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What to expect at SI auditions


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Last year my attended 2 SI's - but both by video not live audition. This is the first time she will audition live. She is 11 turning 12 before summer.


We are auditioning this weekend for 2 SI's on the same day/same location. Both are big names - Joffrey and ABT.


How early should we really arrive? It says 1 hour prior but is that really feasible? Also, I am expecting that there will be many of parents in addition to many dancers. By many I am thinking hundreds with the various age groups. Am I imagining this? :)


Any tips of those that have done this before would be appreciated. I posted this on the Under 13 postings instead of SI because I am specifically hoping to hear from those that have recently done auditions with dancers this age.


I am wondering just how overwhelmed dd is going to be in addition to nerves. :)

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I'm sure others can answer better than I can, but I'll give it a go:)


Last year DD did two auditions, Boston & Joffrey. Both were different. This year, I am sure the auditions she attends will be different as well. There were many girls from DD"s studio who did the Joffrey audition this past weekend, but DD decided she didn't want to audition there this year and her first ballet class isn't until tomorrow night so I am not sure what the audition was like this year.


When DD was first thinking of auditioning, we approached her instructor and asked which SI's she thought would be good for DD to audition for and which would be good for her to attend. With this advice, her instructor gave her lots of helpful little hints for auditioning, which I am sure you can either find out here or by asking your DD's instructor. We were told to be there an hour before and while I am glad we followed this advice, we still had to wait around for almost an hour for both auditions.


We were very surprised at the Joffrey audition because there were a lot of kids there. Less than the amount for Boston. There weren't a ton of parents because a lot of the kids auditioning were old enough to drive and some carpooled. I will say that for Boston DD was separated by age. At the Joffrey audition, DD was in with kids ages 11-18 and there was no separation whatsoever. My DD wasn't unnerved because there were older girls from her studio that were auditioning as well, but it is still something to think about. My DD goes into the auditions with the attitude that she is there to enjoy a class and if she gets in great, if not, there is a better place for her to be so she never really gets nervous. She just has fun. I think at this age, it isn't as important as when they are, say 15. Good luck to your daughter!

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I'm going to use Moderator's privileges here, and direct you to the separate threads for each of the SIs you're interested in. I just did a quick search using the search term "auditions" in the SI sub-section of the board, and got this thread, where the first few posts have quite substantive first-hand experience of the Joffrey audition in 2008. I'm sure there's more. Happy hunting!


Joffrey (Chicago) 2008

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The time listed on the audition forms generally lists the time the audition starts and then also the time the studio opens as "arrival" time. Some studios will keep the doors locked until that time and others will allow you in. Getting there an hour before is pretty normal. Since you have two in the same location, you can fill out her paperwork for her if she is not out of the first audition in time. On the larger auditions, I would plan to arrive a little before the scheduled time so that you have breathing room just sitting in your car for a minute if you're early and not so that arriving means driving up at that time.


Be sure to pack a snack for in between and your own water and be prepared to allow the 2nd to be a "no-go" if she's too overwhelmed at the end of the first. Some will pack a 2nd leo in case the first is really sweaty. Waiting another year on the 2nd audition isn't the end of the world in the younger ages, so allowing for that choice in the moment is a nice choice to have.


Some auditions are traditionally large in certain areas. Others have lessened over the years because of that so I'd prepare for both situations. A corner to focus and stretch in the waiting room or floor is important making sure that focus is on oneself and not on the other dancers in the room. An ipod is great!

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As Redbookish noted, the individual SI threads DO have specific first-hand information on the various audition experiences. Granted, the particular age-group information as your dd's might be less readily available with a quick review, but as you browse through the thread(s) you would really get a bigger picture of the whole process as you see the differences that crop up in the different age-groups and even the different locations.


As for the number of dancers present at the various auditions, that number is a function of many things: for example, the specific locale of any given audition, the number and identity for other auditions given the same date in the same or near locale, the 'buzz factor' for that SI for that year, and, even the weather conditions on that date.


As Momof3darlings noted, definitely plan to arrive an hour before any actual audition to give some time to 'scope out' the arrangements, get any registration taken care of, get your dk settled and a little time to stretch and relax.


Don't forget to also check the Archives for the 2007 and before reports regarding the audition process and the SI experience.

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It really will service our SI forum threads best if experiences with specific SIs are collated on the specific SI threads. Otherwise, we will (once again) end up with pertinent and relevant information scattered all over the Board and all the work the moderators have diligently undertaken (and spent countless hours tending like gardens) over the last 4-5 years will have been for naught.


I have moved the last post regarding a recent Joffrey audition to the Joffrey (Midwest)SI thread. (If it should be in a different Joffrey program's thread, please do let us know).


If you wish to discuss more general audition issues, please do continue as you wish.

