Six weeks later he moved to Los Alamos, NM, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Ok, hate to break up the fun..........but...............the topic is ballet company offer timetables. :shrug:

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In many instances the offer may be made in the spring, but the contracts are not ready and sent out until summer. Also be prepared to wait anxiously until late spring (and often after the May 1 acceptance and housing deposit deadline for most colleges).

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Thank you so much to everyone who responded with great advice!


We've always looked at every audition whether it's for a summer program, company or college admission, as "practice". So no matter what the outcome, my DD gets audition experience. There is an art to auditions. She has learned a lot with every one she's been to.


I just hope that her offer would come from one of the companies mentioned in the salary thread under Companies, that would pay a salary/insurance for a Company II position. It would be scary to accept one with no pay (and she'd look apon the time there as training like college), and have a paying one missed.


But the experience might not be all about pay either?...could a dancer actually get more out of a non paying company than a paying one? There would be many factors I think besides just pay, even though one has to make a living.


Like any job, if you like and respect your director/boss, get along with your fellow dancers, feel challenged and learn while feeling appreciated. That would be it! And pay would help too!


Thanks again!

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Just the facts: the contracts I have been offered have, on average, allowed me 1 week to respond.


OK, so the consensus here is audition, get the offers, stall as long as you can, and, if push comes to shove (copyright Twyla Tharp :D ), accept one and if you get a better offer respectfully ask to be released from the first. I have seen this work firsthand, a girl accepted a contract, but when she was offered a "better" (bigger company, more money, closer to her boyfriend), she asked and was released. There were some hard feelings, but then who wants to force a dancer to work where they do not want to dance?


I would like to share one bit of advice related to the idea of when to accept a contract and when to wait for a better offer somewhere else.


It is helpful to have very specific things that you are looking for in a company. These can be anything from a certain pay scale, to a personality type of the director to a certain quality of studio space. Whatever it is, know what YOU want. For example, my wife and I had just finished contracts with a company that never employed more than 3 male dancers, worked 6 days a week and only performed the choreography of the artistic director. It was a good place to work and we had some good years there, but when we were looking for someplace new we decided that we needed somewhere that employed 5 men or more, usually worked 5 days a week and occasionally performed works by recognized choreographers.


We auditioned high and low and recieved lots of "We are interested, and will probably have something to offer you once we know which dancers are returning", sometimes from companies that we REALLY wanted to dance for. Well, we got an offer from a company that was not one of our top picks, but met all of our criteria. We still had several more auditions planned and hadn't heard back from a lot of people. Since the offering company did meet all of the criteria that were important to us, we had no regrets about accepting their contract (at the one week deadline), and even cancelling the rest of our audition tour (although that also had to do with being broke and tired!) The other advantage is that since we knew what we wanted, it has been easy to focus on those things and ignore whatever disadvantages any company might have. Know what you want, so that you can take it when you see it. If you don't know what you want, how will you know it when it is offered to you?


PS: Of course this is a lot easier once you have been around the block a few times and have the life experience to know exactly what you want, but go ahead, try it anyway!

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