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Archived: 2005-2017 Company Audition Journeys


syr

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What advice do you find helpful to calm your daughter/ son nerves befour the audition? Lately, I just talk talk to her after because, I worry I may make it worst.

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lovemydancers

Yes, congrats to your DD greyhound. It is such a relief to get that first one under her belt. :sweating:

 

When my DD was a high school junior, she attended a company audition in part to understand where she stood in terms of company readiness, and in part for the experience. I have told many parents/dancers that this was an invaluable experience. The company audition is so different from SI auditions. Our advice: audition for the experience before it really counts; choose a tough cattle call in a major city where there is likely to be a large crowd; expect to be cut; don't play it safe. The key here is choosing an audition at which you have nothing to lose, and going in with that same mindset.

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DD received an email from the company. An invite for the summer program and she is being considered for a trainee or apprentice position. She has received two acceptances like this.

 

Is this common place?

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Victoria Leigh

Did either or both of them offer any scholarship for the summer? I don't know about these days, with money tighter than ever, but there used to be frequent scholarship offers to those who were being seriously considered for trainee or apprentice

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Momof3darlings

It is pretty darn common these days, but then it's been common from at least 2006 from my estimation, if not before. We saw the trend change during the time DD was in high school because we tracked it here at little ole' BTFD. DD graduated HS in 2006. So I'd say it escalated between 2002 and 2006. Was firmly in place by 2007, as DDs graduating class of dancers seem the last we know of that received company offers, Apprentice offers and 2nd company offers where SI attendance was an option more than a requirement.

 

The last couple of years especially the whole "come for summer" has been more the rule, even for those programs who didn't used to do this. Scholarships are attached to some, where targeted interest might have been shown, but in our experience in recent years that scholarship did not always equate to who was given favor after being at the SI for a while. Key information to help you, greyhound, is if the programs you mention have a recent track record of also having some students at the SI who knew they had guaranteed positions going into the SI. Or if the program also has some students that were given offers who do not have to attend the SI. This will help you know if it's simply the same offer everyone else got or if there are other offers out there. Some of that information is in the Trainee/Apprentice forums and some needs to be updated from the past two years of how budget cuts have affected things. There are still company offers sometimes as well.

 

In my personal and uneducated "Armchair Critic" opinion, this is a result of a few things:

  • supply and demand: the larger number of pre-pros putting out quality students now than years ago and more belief by parents that their child should live the life they want, versus years ago parents telling the child they could not have a dance career. Thus more dancers wanting a career in dance.
  • economics: for the companies who lost company members to budget cuts and still want to perform big ballets. If you're used to a roster of 30+ and had to cut back to a roster of 20, you want to still have the big corp since you've got the costumes and your public demands it soooo......Trainee division which then adds to supply and demand as more dancers go post-grad dancing.
  • the quality students being put out by the pre-pros being technically ready but still not "company ready". With some teachers not keeping up and informing the child/parent what company ready is today, so the expectation is that somehow "my" child won't have to go this route thus overlooking the path that has been in place for a bit. What was company ready a few years ago has changed a bit today.
  • immaturity: a nation of coddled children who are less mature than they were a few years ago because they haven't had to be that kind of mature. This adds to the layer of 18 year olds who act like 16 year olds in the company environment and don't treat this job like a job. All of that really does carry over and is shown in the company environment. The phenom who was able to have their way as a student is faced with a poor work ethic as dancer with a job. ADs needing to be sure their tight money is spent correctly, have decided seeing a dancer at least for a month in succession helps them figure this out both maturity wise, but also dance wise (not just technically).
  • the number of competition trained dancers who look good in an audition, but can't carry that "impressiveness" day to day without that type of coaching. Therefore, a track record of company positions offered from a one day audition that the dancer did not rise up to when there each and every day and needing to merge with the corp until such time as they are ready for something higher in company placement.

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DD did her first company audition. She did it for the experience, not expecting anything at all. Today she got an e mail that if she attends their 5 week intensive, she maybe considered for trainee or apprenticeship. It sounds very similar to Greyhounds post.

