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Ballet Talk for Dancers

If auditions don't pan out


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DD has some college auditions lined up. She has other schools in mind that are near quality training (but not at the college), if she doesn't get in to any of the audition schools. But, I am now wondering a couple of things. Do dancers ever audition again, either as a sophomore (if they choose to attend but not as a dance major), or as a freshman applicant again, after pursuing more training during a gap year?

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Right now my dd is a college freshman and very unhappy in her dance program.  I can weigh in on one thing.  There was a program whose rejection letter brought her to tears.  It was the school that was probably the best fit for her and she had an academic scholarship.  I contacted the dean and asked about her attending the school, taking ballet classes locally, and then re-auditioning.  I thought the school was an amazing fit for her and I was highly impressed with the program.  He said very few get accepted for their sophomore year.  He said he didn't have any statistics but it was very unusual and  if she had been accepted into a dance program that's where she should go.

For my dd the first school she auditioned for she got into - that took some pressure off.  She only did 2 other auditions. 

Best of luck to your daughter.  It was a very stressful year!

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We went through this last year.  Some fall rejections offered up the opportunity to audition again in the spring.  Most schools are a one shot deal as far as getting into the dance program (freshman year or not at all).  University of Utah does take transfer students, but you may have to stay longer at the school to complete dance requirements.  My DD first to auditions amounted to a no and a waitlist.  I asked her studio director if she didn't get in anywhere if she should take a gap year and try again.  Her advice was that if that happened it was time to move on.  In the end she ended up getting into her dream school and is currently a freshman dance major.  I won't lie, it was a very stressful year, with a lot of soul searching.  Best of luck!


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Thank you both for that insight. This whole thing is very stressful but then, that's ballet for you! We just have to wait and see what happens. 

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One more thing dancingjet, when you go through the process and if things don't go as planned, if feels that all of the kids around your child are having success.  Just remember some people are not as forthcoming about bad news.  Once my daughter got into her program, they all started talking about the no's that they received.  Remember many will have at least one no, even if they don't mention it.  Some schools have a 25% acceptance rate, others a 5% rate.  It helps keep things in perspective during a stressful time.  Also, never assume.  The schools I thought my daughter would get into she didn't and the one I thought impossible, she got into.  Go figure.

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I feel like the whole thing is so nebulous and unknown. Academically, we can get some sense of where she stands in terms of GPA, rigor of transcripts, SAT scores, and so forth. But dance? Art? Ugh. I just hope someone likes what they see when she's auditioning! It feels like applying to an Ivy League school. Even the "best" get rejected to those.

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Thinking about gap years and trying again: I think the reason DD would even consider it is that she knows she isn't getting the quantity of training that other high school dancers may be receiving. Great quality, but not the 15-20+ hours per week of just classes. She's lucky to piece together 12-14 hours, and those aren't all at her level. So I think she thinks that if she doesn't get in anywhere, that she wouldn't be ready to throw in the towel knowing that she could try to up her training and then try again. Would one intense year be enough? Probably not. If it meant she felt she'd given it her all and had no regrets (or few regrets, I guess) then I suppose it could be worth it.

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dancingjet-do not sit in belief of all the "nots".  Dancing is a longshot period.  This in a top college or with a company.  We have had dancers whose parents were members here do a year of Traineeship and then gotten into a college who denied them the year prior and dancers who got no's from companies and then got a yes from that company after a year in a top college.  It is the individual dancer and their individual growth that will matter at the audition, period.  

Now this is not to say that sometimes, it will not be in the cards for some.  But I would just stay away from those absolutes given about never getting in Sophomore year.  Sure, it's even more rare than an acceptance in the first place but it is not unheard of.  

Take a bit to really sit with what this audition season means about your dancer without our parental blinders or our parental inflation of our own.  Let her/him focus on what this means to them and if determination comes out of that, then "never" or "rarely" become motivational words instead of negative ones.  

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Thanks momof3. I appreciate your advice. Once DD actually has some results she'll be able to better decide what her next steps will be, and I can stop overthinking it! Hopefully... ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/28/2017 at 7:54 AM, Momof3darlings said:

Let her/him focus on what this means to them and if determination comes out of that, then "never" or "rarely" become motivational words instead of negative ones.  

I was rereading what you wrote, and this really resonates with me. Thank you for putting that idea into words!

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It sounds like some schools are open to a second audition, based on the University of Arizona thread and doing some more reading and researching. I would not have thought that to be case, but apparently it is! So never say never... :)

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I think U of U is also open to auditioning again.

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IU and Butler have had acceptances after denials also.  In those cases, the dancer received additional training and then reauditioned.  The ones I personally know of that additional training came via Traineeships, Apprenticeships, etc and then a return audition.  

dancingjet--you are most very welcome!:wub:

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  • 3 months later...

DD has been questioning a bit her decision to NOT reaudition to a couple of programs this year. Given just how subjective the whole process can be, and watching a friend get waitlisted in the fall and then accepted recently, she can't help but wonder "what if...". It's neither here nor there now, I suppose. I was worried about the psychological aspect of getting rejected twice by the same program within 2-3 months, given there really couldn't be that much of an improvement in training in such a short amount of time. Maybe I shouldn't have offered her that perspective, as clearly programs do change their minds within just a few months. One program essentially emailed last fall, in response to a question, saying that they generally advise students not to reaudition, that their teachers know what they are looking for, that they can tell the difference between an off day and a lack of training, and that students who reaudition are, on the whole, unsuccessful at it. Maybe DD shouldn't have listened to that, although you trust a program to be honest. I don't know. In any event, she made a choice to not audition again, and she's living with it. Moving forward they're all going to be her decisions anyway. Not really needing a reply or advice here. Just trying to process some thoughts and share for anyone down the road who might be thinking along these lines.

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