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Archived: 2005-2017 Company Audition Journeys


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The audition format sounds a little unusual, but I am glad you had a good experience. Good luck and thanks for the report!

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At the particular Houston audition that I went too, there was an unusually high standard of dancer there... only maybe two or three girls seemed dinkle-ish, and even they weren't, you know, a complete embarressment. But Mr. Welch was extremely nice and though there were no cuts as there were so few dancers at the audition, he gave a little speech at the end about how it had nothing to do with how you good you were, and you should not be disheartened, but you might have just been having a bad day, or maybe he was having a bad day, or maybe he was in the mood for a blue leotard, or a blonde or whatnot, etc.... before he read the numbers of the girls he was interested in. At the auditions where he did perform cuts throughout, I'm sure that he retained his attitude of kind professionalism.


Thanks for your report on the Ballet San Jose audition! I was thinking of going to one, but was concerned that they required character shoes for it... wasn't sure what they had in mind for the poor auditionees. They didn't do anything strange or not purely ballet at your audition?? How tall were the tall girls they were interested in?

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Thank you odette -- That was exactly the kind of humanitarian response I was hoping for for this girl. Especially since I feel like she was being encouraged to do this audition for the sake of the AD's ego and potential bragging rights, and not because she was ready to dance professionally for Houston. I appreciate your feedback on this forum very much. :blink:

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I don't think we should worry about dinkles at all. First, they don't know they are dinkles or they wouldn't bother to audition; second, at 95% of the auditions they are generally treated politely; third, when they get cut, they get cut along with the non-dinkles who come from the 'best' schools and sometimes a professional company.


Also, something else to ponder---how to define a 'non-dinkle'---well, by and large it is a self-annointed status.


Dinkle, or not, it doesn't matter. In the end most dancers get cut, talent or not and do not get to pursue their dream. Dinkles have dreams and passion too, so why not go for it?

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Although I find some of this thread very informative, I have to admit that I feel that labeling a person a "dinkle" is offensive. Many kids who love to dance just often don't know quality training from poor training. Its not their fault that they never had the opportunity to develop professional level skills. I am sure that no one meant to be mean, but it seems to me calling someone a "dinkle" is unnecessary...

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I've never liked that term myself. :shhh:


Let's get back to the reports and discussions of what actually goes on regarding the professional ballet company auditons. :innocent:

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No character shoes!! I know the website said there would be character and imrpovisation but we didnt do either. The closest thing we did to improv was at the end he made each person run to the center of the room one at a time and do whatever kind of bow they wanted.

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Has anyone auditioned for State Street Ballet this season? Any info would be appreciated. Their SI and company auditions are together so it should be pretty normal but I'd love any extra info.


Thanks. :D

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support system

After the NY Houston audition, I asked my daughter about the level of preparedness of the auditioning dancers. She is always very objective and analytical about her own abilities, as well as those of others. She told me that approximately fifty percent of the young women auditioning were, in her opinion, company ready. To dinkle or not to dinkle, (and I consider the term offensive) is not the question, but rather has one both received the appropriate training and reached the level of competence required for an entry level company dancer. Many schools that are considered good technical training schools do not regularly produce dancers of this level, i.e., just because you are 18 ad have "graduated" from a ballet training school of good name does not equal ready to audition.

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I feel as though I stepped on many toes by introducing the "d" word on this topic. My apologies to all who were offended. I would certainly take offense myself if someone implied my daughter was a "d" just because she wasn't company ready when she gives it her first shot. My most humble apology to any and all. :)


I used the word only because I've seen it used often on BT4D, and I guess I didn't "get it" that it's a bit of a hot-button word. My thanks to those on this board who give us newbies the benefit of the doubt. :lol:

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Dazedandconfused, no problem whatsoever! :)


I am a "dinkle" at most things in life. :lol:

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SupportSystem did you daughter say anything about the preparedness of the young men at the Houston audition?

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aig- No, she did not mention the young men, but I will ask her when I speak wih he next. She was attending the Colorado Ballet audition today, so I am sure she will call me with the events of the day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to the Ballet Austin audition on Feb 4 in Chicago. It was unlike most for a couple of reasons. They had two auditions that morning my understanding was that one was a summer audition and one was a company audition however they ended up being 16+ and under 16 classes. I was in the 16+ class :wink: and felt old.


Those of you that have been around awhile know that I like to complain about all the hoops Ballet Austin makes young people jump through. Regardless of how edgy this makes me I think it would be a great company to work for.


I think it’s ridiculous when companies charge for company auditions, and Ballet Austin takes it to the max at $25. I'm sure they justify it with some reasoning; there were 80 kids in the 16+ class alone, you do the math. It's more than their expenses could be. That aside,


The class was very simple which suited the rage of ability well but was frustrating at times. Mr. Mills taught a typical Mills style class, Ms. Martin watched. We did a full barre and an abbreviated center. We did literally 5 or 6 things in center, tendu’s and small jumps included. It was very short. There wasn’t a single en dehor turn (sp) given for the men. We did A double tour to the right and left at the end of the grand allegro. There were no beats.


After class Mr. Mills sat everyone down and talked about their program and the way they hire people. It’s a great place to work so it makes getting in hard. This is how I heard it. You pay for the audition class, then you pay for the summer program, then you pay to be a trainee, then they might take you as an apprentice, then after two years, they might take you into the main company.


This is how he said it.


The only way to get a traineeship or apprenticeship is to attend the summer program.


Ballet Austin takes dancers 18 and under for the tuition based traineeship.


They like to take ages 19-21 for the apprenticeship/second company which consists of 10 dancers. Dancers can stay a max of two years in the second company. They have taken the rare 18 year old into the second company. There are 3 male and female positions open here next year. Pay is $150/wk, you get out at 3pm to work a second job.


They take dancers 21+ for the main company. Of the 20 dancers in the main company 6 are from the second company. And those six are younger dancers which means especially recently they have been taking significantly from their second company. The main company is expanding next year to include 2 more men and women. Pay starts at $500/wk.


So regardless of what I think about Ballet Austin, now is a great time to be auditioning for their program. They have 5 paid male and female positions open for next year, and that’s almost unheard of at this point in time. I didnt know but they are also building a plush new $10million home in downtown Austin. I posted in my blog about it with all the details, a small sketch of the building is included, here

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