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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Potential vs Technique in Pre-Pro Schools


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I have been looking further into pre-professional schools recently, not for next year but potentially for two years from now, when I'll be 15-16.  I recently read a post on here that said 16 tends to be the year schools stop looking for potential and look purely at technique.

To give some background, I am a late starter.  I started at 12.  If I choose to audition two years from now, I will be 15 when I audition.  I attend a good studio nearby with excellent teachers that uses the ABT National Training Curriculum.  This is my first year at a good school, and I took Level 2 this past semester and am now a Level 3.  I have good arches and flexibility, however I lack strength in several areas and am not yet on pointe.  I also struggle with turns.

My question is, if I choose to audition two years from now (my top choice is ABT's JKO school, although I know I don't have a lot of room to be picky), how much leeway will I have with technique?  Might I be able to get in if I am slightly behind on technique but apply corrections, have talent and learn quickly, or will I have to be completely solid with technique?  Also, how bad of an impression does it leave to be behind your age group in auditions?  For instance, I think I would probably do fine if I auditioned with the 10 or 11 year olds in an audition right now (I'm 13, almost 14), but would struggle in some exercises in my age group.

Of course, I know that this is a ways off and is liable to change, and you don't know me and haven't seen me dance, so I'm not expecting super in-depth answers, but any advice is appreciated.

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Level for age, the older one becomes is a consideration, as time passes in what some might consider to be the more desirable professional schools. Professional schools associated with smaller companies or those who require a student to pay tuition, may overlook level for age.

Keep working hard to be the best you can be. Only time will tell. 👍😊

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