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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Archived: 2005-2017 Company Audition Journeys


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DD was at that Colorado Ballet audition on Saturday. She says 160 in the room and the first cuts were made after barre - her included. She was stuffed on the side near or behind a piano. But seriously, how does someone even hope to get noticed with a crowd that size? Sorry, just sad and frustrated for her right now. She, however, is not seemingly phased by it. She said, 'Well, just got that first cattle call under my belt!'Just amazing to me. I applaud her courage and every single one out there going through the same thing. She intends to go back this next weekend and attend the Oklahoma City audition.

I will say I have tried to keep her focused on companies and not trying to go to every one. We are trying to pick a variety enough that fits in with the schedule and can be traveled to. Still a great number to do - this is only the first company one, the other auditions have been summer auditions because there were no company ones available or for timing reasons.

I feel like the crowded venues are just not really even a credible place, but I support her nonetheless. She is a beautiful dancer, and worthy of a chance, like so many out there. Just keeping everything crossed that something falls her way and she can prove how worthy she is.

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The other thing about open auditions is that I feel like most ballet company directors can tell who they like and who they don't very, very quickly. They've been dancing or watching ballet for years and years and years at that point. As much as it hurts to get cut from an audition, it makes the room less crowded for those that they want to see more of. I actually find it much more frustrating to be in auditions where they don't cut at all and everyone is just jammed like sardines trying to dance, then no one can really do anything and are just kicking one another. I know that it's very hard getting cut, especially after just doing barre, but sometimes at cattle calls, it's just not possible to see everyone. It's like when you watch a room full of dancers, your eye is just drawn to certain people, depending on what you enjoy and appreciate watching. I feel like if the director hasn't seen you by the point at which they cut, the chances of him/her seeing you after that are very slim. Even if they do see something towards the end of class that they like, that probably won't negate that they hadn't seen you until that point, because it's a company audition, and they are probably at most only looking to filling a couple of spots. If a director isn't interested in my dancing, or if I'm not the right height/build for their company, then I don't want to waste my time or theirs and prefer to just get cut, especially during these busy New York weekends when I could go to another audition that same day.

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In that case, dancinginthesnow, I think it is more time and $$ efficient for the directors to make initial cuts via resumes and audition tapes and issue invitations to audition prior to the 'cattle calls'. Then they would have a workable number of dancers to audition and would safe the poor dancers all that wasted precious travel expenses.

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Dancemaven, they'd probably love to be able to do it that way; it is fairer for the dancers. But I actually think it takes a whole lot longer to do it that way. Companies keep careful watch on the $$$; if it were cheaper and easier, they'd be doing it. Also, you don't get the chance to compare dancers at a glance to others in the room. That's really important when thinking about a company. It's hard to tell size and make comparisons when you're just looking at one dancer on a tape. Unfortunately, I think the "cattle call" model will prevail.


Dancinginthesnow, your words sound identical to those of my daughter when she was auditioning for companies. She despised the few auditions she attended that didn't cut dancers after barre or as they went along. She always worried about either getting hurt or hurting someone else.

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It worked fine in Europe and DD and her cohorts with limited travel time and funds appreciated that approach. Just sayin'. . . Then there wasn't the need for the 'quickie' cuts before dancers get a chance to feel they had an opportunity to be seen and show their skills.


But I can see how the American method works in the companies favor in collecting all those audition fees, even if the dancer doesn't really get a chance to actually audition in terms if dancing.


But we digress. Sorry.

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That certainly is a digression, but it's a good one. :flowers: Companies need money to stay in business. Dancers need companies to stay in business.

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DS auditioned a large company in Europe recently. After submitting a resume and dance photos he was invited to the audition. They cut people after each section of the class and he was cut in the 5th round, after large jumps. Some people traveled a long way to be cut after bar.

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Nature of the beast unfortunately to travel and possibly be cut. One of those: We don't have to like it, but we still want what it might give us moments. As a parent, I wished it was different but not sure it really can be. Audition fees sound like a lot, but for the companies who have traveling auditions, it probably is probably more self sustaining that we think it is. One audition with 200 @$25 might be $5000. But if travel, hotel, per diem and space rental come out of that. It's not as much of a profit margin as we'd think.

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I don't know if this is extremely rare - or if it sometimes happens this way... Last year at an audition for a smaller regional US company, DD was cut along with all but a handful of girls after the first combination in center - which was grand plie to pirouette (en pointe) Blaaahhh! DD said not many were able to make that look pretty, haha! Anyways, she was cut. Then a week later she gets a rejection letter (icing on the cake, right?) THEN... a couple of days after that she is offered Apprentice! So weird, right? The only thing that we could think of was maybe they offered it to the girls who hadn't been cut, but they didn't accept? DD ended up not accepting either due to another offer. Just wanted to share.

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Oh boy, we are not quite there but are getting close.. I did an unintended merge off myself. :whistling: Keep sharing but lets remember in our sharing that the intention is for those in this year's journey to share their experiences. We can help them understand what is happening or that it's normal but let's not take it over :whistling:

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DD had second NY audition this weekend. A little bit smaller crowd - 90 - but she was pretty happy - she wasn't cut until after pirouettes (ironic to me and her since her forte is turning! :cool2: ) Her words were 'I'm making progress!' She wasn't sure how many were left, but they had not cut any men to that point. She was cut with another girl she knew that had gotten a 2nd company contract the week before at another audition. So she figured she was in good company! I am so impressed with her attitude. She is really showing me how perseverance really works. I cannot begin to say how proud I am of her. I think I myself can learn something from her determination. :3dnod: She still has a lot more to go too. I know she can stay strong!

Ceecee, thanks for that anecdote. It helps to know that sometimes NOTHING is definite. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

DD attended the Ballet Met auditions in Columbus this past weekend. She said the numbers went up to 126 (I'm not sure if that included male dancers). They were told that they would be looking for dancers to fill Ballet Met II, which will consist of only 6 dancers. No cuts were made until after the entire class was over. DD said they asked about 10-15 dancers to stay. Unfortunately, she was not one of them.


She did, however, receive an e-mail inviting her to attend the summer intensive, and informing her that she could submit a video as a means to apply for a scholarship. She said that a few of her friends received the same e-mail.


This was her 2nd audition this year. The first also resulted in an invitation to attend the summer program where she would be further evaluated for a spot in their 2nd company.


She has a few more on her list and will be sending audition DVDs out this week. Hoping for better luck with that approach!

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DD also attended the BalletMet audition and relayed the same information. She did say the guys that were kept were among the 15 called at the end. The letter she received actually stated if you were interested in going to summer and a possible scholarship to apply. It also stated that if she wanted to join the year round trainee program and not go summer to send ina dvd with the request for considereation. I find it all a little unusual, but appreciate the opportunity to not have to go summer to get accepted to the trainee program. I imagine the scholarship offer would be reserved for those serious about attending summer and I guess I understand reserving it for those dancers.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Has anyone had success from DVD submissions requesting a company audition? I just put together some and sent out today - my daughter struggled with finding time to get something together - I fear it might be too late as some deadlines have passed and auditions appear to be winding down.

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DD had some success with this late last audition season. If you can think of anyone your DD knows who has contacts with an AD somewhere and will send something on your DD's behalf - that is really the way to increase your DD's chances of getting an invite. I guess they receive so many & it is easy to be lost in the shuffle without some intervention.

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