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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Has your Nutty-ness begun?


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Julisha, don't give it a second thought. Acceptances come down to the dancing that is shown at the relevant auditions----along with the company or college cohort need, wants, wishes.

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Julisha, I do not believe dd's roles had any part in obtaining a trainee position. It was based entirely on her audition.


I think, from years of reading here and her experiences, that just like with company auditions, the dancing far outweighs the resume for college and for trainee positions.

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I can't even begin to see how they could. Every company's Nutcracker is different. In ours, the partnering roles are all danced by professionals and students never dance them; the Chinese dancers are young teens. Our company's teen roles aren't even consistent from year-to-year. I keep telling DD that it matters more who she is dancing with than the actual name of the part.

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I agree with the previous posters. At DD13's school, dancing in Snow is considered the most difficult role, surpassed only by Dew Drop and Sugar Plum. It is danced by older teens. Yet, I see people post all the time that their under 13 dancer is a Snowflake. At her old school, which was attached to a professional company, student roles are limited. A student would never dance any of the roles you mention.

Also, For what it's worth, DDs good friend was just accepted into a prestigious pre pro program. She's never had any big Nutcracker roles.

While I share the pain of disappointing Nut roles, I wouldn't worry about it's bearing on the future.

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Very good point Pensive! There are even versions where Clara/Marie barely dances at all.

I've also read of younger dancers appearing as a doll in the party scene. Those parts only went to dancers from the top level at dd's school. Same for Snow! It was hard! Though, I have since seen versions with tiny little snowflakes running through the scene while dancers of varying levels and sizes danced.

One of the roles dd is excited about this year is angel (technically Lead Angel) simply because she has never danced to that music before! When she started at her first ballet school, she was already too old and too tall to be an angel and the role was also danced by the youngest dancers at her next ballet school. I think that and the Sugar Plum solo/pas music may be the only music she has yet to dance to between various full length performances and excerpt-style performances.

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MelissaGA, when DD was six, the six-year-olds were angels. Fast forward 10 years, and those 6-year-olds are now 16 and many of them are ... angels. This year, the angels are just one step down from the snowflakes. Go figure. I think if you danced the part of a Dew Drop or Snow Queen, then it would probably tell a prospective company that you were at least good enough in your company to dance the part, but maybe that company doesn't have great dancers, and maybe that company's Snow Queen wouldn't even qualify for another company's snowflake ... or angel ... or Chinese variation. And my DD was Clara (who did a fair amount of pointe and partnering), but she got the role almost as much because she is teeny tiny as for the quality of her dancing. She will likely never be a Lilac Fairy.

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Thanks for sharing your story RaisingBallerina. Ours was a bit of a roller coaster, too.


This was my DD's last year to be eligible for Clara and she was pretty wistful about her chances (she dances with a school affiliated with a company so the competition is fierce). The way they do the "audition"process is to start working with the kids in mid September and then by early October they choose the leads and then the rest of the casting for other roles follow. During some of the earlier rehearsals my DD came out buzzing that she'd been asked to demonstrate dances, etc. At the same time,she also had the experience of seeing 4 other girls practice the Clara role, which is usually an indication of how the casting will go and feeling it might not happen. Despite her disappointment, she made her peace with a different role (at least it was different than last year!) Then, at the last rehearsal before the leads were announced she was asked to run through the Clara role. I have to say, that was a very exciting but nerve-wracking night for her (and me, to be honest).


In the end, she did get Clara and is thrilled. What thrilled me almost as much was how truly supportive and happy her classmates were for her. I know sometimes getting the lead can result in some social drama. I couldn't be happier with how it all played out.


Now we just have to survive all the rehearsals!

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mcjagger thanks for sharing and congrats to DD! I think a supportive culture at a studio is no accident so kudos to yours for having that.

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