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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Adjustments: Path curveballs and re-grouping


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Thanks Swanchat and others who've been so helpful with advice! Quick question: What's the best way to find these 990 forms that non-profits fill out for the IRS? And will I know immediately by looking at this form how solid a company they are?

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  • Momof3darlings


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swanchat or others, do you have any advice for getting stats for company height requirements when auditioning season is over and they are not posted on their website? Or do you actually have to call someone... and who is that someone? :P

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The only company I've found that consistently lists height requirements is Boston Ballet and even then, they have dancers who are off that spectrum from time to time. Some will list them in the audition information but the best way to get the information if it is not published is to ask the person who is listed as the contact for company audition materials. Some will answer, some will not but that says alot to me about the company when they don't.......

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Richmond Ballet is another company that consistently posts height limits as part of the audition announcement. Then there are others who post just a minimum or maximum, such as BalletMet.


If your DK is very tall or short, it is definitely advisable to call ahead to inquire. But if you can afford to audition for companies you are very interested in but are just outside the height requirements, I say go for it. My DD auditioned for a particular company with a friend this season. As soon as the friend approached the registration table she was told she is too short but go ahead and take class anyway. :P She did not receive an offer. A few weeks later, a different friend who is the same height auditioned and received a Trainee offer. You just never know.

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Thanks, and I do understand they change year to year, but it would be nice to be able to chart their trends. It seems like the only way to do this is start the research a few years before and pay attention when a new director arrives. Too bad companies don't post this for dancers, but I guess it allows them to keep their options open. Thanks for these suggestions.

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In regards to this thread taking the direction of A.D.s' preferences (height, hair color, etc.), I am just going to share how DD and I have learned to think of it, especially in terms of rejection and seeing that the best dancer at the audition isn't always the one chosen, etc.

Imagine that you have gone shopping for a new dress. The store is full of lovely dresses, but, after eliminating the vast majority by size, style, etc., you narrow it down to 2 dresses. One is a lovely navy dress that suits many occasions and can look classy or casual, and it fits perfectly and has many lovely features, more than the other dress has.

The other dress fits less well and has less wonderful special features, BUT, ever since childhood, periwinkle has been your favorite color, and you just love periwinkle; it is also harder to find than navy on the racks.

If the economy were great, you might buy both dresses and find good uses for both and would happily buy both. But, you can't buy both. You choose the periwinkle dress because, although the navy dress is wonderful and perfect in many ways, it doesn't make your heart skip a beat like the color periwinkle does. The periwinkle dress might not fit as well or have as many attributes, but you just love periwinkle and choose it when you can find it.

I really think that many A.D.s just have certain deep-seated preferences. If they had enough money to hire more dancers, they could hire a wider range who would all be great, but, when money is tight, those inexplicable preferences, which we all have, win out. It's nothing personal. If you're lucky enough to be the periwinkle dress, you will be chosen a that company. Another company might absolutely love navy.

Edited to add: If you are the navy dress, don't be upset because you are not periwinkle. You can't turn into a periwinkle dress. Let the periwinkle dress be the periwinkle dress, and concentrate on becoming the most wonderful, marketable navy dress in the store. Someone will buy you and be delighted, and you will be happy for being loved as you are.

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I love this, pointeprovider! And I'm sure it's right on. Wow, ballet moms really make the best analogies... hahaha...it just has to be done!

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Pointeprovider, I really love your analogy! So very true.


My advice is to practice flexible thinking. Someone earlier on this thread (maybe Cheetah? I apologize for not taking the time to go back to credit the person) spoke about keeping an open mind as far as type of company, type of repertoire, etc. and went on to say that a true dancer must dance. Absolutely.


So I would advise that someone who has her/his heart set on dancing ballet, but is unable to find a job might want to have the flexibility of mind to try a different kind of dance: modern, jazz, theater dance, etc. Often, young ballet dancers right away say no to this; they can't imagine themselves "stooping" to that level. To a teenage mind, that's what it often feels like. And so they deny themselves the chance to find out if this other dance form can also fit who they are.


I always feel so badly when I read of dancers on this board and elsewhere who quit dance altogether when their ballet dream is at an impasse. There are so many other satisfying ways to earn a living dancing if one opens oneself up to these possibilities.


As others have said, so often when a dancer is in a trainee-ship (apprenticeship, second company, even corps de ballet in some companies), their ballet training suffers. There are quite a number of contemporary companies (as opposed to contemporary ballet companies - with very strong dancers. Many (and it seems more and more every year) come out of the ballet world. Yes, after a couple years they might not be able to do 32 fouettes (equally true of many ballet dancers who are not dancing solos professionally), but they have developed technique in other areas that is fulfilling to them. And they are earning their living (often a better living than in ballet) in the dance world. It takes only a very short time for them to make the break from ballet and love what they're doing, but that first step is what many talented individuals don't take.


So I'm asking dancers to give it a try: If you really, truly must dance, if the fibers in your body ache for dance, then expand where you're willing to look.

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Wonderful pointeprovider, absolutely wonderful!

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I'm finding all of these posts very helpful as DD finishes a exilerating but disappointing audition season. So...thank you all. Truly, sometimes I feel as if non-dancing parents look at me as if I have three heads. Nice that everyone here "gets" it.

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Good advice, vagansmom.

As for my earlier post about the dress colors, I think it sprang from my dad always saying, "You can't force a square peg into a round hole" and my grandmother saying, "There's a lid for every pot." Folksy, I know, but I'm seeing the truth of both sayings.

To expand a bit on the earlier post, after giving it more thought: If you do happen to be the lucky periwinkle dress, be thankful but don't become complacent. Things change. The dress-owner might look around at some point and realize that periwinkle is nice, but you can have too much, and might decide to get rid of a few periwinkle dresses and spend any extra income on some accent colors. Also, A.D.s don't stay forever, for a variety of reasons, and the new one might really dislike periwinkle, so you might find yourself along with lots of other periwinkle dresses in a pile going to Goodwill. Then, you have to wait for another periwinkle-lover to come along.

Try to the best of your ability to choose a company for which you are a good fit, as best you can ascertain this in advance. I think we have all bought a clothing item on a whim which wasn't in keeping with our usual style. It's fun for a while, but then we find that we think, "Why did I ever buy this? It doesn't match my other things", and, in suffering buyer's remorse, we find that we wear it less and less and then donate it to Goodwill. No one wants to be the object of an A.D.'s buyer's remorse; every dancer wants to feel confident and appreciated as they are (while always striving and improving, of course). So, if you don't end up being the periwinkle dress for the company of your dreams, it might be a blessing in disguise and might save you disappointment later. If you represent yourself honestly and well, and stay in the best form that you can, you stand a good chance of being chosen for a place where you will thrive.

Added observations: In this economy, less potential buyers are going to the dress shop, but it only takes that one, the right one. Just be of good quality, with no ripped seams, holes, stains, etc., and try to stay on the rack as long as possible, to be there when the right buyer shows up. And, finally, very few dresses are going to end up in Kate Middleton's closet, but there are other closets containing other nice dresses.

These are just observations from what we are seeing with DD and others as they enter the company-audition phase of their journey. Others might disagree.

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  • 2 months later...


Your post has been made into a "Sticky" on the Parent's of Dancers under 13 & over 13 boards!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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  • 1 year later...

bump--new wisdom?

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