 

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Thank you everyone for your posts. DD just received another invite to a summer program and you will be considered for second company.....but this one came with a scholarship. This is not her first choice of places to go even though she did enjoy the audition very much.

 

Still more auditions to go. She did know from the start that at 18 she was not going to get into a company, but was ready to try out the audition process.

 

We will see were this all goes.........

 

Keep your experiences posted.

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So very impressed with the Armchair Critic!!! So accurate! Greyhound, hang in there:)

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Momof3darlings

All of you, hang in there and do please continue to share what you're finding. I'm hoping it's levelled off for a bit, but you're the only ones who can tell us if it has or not.

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DD is also being told this year to audition for companies for practice. She will only be trying a couple for the experience and it will most likely be in New York, which is, from reading former posts, the place where the scene is most crowded. Recently, during an SI audition, she found herself in such a crowded studio that she couldn't raise her leg 90 degrees into her arabesque at the barre. During the next exercise, she went ahead and followed through with what she needed to do and harpooned the poor girl behind her with her toes. What should an auditioning dancer do with a situation where the the auditioner has added a dancer to a barre and has therefore made it so crowded that someone can't perform what they need to do? Should the dancer ask to move or assume the auditioner realizes this and it's just bad luck that she's in that situation? In this case, she was still accepted to the SI, but didn't feel she had a chance to show her best. Is this what she can expect with cattle calls and does anyone have any tips for this situation?

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Try to avoid corners at the barre

Angle your combinations away from the barre for devant, and towards the barre for derrière

Always apologize immediately if an accident happens

Smile, hold your head up, and pretend you are dancing in a corps de ballet that is very close

Don't worry about not being able to "show your best"- nobody can in a situation like that, but the training and the ease of movement and confidence with which you move will show

Accept that auditioners know cattle calls are like this, and remember that they are looking for clean basic work, so a tendu can be more important than a knee earring :wink:

Do the best you can and pat yourself on the back for attending

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Momof3darlings

I'm going to play a bit of devil's advocate here as food for thought. Several of you have mentioned auditioning just because for Company auditions. I'm not talking about the SI/Company auditions, I'm talking those strictly Company auditions that occur. Cattle calls may also be different, but I'm not sure they are with this theory. While I can't tell you what to do, if you are not going to even consider a company position if offered anyway I am going to discourage you from doing this and make sure you understand the possible ramifications of doing so. The SI audition circuit and the Company audition circuit are two completely different animals.

 

Thousands of dancers audition for thousands of spaces at SIs. If they don't get into one SI, they likely have another SI as an option. In company auditions, an AD may make offers to a set amount of people that year. 1, 2, 5 are numbers that come to mind not per audition, period. So let's say an AD has room for 3 people per auditions to make offers to and your child who is "just because" happens to be one of them. Again, you are not considering it, it's "just because" and for practice. This is not an SI situation where other offers are likely to come in for those other dancers in the room. This is a company situation where the average dancer gets one nod and a few dancers get a couple of nods to choose from, period. Is it possible that a "just because" audition scooted a dancer who was a Senior out of a spot? Someone who truly would have taken a position this year? Maybe, maybe not. It's possible they weren't a fit. But suppose they were and the AD only had 2 spots to offer. This year being that extra dancer trying to be seen and practicing, it won't matter to you. But next year, when you are truly wanting those positions and they are few and far between, you may feel a bit differently about those in the room just trying out the water. The stakes are completely different from SIs to Company auditions. Each person has to do what they feel is right, I just don't want to see people encouraging this without thinking beyond one's own. This isn't game play at this stage, it's a possibility for someone's one small chance. And again, playing devil's advocate as food for thought.

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It seems so unlikely that most dancers, who are 16 and not technically ready, would be offered a company position, that I guess the schools that suggest these one or two "practice runs" wouldn't feel they are sending out anyone who is going to take a seasoned dancer's spot. I was thinking more in the lines of the fact of what happens to the student's psyche when they are not offered anything and how they will have to learn to overcome the confidence blow to send them back again! Nevertheless, I do see your point! In this scenario, learning to write a resume and a cattle call or two is what is being encouraged to experience, just so the whole thing isn't so new and unnerving in a few years.

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