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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Summer Intensives for College Dancers


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My daughter is now a freshman in college, a dance major BFA at a school that is somewhat ballet focused. She has never gone away for summer intensives for several reasons. Her ballet school has an excellent summer training program, and the additional money to go away was not available. A college classmate in the dance program was doing several auditions for summer intensives this past January, and encouraged my daughter to come with her. So rather last minute, we researched some options, and she did 3 auditions. She felt she did fairly well in all of them. She was very disheartened, and I was surprised to find she got into none of them, while the other girl got into all. I would say they we fairly close in level of ability. Probably other girl is better turner, my daughter better leaper and petite allegro. These were not top tier SIs, more what I would call good regional programs. 

Is the fact that she has never been to intensives being held against her?

She is doing well in her college program, has been advanced to a higher level, and given good roles in performances. This summer she will be dancing at her home studio, & can go into NYC for some extra classes. So I'm not worried about her training for the summer.  I'm just looking for some feedback from those of you with more experience regarding the failed auditions.

Please move this post if more appropriate in a different location. 

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I have a daughter in this age group. In this age range, SIs are generally truly looking at the dancers as potential trainees, apprentices and company members. So, while two dancers of fairly equal ability might have been accepted as younger teens, in the college age group, it can be a different story.

While dd only did company auditions this year, she did get a number of SI acceptances from those. I recall at least one company that she auditioned for that she was sure she would get an invitation to the SI and did not. There were others that she was surprised to be invited to. She seemed to have done better with her long shots than the companies that she thought would be the most likely to at least offer an SI invitation. These were all regional level companies as well. 

My personal opinion is that not attending a previous SI had no affect on admission to these programs. My impression is that most dancers in this age range at these good regional programs are there to compete for a possible position for the year round. The rest are generally college students in dance, like your dd. 


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At the college level, physical attributes for ballet play a big role in acceptances. Does your daughter have a reasonable physique for a career in ballet? If not, the older a student gets, the more difficult acceptances into programs can be.

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Yes vrsfanatic, I think that may have something to do with it. I would say my daughter is thin and has  good dancer body, but her legs are a little muscular. Her friend is extremely thin. I would think my daughter is within the range acceptable for a dancer, but maybe not, in light of these results. We'll see. 

Thanks for the feedback. 

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Another thought is that your dd has less experience with auditions in general.  While these auditions are "just a class," a dancer of this age/stage, needs to be aware of how they appear in such a class. Do they appear interested throughout? Is there something of a performance quality to them in class? It also sounds like she went along with this other dancer so perhaps these particular companies were a better fit for that dancer and not a good fit for your dancer. 




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Hi MelissaGA

Thanks for your comments/insights.

Your thoughts about auditions are correct. She has started auditioning often while in school this year, but she has done very little before prior to this. She has always been very resistant to the idea of auditioning for anything, and is rather reserved in both classes and auditions, where I don't think she shows her best. I fact, one person she auditioned for this year made a point to call my daughter in and almost apologize for "undercasting her" (the auditioner's word) after she had worked with her and gotten to know her better. So it makes me feel that a once-shot deal doesn't show her at he best. I'm hoping all the performing she's doing this year will increase her confidence. Reserved as she is, she loves to perform. 

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