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I would suggest doing whatever will allow your child to be most relaxed.

For us, that usually means planning to arrive early, just in case there are traffic and/or weather problems. Also, you may need time to register.

If we get there too early, we may go somewhere nearby for a snack.

Also, we always allow some extra time for stretching and warming up. When she was younger, we usually went to auditions with classmates which helped dd relax. Now, we don't, as dd needs to be more focused.

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Guest poetandlyric

All of our auditions involve about a 3 hour drive so we always plan on arriving about 2 hours early. DD likes to take a look at the place before everyone else shows up (so far this has not been a problem) and then we leave and get a snack and come back about an hour early. DD really likes to get dressed at the site so that always takes some time. I agree with the advice about back to back auditions. Be prepared to scrap the second one on the fly. My best advice is to scope out a corner or alcove and plunk yourself and your stuff down so she has a quiet place to get focused and warmed up. The best advice that we got this year was to remember that noone is comparing you to the 18 year olds so don't be intimidated by them. Also, remind her not to hang in the back. It is DD's experience that the younger girls tend to hang in the back when there is no breakdown by age. I always try to print out the forms ahead of time when possible so we can just show up and hand over our money. Take a spare leo and tights and HAVE FUN!!

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I agree with being open to the idea of rescheduling an audition which may be subsequent to another one in a given day. My DD attended a lengthy audition today and although a few of the older students then went on to audition for another program's SI, she personally felt as though she had physically had enough. I am not sure whether she will have the opportunity to find another audition site for the other one that she had hoped to attend so she will have to decide whether it is a program to which she would consider submitting a video. There is no reason to overdo any of this. I also agree with poetandlyric about printing forms ahead of time if they are available as it saves time to arrive with them completed if possible.

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Merde to your daughter 12345! Dd did the Joffrey audition at SFB yesterday. It was looonnnggg. The kids went into the studio at 4:00, and the girls did not come out until 7:30! The guys came out a little after 7:00. The kids went right into the studio during "registration" time, filled out their own paperwork, and began warming up at the barre. The audition started at 5:00, but dd thinks it actually started a it later than that, then went until 7:25. I was unaware beforehand that the kids would be expected to fill out their own paperwork, so hadn't prepped dd with all the info. They were very kind and allowed me to accompany her to the studio to help her with the paperwork. Joffrey's was very easy, and she probably could have done it herself, but you never know what information they're going to ask for!


Dd was exhausted and pale when she came out of the audition. She had been tired and headachy in the morning, but was determined to go. As it turned out, she was getting a cold which hit her full force mid-way through the audition. Apparently she was coughing most of the way through, then started getting the shakes, spiked a fever, and was dry heaving by the end. Poor thing. She stuck it out, but was not a happy camper. Because she was feeling so badly, the only feedback I got was "The teacher was funny."

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My dd's auditions went well. Both auditions were full but not so crowded they couldn't fit in the room. She had the energy to make it through both and came out with a smile. She thought she danced well and felt good about her performance. I can't ask for more than that. :shhh:



LauraGG --I hope your dd is feeling better! Goodness what terrible timing!!

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That's great, 12345! :shhh: I'm so glad your daughter enjoyed herself and felt good about her auditions. What a relief, huh?


LauraGG --I hope your dd is feeling better! Goodness what terrible timing!!


Dd is even worse today. She has a fever of 102 degrees, hasn't eaten, but has, thankfully, been asleep most of the day. Needless to say, she didn't make it to the Kirov audition she had planned to go to today! We went into this audition season saying that we were going to roll with whatever happened, and if she doesn't make it to a certain audition, or doesn't do well, or whatever, that particular school just wasn't the school for her this year. Who knew how quickly we'd have to put that philosophy into play! Ah well. C'est la vie.

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My daughter also did the auditions for Joffrey & ABT yesterday near Atlanta. This was the first time she has ever auditioned for SIs, so I was very proud of how she handled the large crowd and her nerves! She really enjoyed the Joffrey audition and felt she did well. She wasn't as happy with herself in the ABT audition, however, because she said she had a difficult time understanding him with his accent and she was not in a position in which she could see his demonstration very well. All in all, she felt she did her best and that is all she can do. I look at it all as a big learning experience. And what a great opportunity she had to take a class with these teachers! She will have a couple of more auditions and then we will see what opportunities open up for her.

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My DD was at an audition yesterday and at the end they called out some dancers numbers and asked them to repeat the final combination. DD said she had messed up on it the first time through. So her inclination was that she had made a mistake. But some of the other dancers asked to stay and repeat the combination were some of the better dancers at our school. So I thought that perhaps with such a crowded audition the auditioner just didn't get a chance to see her do it, and wanted to see it again to mark her fairly on it. Thoughts?

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