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Evaluating Potential


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Recently I've been prompted to think about my future and potential in ballet. I would appreciate all the wise advice everyone here at ballet talk has to offer. Here's the situation:


Last year, when I was fourteen (turning fifteen) I auditioned for two big-name summer intensives and was accepted to both. I attended one, had a great time, and was honored to be invited to attend the year-round program. I did not end up staying for the year-round, for reasons that seemed compelling at the time. Now I'm fifteen (turning sixteen). This year I auditioned for the same two big-name programs and was rejected by both, even the one that I had previously been invited to attend year-round.


I can't go back in time to reverse the decisions I made last summer not to stay, but I see that it may have been an opportunity that will not repeat itself. I also know that the expected standards are raised each year. So now I'm at a loss. Have I outgrown my potential? Have I simply fallen so behind in technique that I would be unable to keep up with my peers at an intensive of this caliber? Has the talent that those programs obviously saw the first time disappeared, since they didn't seem to see it the second time? Or am I just physically behind, because of my small build?


If any of these reasons, or a combination of them were the cause of my rejections, is it possible to change and catch up to where I need to be? Should I reevaluate my training situation? I realize that it's impossible for anyone here to judge me as a dancer, since you can't see me, but I would appreciate any input or wisdom you can offer.


Thanks, toedancer

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  • Administrators

toedancer, all auditions are so totally subjective that it is very hard to ever know the reason why one "makes it" one year and not another. Was it a different teacher holding the auditons for those two programs?


It is also possible that, as you recognize, the standards are higher as one gets older, and perhaps they saw potential last year, for your age, but not the fullfillment of that this year, at a different age? What do your own teachers say? Do they have any insight as to why you would have been accepted last year and not this year? They are in a position to know because they can see you and we can't.


But, just keep in mind that everything changes every year, from the dancer to the auditioners, to the expectations. It could be any number of differing factors, many of which could be totally out of your control. But, trying to find out what happened will help you to know what has to be done. I really don't think it was because you did not stay, as most programs do not hold that against dancers as young as you were last year.


If your teachers don't know, then I would ask the program directly. Call or email them and respectfully ask why you were not accepted this year, after being accepted, and in one case, being invited to stay, last year.

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Thank you for your fast reply! :)


Well, the teacher for one audition was the same. For the other audition the teacher was different but because it was at the actual school of the program the other teachers were the same, including the one I had as a teacher for most of the summer.


I hadn't thought that I was rejected because I turned down the year-round position, but it was very disappointing because I had been hoping to be invited again. I would have been able to stay this year.


Although I have a "ballet body" (for the most part) I am very small and a slow developer. My own teachers seem to think that this has caused me to be behind in strength, as I have trouble building muscle. I don't know if this is true. Perhaps this tendency was more excusable at a younger age. Would a lack of strength cause me to lag behind in technique too? It seems to me that it might lead to some problems but that it wouldn't prevent refinement or clean placement, which I may possibly be lacking. It just worries me. If I am already behind, it seems almost impossible to catch up.


I know that one program does not offer audition feedback but I will contact the other and find out as much as I can.

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  • Administrators

A lack of strength could be a problem now, at almost 16, where it might not have been last year. It could also be the fact that you are very small, and perhaps they feel that you might not grow any more?

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Maybe that's it. Although to clarify, I am 5'4'', so I meant more small boned/ petite. :)

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  • Administrators

That should not be a problem, toedancer. :) But, strength would be. It would be good to find out, though, what the problem was.

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Ok. I have one more question....do you have any insight as to how such an email should be phrased? I don't want to give the wrong impression. Thank you again for taking the time to help, I really appreciate your advice. :shrug:

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