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Ballet Talk for Dancers

To Go or not to go


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Keep in mind we probably will not be able to send her to a different SI than here at at home unless she gets a huge scholarship. The SI here at home is also very good.


We arrived home early this morning from auditions. DD was extreamly tired so she didn't go to her morning ballet class. Turns out it was an important class. The AD and students were reviewing the Nutcracker performance and she was the principle female. AD was disappointed she wasn't there.


Next week are ballet exams and they will be preparing this week. If she goes to the Friday SI audition she was planning on she would probably miss 3 technique classes. Saturday is also auditions for upcoming performance of Peter and the Wolf and Bolero. If we get in really late like this morning, she might miss morning technique class before them - taboo. She says she wants to go, but she also thinks she should stay. The Friday audition is for her dream company. Number one on her A list of where she wants to dance when she graduates. She's a sophomore right now.


Sunday's audition is one I'd like her to go to because I want her to be seen/evaluated by someone in particular. She'd also like to go to see where she stands among her peers and if she'd be accepted. Going Sunday she wouldn't miss any classes but it would be draining for her, me (fibro) and the bank account. The auditions are a long distance away. We are planning on doing a video (with someone) but I don't think it'll be done in time to audition for these programs that way.


This past weekend she thinks she got a pretty good feel for where she's at with her peers in those two auditions. She's happy with the training she's getting. Some of the weaknesses her teachers have been trying to help her overcome were apparent. She has increased determination to work on those.


I think we met most the objectives in doing the auditions. I'm glad I peeked in on the class. I was reassured about spending all this money on ballet. She's doing fine. I can continue to press forward on this whole ballet adventure.


We both still want her to do these next two though. What do you think?

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If she does them, then she will just have to push herself to get to that Mon. a.m. class, as it sounds like it is important for her current training situation. If it's her first choice, as you say, then she should audition for them. Missed classes are really not missed if she is busy taking other classes.

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Dancers are allowed to miss class several times in a week, just before the exam?


Are the performance auditions for the school's performance? If she misses classes would this affect casting, and if so would it be a significant issue for your daughter? Just thoughts to consider.



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Hi Vicarious,


Is this something that you cannot discuss with the AD? Maybe if he knew ahead of time she was not going to be at class he would understand...if he knew she was planning to attend his summer program but was auditioning for the experience. That seems reasonable for her age. Is he able to give her guidance about which auditions to attend or is she doing auditions that he does not recommend?

Since there is a casting coming up, I'd be inclined to let him know the plans ahead of time and let him feel like a part of what's going on with auditions or at least take his view into account.

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I agree that immediate communication with the AD and teachers would be a good idea. Anyone who schedules casting on a Friday night/Sat. during "audition season" is failing to pay attention to the world. Chances are, your DD won't be the only one not in class. January and early February are very challenging for any dancer who is out there auditioning. They do get stressed and tired. You might find out if anyone else is planning to audition and go to the AD together - strength in numbers is what helped us when DD ran into this situation a few years ago.

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Maybe it is just because I am grouchy this morning but to me, as you frame the situation, I would say it is a parent decision based on - health/tiredness, money, and your personal time. And when I read your suggestions I would say tis indicates skipping the Friday audition.

For our family choices are made based primarily on the current reality, then on future possibilities. This means DD has done some auditions that were purely for experience and testing the water - this has included flying to NYC and staying over. But this was when first, we had FF miles for the airfare, could find a reasonable hotel rate, AND I or Dh could get away without undue stress on us. When these events are not all possible some auditions go by the wayside. Just because DD has a future goal that includes that show or company does not mean life can be stopped to accommadate one audition.


(Sorry about sounding grumpy- but I need more sleep!)

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Wow Vicarious, that's a lot of driving with very little time for rest. Is there one or the other that seems like a more important option? I'm sure my child could generate the energy for all this in one weekend, but I don't think I could. Take care of yourself, OK?

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Most residency schools seem to be 'in the flow', if not an actual site, for SI auditions. I guess I'm a little surprised to hear that your school seems to be 'out of the loop' in this regard. Sounds like something that needs to be discussed with the AD and faculty to get their perspective on what the larger plan for the older students, and yours in particular, is. Especially given that the school's students must travel so far for the auditions and still make classes, school performance auditions, etc.

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Hi, vicarious -


After rereading your original post a few times, a sentence jumped out at me. When referring to your daughter's age, you said, "She's a sophomore right now." To me, the key to the decision to hold off on these auditions is the fact that this year is not as critical for making decisions. Since she most likely will stay home this summer, the logistics are difficult, and she has the audition for the upcoming performances, these reasons add weight to the decision that maybe she can let them go for another year. My daughter had to skip auditions many times due to money, time, rehearsals, etc. I feel she made the right choices at the time. I know she only did a few in her sophomore year, and it worked out fine. Whatever you decide, don't make yourself crazy. There is only so much you can do to support your daughter. There are limits, and I'm sure she's aware of that as well. Take care.

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Well, we've come to a decsion. She's not going to do any more auditions this year. She said "I'm only a sophmore, I got the expirience and I can't go anywhere else any way."


Thank you for all your input. It's very difficult for me to say enough is enough to the kids, especially when it comes to ballet.


Thank you all for reading my post so carefully. I could tell all of you understood my concerns. When typing it's so hard to communicate and discuss a situation and feel like you're completely understood.

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All the best! :)

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Your daughter is in a good school, evident by the growth gained by my own daughter when she attended a summer intensive there. Her own school had good things to say after seeing her dance upon return.

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I, too, was wondering if DD should do any auditions this year. She has been off for the last 5 months, so she is not at her dancing best. There is one audition in particular she is interested in, which is in early February. She will have been training for about a month by then. Her home school does do an abbreviated SI (its 2 or 3 weeks I think). Not sure if she should bother auditioning for anything else...would it do more harm than good? I haven't talked with her dance teacher about it yet...

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There are really two questions:


1) Is she well enough to dance at the audition without injuring herself further?


2) Will she be strong enough this summer to sustain, and improve from, the intense daily work?


If the answer to #2 is "no", then skip the audition.


#1 is more of a judgment call; we found last year, when we were in a similar position, that most auditioners were very sympathetic to the needs of a dancer recovering from injury. That is, they told DD to do what she had to do to stay safe and not further injure herself. (How it affected their evaluation, I can't say.) Some auditioners, however, essentially acknowledged the situation with no further comment. Please note that these were mostly auditions for less competitive programs.


What I would NOT let your DD do is try to finesse the situation by not saying anything. My DD not only let the auditioners know that she was recovering from an injury, she asked permission to audition in that condition.

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She is not in danger of injuring herself at the audition. She will be able to sustain and benefit from a summer program. By the time summer rolls around, I would think she should be getting back to normal - or close to it in terms of her dancing. The program she is interested in is fairly competitive. Is there any reason NOT to audition? She was wait-listed for the program last year...if they see her this year, will they remember her? Will they wonder why she hasn't improved? So, should she audition, and let them know she has been off for 5 months and on again for 1? How much detail would they want in terms of her injury? Should it be put in a recommendation letter from her teacher? She really doesn't think she will get in this time around because of the time off, but she still wants to do the audition. Is there any harm in it? Should she do several auditions and just see what happens? We are sort of in a quandry - we know by the summer she will be ready to do an intensive - but right now she is not ready to audition for one! :shrug:

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