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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Audition disappointment


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DS 9 auditioned recently for a professional production of nutcracker in our home town. 17 boys auditioned for the two casts - they do 21 shows. He got a call back for a second audition for the choreographer but missed out at that point.

I thought he was reasonably cool about it all until he went back to his home studio and told his teacher he was cast. She was all excited for him and I had to say no he got a call back but missed out. He burst into tears when we got in the car when I asked him why he did that he just said he wanted everyone to be proud of him. I told him we are proud of him and he did really well to get a call back. His response was 'there were loads of girls but hardly any boys but I still didn't get picked'.

I've tried to keep auditions low key (he's only been to two) as a music teacher I've seen my fair share of ugly parents and really don't want to be one. How do I help him deal with this disappointment? Is he too young for auditions. He is always the one who wants to try out its not pushed by me (although I did get a bit excited about the callback and possibility of a part in a professional production).

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well I say good for him for showing up and auditioning!! Not everyone has that confidence. :clapping:


However part of putting yourself out there is not being chosen. I don't think he is too young to audition but he may find it hard to handle rejection. I guess time will tell on that. Our DS hasn't done a'lot of auditioning (largely due to lack of opportunity) and I am sure that at 17 he would still be disappointed, particularly after a call back.


We had a very wise 85 year old friend who used to say that these experiences are invaluable and that we are lucky to get them when we are young. Her comment on your story would be 'That is just excellent! Lucky boy!'. She would explain that our children need to have these negative experiences while they are young so that we can be there to help them understand. She used to say 'Imagine if his first audition and rejection was when he is 25? Who would help him then? Imagine how hard that would be!'


So I guess these are all good teaching opportunities for us and you need to talk with him about the randomness of artistic directors (there is plenty to read about this on the site) and how auditioning is a good learning experience whether you are chosen or not etc etc etc. I think that learning to handle an audition with confidence and cool is just as important as any other part of being a dancer. If you cant do that, you won't ever work. :cool2:

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Thanks thyme and orange blossom. We took a similar approach to orange blossom and tried to be quite relaxed and low key about it all. That's why I was so surprised when he'd told his teacher he got cast and then had to face the embarrassment of setting everyone straight.

I wonder if he's feeling pressure from his dance school? I think it's been more encouragement and excitement but it's how he interprets it. I've had a chat with his teacher and she's agreed to encourage him in a low key way. There's not that many opportunities for auditions where we are anyway so it's likely to be a while between them. His dance school doesn't audition for the concerts the students just get told what they're dancing and there's no individual roles for students his age.

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I have sons who dance. My older ones had been cast in professional Nut in the past but the first year my youngers auditioned they had tons of boys and neither got cast. One cried right there and then and they other waited til the car. I told them you were too short, too tall, not a red head, too skinny... who the heck knows! They got cast for years after that. It's tough but I think it helps for life in general that is for sure!

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Aww poor guy! Agree with Moxie do stress the showbiz aspect of sometimes it's just too short, too tall, blonde, brunette, or how well he matched up with the Clara, etc.


I love the Periwinkle dress analogy that is pinned on these message boars "Coping with Rejection" on the Parents of Dancers Under 13 message board. Agree with Thyme too, this is good character building time too ;)

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It feels really bad to not be picked. We have talked with our son about how much is out of your hands. You go and do your best, and that is all you can do. You have no idea what they needed for their show, who else was already actually cast before the audition, etc.


Also that rejection is something that happens to every performer. Any successful dancer or performer has been rejected so many times on the way to where they are. Even performers in the height of successful careers don't get every job/gig whatever. You don't see that about other people though, you only see the success.


I don't think it ever feels good to be rejected (or not chosen). its ok to feel bad about it, but try not to take it personally.

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