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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Company Ready


backstagemom

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DD is a junior. How do you know if she is anywhere near company ready? Her pax experience is limited and new. She has performed, but hasn't been cast in a solo or pax piece. Is there anything anywhere that acts as a measuring stick? In other words - at age 16, you should be able to do abc, and by 17 you should be able to do def, and by 18...? I realize that wouldn't be set in concrete, but are there any generalities? How do we figure out if DD should seek more training, audition for companies, or do something else?

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We really can't know. Her teachers should have a much better idea. There really are no generalities. What has been her experience in SI's? What is pax???

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Oops! Pax is my misspelling of pa (I don't know why I was throwing that x in there). Last year was the first time she auditioned for SI's. She got into Gelsey Kirkland. Is there a way to get an outside, objective evaluation?

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OKay, but I'm still not knowing for sure what you are talking about. The only thing I know pa could possibly be is PA, as in Pennsylvania? Would that mean PA Ballet? I'm sorry, but I really can't remember where everyone lives, or what school their DD's attend.

 

Probably the best way for an outside opinion would be to set up a private lesson with a professional teacher who knows that she is only there for evaluation.

 

Editing to add: On my! Dancemaven figured it out! You actually meant pas, like Pas de Deux!

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Yes, it seems that Dancemaven figured that out! I really did not have a clue. :rolleyes:

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This book, http://www.amazon.com/100-Lessons-Classical-Ballet-Choreographic/dp/0879100680 is the best outline I've seen of what to know when. Granted I only understood less than half of what I read and I had absolutely no idea how to judge quality of my DD's dancing but I did feel like I had a better perspective.

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Okay, I give...pas de deux... I don't know all of the terms, much less how to spell them. :blushing:

 

I know I should ask, and I eventually will, but right now everyone is busy with Nutcracker.

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I read through the posted thread. What does it mean to have solid technique? How do you know if you do or don't? What should you be able to do? Are you expected to have pas de deux and soloist experience (I'm sure it helps, but...)?

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Dancers by their junior year should know themselves how they rank in the 'outside' world of ballet. If their school is a pre-pro school, and turns out highly qualified dancers for either trainee, apprentice, company, or very good college programs, and if they are in the top level of that school, they should have enough experience to know where they rank within that class and level at their own school, and how they have done over the years in SI audition acceptances and levels. Scholarships for SI's, good roles in their school's performances, and regular encouragement from their teachers play a part in that, but not all highly qualified students receive scholarships, as there are generally just not enough of those to go around. Solo roles in their upper high school years are a good indication, but pas de deux work depends a great deal on the size of the school and whether they have the male dancers for that. If they do productions which require male dancers, then they often have to hire them for the performances, and they are not there during the regular class schedule. By the senior year one would hope that the students have some pas de deux experience, whether in SI programs or in performances at their school.

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backstagemom, I would encourage you to have your DD to speak with her teachers herself, rather than you doing it. I know it is awkward, and doesn't feel comfortable for some kids to have these conversations, but learning to assert herself and to take the reigns in her training is part of becoming that company-ready dancer. These kids have to "grow-up" a lot sooner than their college-bound contemporaries. Sometimes my two older children, tease their ballerina baby sister for having it "easy". They don't know what they don't know!

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