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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Summer Intensive quandary....need advice


jfp0pat3

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Our daughter got a later start in full time ballet (12) but has improved at warp speed. She's 14, takes five technique classes a week, is junior level company with pre-prof ballet, en pointe 14 months. Already getting small demi leads. Problem: she'll be 15 on June 1, and has to audition in the 15+ age groups with dancers who've been training for 8 or more yrs. Are there any recommended SI programs with smaller companies that will not reject her out of hand?

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Jfp0pat3, usually most programs want the age of the child at the time of the audition. Since the auditions are early in the year, she is still 14, and should audition with that age group.

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My DD has the same quandry herself. Unfortunately, she is 15 turning 16 so there is no choice but to audition in the 15+ age bracket.

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I was also wondering about that. My dd will be turning 14 a week after a few of her auditions. One of them has two different audition times - one for 12 & 13, one for 14-16 (i think). Would it be totally cheating to have her audition as 13? they say they might ask a few of the girls from the first audition to also stay for the second. She's also very tall and most think she's more like 17 or older (not because of her dancing, just because of her height)

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My dd has a birthday in the middle of audition season. She has always auditioned with the group of her age on that day, even if it is one day before her birthday, as most intensives will tell you with their registration materials. A lot of times she has been the oldest in the room. The adjudicators do usually have applicants' birthdays right in front of them, so we've never seen it as a problem. This year we do have a conflict at one audition with her age group, and since she is turning 16 two weeks after, we explained our situation and they were fine with her doing the 16 and up group. The audition may be more difficult, but if she is that close to her birthday, she should be able to do what the others can do anyway. Just our experience...

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Some places specify in the audition information whether the audition ages are for the actual audition date or for the age the dancer will be on a particular date (for example, July 1). We have called or emailed a few programs to clarify preferences since DD has a summer birthday, and the programs we contacted told us which to attend.

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jfp0pat3 - another alternative for your daughter might be CPYB (Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet) - if you are not familiar with their training look them up. Some of the best available, and they do not require an audition. She would no doubt make great strides there...they have provided excellent training for countless dancers who now dance professionally. Just an option to consider...

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Definitely check the websites of the programs that she is interested in auditioning for. Many (most) that I've seen specifiy whether they should audition with the age group at the time of the audition vs. the start of the SI. The information is generally in the audition narrative or else in the linked FAQ. Most that I've seen say to audition with your age at the time of audition. I have seen a program or two, though, that was the dancer to audition with the age group that the dancer will be at the start of the SI.

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In days of yore, I helped at several audition registration tables. I can assure you that the adjudicator always highlighted any changes in age between date of audition and date of program and/or recent birthdays when they looked through the registration form.

 

You simply must trust that they are professionals and absolutely know what they are doing and do have the dancers' best interests at heart in that regard.

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Your dd will definitely have a better experience doing the 14 year old audition. My dd was 15 last year and the auditions are WAY harder. The programs are looking for their level 6-7 dancers in the 15 age range but auditioning with dancers that have up to 5 more years of training is a bit overwhelming. I agree with all of the posters above that most SI's will have your dd audition with the 14 year olds with her June bday. This is her year to shine and feel like the best in the room. Encourage her to enjoy it!

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You could also keep in mind that it is not unusual for a dancer to begin a full-time schedule at age twelve.

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I would tend to say go for the younger age group audition- if they feel she really should be in a higher group they will probably tell you. My DS auditioned (by DVD) for Royal Ballet SI when he was 13 and was due to turn 14 the week AFTER the SI finished. They rang me up and asked for him to be put in the 14-18 group...

But it depends a bit on character- some children would find being the best in a younger group really encouraging and empowering- others would get bored unless really stretched. You could discuss the two different options and see what she would prefer (I did this with my non dancing son about an academic class recently and was really surprised that he chose to be given a higher target and struggle to achieve it rather than a lower one which he could achieve easily- he's not very academic and this is the opposite of what I had expected so you can never tell!).

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  • 1 month later...

My dds trained from young age but were late bloomers physically which can also be a disadvantage once they get to 15. Also, programs that feed companies look for different attributes in the older age group. For this reason, consider programs that are independent like the ones mentioned.

 

My dds have both attended Open World Dance Foundation's Summer Intensive and will be attending again this year. They offer the most amazing training and cultural experience and embrace dancers of a variety of training backgrounds and levels. The founder takes a real interest in each of the dancers and is very approachable about discussing advice for further training and career...

 

My oldest dd did not do well in auditions from year to year. Since attending last year, she has been admitted to the Butler University ballet program.

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owffan, just a gentle reminder, please remember that we do not permit advertising on BT4D---in any form. :)

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