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Company Open Auditions


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Hello all,


It's been awhile since I last posted, but this is such a wonderful forum I decided to come back and post some more.


I'm taking the fall semester off school, and am trying to find things to do that will fill up the time I'm not working. I decided that I wanted to take dance classes again since I haven't done that in about a year and a half. I was looking at the options around town, and then I thought of something - the Nutcracker! I've always wanted to audition for it and maybe be in it, and now I have the time. So I went on the local ballet company's website, and saw at the bottom of the homepage that they're having open auditions for the company on September 10th. Am I crazy for wanting to audition? Also, it says ladies please bring pointe shoes, but I haven't been en pointe in years. I've emailed them asking if it's absolutely necessary, and hopefully will get a response soon. I am in no way fit for pointe right now, though I believe that I could be at some point later in the future.


I think that even if I don't get cast in anything (which is entirely possible), auditioning would be a really good experience for me, especially since next semester I plan on auditioning for the student dance company, so any audition experience will help with that. And of course, if I don't get cast in anything, I'll still take classes for the fun of it and try to improve.

Edited by L-Dub
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Is this a student company or a professional company, L-Dub?

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This is a professional company.


I received an email response to my inquiry from the artistic director which says:


While we have many contemporary and modern ballets in our repertoire that require no pointe work, as well as character parts in our big ,classical ballets, that likewise, require no pointe work, it would be to your advantage to be able to show your abilities on pointe.


However, that said, if you feel strongly about auditioning for, and hopefully, being accepted as a performing member of the Ithaca Ballet, you may attend the audition without bringing pointe shoes.

Then, in a discussion with me afterward, I will no doubt encourage you strongly to get out your old pointe shoes, and get familiar with them again, because without pointe work, you will be limited in the roles in which you can be cast.


Perhaps you can tell me a little about your background......... I value age and experience a great deal, and that will count for a lot at the audition, with or without pointe shoes.


So I guess I'm going to audition :)

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I plan on attending the open auditions for my local company that are in 3 short weeks. I've never auditioned for anything professional before, so it'll be a new experience. Any advice/tips?


I'm thinking plain black leo with pink tights and slippers and hair in bun, yes? I have to buy all this stuff since it's been awhile since I last danced.


I'm not expecting to get accepted or cast in anything, but I think it would be a really good experience anyway.

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I merged your duplicate topic from Cross Talk here with your exisiting topic so we can stay organized.


Ithaca Ballet is a pre-professional company, albeit certainly an established and somewhat known one. While you definitely want to behave in a professional manner and I'm sure they have high expectations for their dancers, it is not considered a "professional" ballet company in the sense that the dancers are paid to rehearse and perform seasonally. It is essentially a student company and training ground.


Now that we have that out of the way, quite honestly, I'd rather see you wait a year and get yourself back into ballet shape before you consider auditioning. It's amazing how quickly we lose what we had. You will get a portion of it back, and maybe even then some, but don't kid yourself- it's going to take much time, energy, blood, sweat, tears, and most importantly, patience! I'm concerned that you will push yourself too hard to hit this audition deadline and end up with an acute injury.


The AD of this student company sounds very open and willing to work with you, so why not write her back explaining that you were so excited to see that there was an opportunity like this possibly available and that you first wrote her in your enthusiasm. Though upon further reflection, you want to get started there with some classes first so that they can help prepare you for the possibility of auditioning, and help you to know when you might really be ready for it.


If you do decide to go ahead with the audition in 3 weeks, then you will need to get yourself into classes pronto, and be prepared to gently ease your body back to the rigors of ballet. Don't push too hard. Do prepare your uniform and I agree with you that for this first one, a regular ballet class attire would be appropriate.


Lastly, please do not consider auditioning for a regular professional ballet company until you have been back into intense training and are completely 'company-ready'. I would hate to see you try to begin a professional dance career on the wrong foot!

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This is a professional company.

Checking the Ithaca Ballet website, I found them self-describing as "a pre-professional ensemble". That means they're a student company, and their photo gallery seems to bear this conclusion out.


Clara's point is good; no matter whether they're a professional company, or a high-functioning civic, you need to be in good shape to audition for them. I have a sneaking suspicion that they're up to HERE in Party Parents.

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I definitely want to audition...at the very least it'll be a good experience. I'm going to try and prepare myself as much as possible for it.

Edited by L-Dub
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just do the best that you can- and pat yourself on the back for trying!

Keep us posted. :grinning:

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