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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Multiple College Auditions

Lady Elle

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How do kid audition for several colleges? My dd is a junior and we are just trying to make sure we're prepared for next year. We're looking at at least 6 colleges. Can we even hit all the auditions in person or will some have to be video submissions? Are some colleges better to do live than others? How do you all do this?

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Are there any of the 6 that she can do a driving visit so that she can eliminate or move them up on the ladder before next year? For us, we visited all the ones that were 3-5 on her list Junior year and then coupled the Audition/visit with the two that were top choice for Senior year. In reality, you have to simply do the best you can with the time/money you have. Do as many in person as possible would be my suggestion.

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Hi Lady Elle. It's been a few years for us, but I can tell you DD applied to six schools and attended six auditions. I believe live audition is the way to go if you have that option. I do think the best strategy we implemented had to do with pacing. She had a general order of preference and we lined the auditions up so that the ones that she was less concerned about happened early so she could gain experience. As it turned out, the first audition moved towards the top of her list, although we could not have anticipated that. Also, it is useful to see where auditions align. For example, I believe when DD was applying, Butler and Indiana had a common audition weekend, and since travel expenses were a concern, that might have helped the schedule and costs. DD ended up doing roughly one a month. beginning in October and ending in early March. This structure also helped her to pace the application submissions as well. Most visits were accomplished before the end of Junior year, although more distant ones we waited until the audition trip to explore the program and campus.

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Thanks ladies. Yes, we are considering some visits this year. And two of the schools are driving distance. I guess I made an assumption that all of the schools would have an early fall audition and a Jan/Feb audition all around the same time so obviously cannot be in two places at a time. Can any auditions be done junior year? I'm guessing no.


We're also hoping we might be able to do a little side trip during my oldest daughters wedding next year and get Indiana and Butler done. Not too probably but we'll see. I also assume that you need to audition during specific audition times and they won't do an audition by appointment, letting the student drop into a class or something?

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I believe audition schedules are quite firm and structured, many involving more than just taking a single class ... multiple observers, more than one discipline in some cases, Q&A, solos, and interviews. I should say, in some cases DD was allowed to take class or observe class during her visits junior year, they were not auditions, but an opportunity for DD to evaluate the fit for her.

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FYI call the programs you want to audition for and ask how/when merit scholarship funds are given out. There were some schools that had both fall and winter auditions and told me up front that scholarships were awarded on a "first come, first serve" type basis, meaning a lot of that scholarship money might end up being awarded to dancers at the early audition date, therefore not leaving much available for those auditioning in January/February.

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My dd is a freshman BFA now, but we were able to do 8 auditions last year. We were fortunate because we are close to NYC, and all but one school had an audition there. January was loaded with auditions as I recall, with a weekend or two with 2 or 3 auditions. I definitely feel that it is a tremendous advantage to audition in person. The only problem was that we sort of dropped the ball on SI auditions, but she was able to get her act together for summer training in the end.

Good luck!

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In my experience its best to start planning junior year by:

making a list of the top 3-4 schools DD would like to audition at , followed by a few others there is interest in

We did not do any visits prior to auditions, many audition days included a tour of the campus/dorms and current students were happy to answer questions


Check out the websites although the dates vary year to year they are fairly similar from one year to the next.

some colleges require application and or acceptance to the school prior to the audition, others do not , keep notes so that you and DD can stay on top of the dates and requirements


DD did live auditions but did have an option to have a videographer help with an audition video at her dance school, if this kind of help id not available getting the video done can be time consuming and frustrating, start working on it early and expect it to take more time than you would think.


Some schools will have auditions in major cities or an audition tour, this info is usually on their web site, DD was able to do 2 auditions this way and it saved a lot of traveling, one of the schools she did this with was far away, we decided if it was one of the final 2 we would make a trip to tour later, we ended up not having to do it, since it ended up out of the running


DD had east coast auditions set up the year the Hurricane Sandy hit, the schools were very accommodating and rescheduled the audition for the following weekend and were able to adjust the date for us, if you have a conflict , call the department of dance to see if they can make other arrangements, it never hurts to ask and the worst they can say is no


Expect that your DD will be wiped out and stressed by all the auditioning,, they may need time to process all the information, Depending on how your DD deals with stress you may not have the fun college trip you hope to have, keep your expectations low


The FAFSA can be done October 1 this year, so the sooner you can plan the better, we expected that the financial assistance and cost of the school would be one of the deciding factors in DD's decision, but the final 2 schools, despite one being a large public university and the other being a small private school came out to be about the same in expenses for tuition etc.


Best of luck to everyone auditioning this year

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Slhogan - yes! Three of the schools she wants to look at are represented at the College Dance Fair. I was planning on checking in to that. It almost looks like its more informational and not really an actual audition. If it is, I wonder if the scholarship opportunities are the same at the fairs. Thanks for posting that!

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Lady Elle, it has been my experience with more than one child in the arts (not just dance), that college scholarships for the arts is a complicated issue, so I'm not sure how much would actually be decided at a college fair. Scholarship offers depend on so many things-how much funding the department is allotted that year, how many worthy students are applying, how much that particular student is being recruited compared to others (i.e. with musicians what instrument is played-is it a more rare/difficult one, or how the student fits the needs of that department that particular year to fill empty positions/slots). A good academic record can help get funding from the larger university umbrella to add to the arts scholarship and/or at some colleges, the arts department may allot more of its funding to the better students. I can tell you that one of my kids (not a dancer) met recruiters at this type of event that followed him through his senior year and ended up being the contacts for him through the acceptance/decision point, so the relationships made could end up being very helpful later on!


I would ask about a "typical" scholarship offer for a dancer of your DK's type (in state vs. out of state with good/better /best academic standing and test scores and a great audition) and see what they tell you might be expected. That can help with planning whether or not a particular college is affordable! But, the offer itself usually comes around the time of acceptance or slightly after (around March-April of the senior year), when the colleges know how they have decided to divide their funds between accepted applicants -- just in time for the student to make their commitment decision by May 1st.

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I guess my main question was, do kids use these fairs as an audition? Or just networking. Do they still need to audition in their senior year? Can a student be accepted in their junior year (provided they are accepted to the college).


Thanks again.

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Lady Elle, here is a link to thread we have regarding the College Dance Fair held in Boca each year: http://dancers.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=54476&hl=%22college+dance+fair%22


There are some references to other fairs within the thread, as well as how they work as well as comments regarding the nature and extent of benefits in attending.

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