Although Nutcracker performances aren’t even underway for another couple of weeks, ballet students all over the world are already thinking about what they will be doing in June. It’s that time of the year when families are laying out their calendars to see what dates they have free from January to March while crossing their fingers that there are summer program auditions happening on those days. This can be a stressful time for students and parents alike, so we have put together a list of some tips for how to prepare for ballet auditions; keep these in mind as you wrap your head around the upcoming audition season.
Unlike those of us who were studying ballet during the 80s and 90s and had to wait for the latest edition of Dance Magazine to hit the newsstands, dancers in the 21st century have the internet at their fingertips. Doing your research as to which ballet schools you would like to attend over the summer is a good start to planning in order to keep the audition process as efficient (both in time and finances) as possible. Especially for those that do not live near studios that host auditions, the expense of traveling to the sites can really add up.
During this step, you will learn which schools teach the style you are aiming to develop, which teachers are on faculty, and what locations the programs will be held at. Although not exhaustive, here is a list of the 2020 Ballet Summer Intensives that can help you get started in researching ballet schools so that you can narrow them down to those that you may be interested in attending.
The professional who knows you best as a dancer is your current ballet teacher. After you have a list jotted down, ask your teacher if he or she has some time to go over it with you; in fact, getting a couple of opinions could be most helpful as perhaps you have one teacher for technique class and another for pointe or variations – they will be able to provide different perspectives. Your teachers can help guide you either by simply looking at your list and basing advice on his or her personal experience or resources, or they may want to have a deeper conversation with you. Some questions you may want to consider before having your talk are:
Now that you have your ideas and your teachers’ advice, take a moment to create your semi-final list of programs you would like to attend using this handy audition worksheet and review the details with your family to be sure that they are feasible and reasonable. This step will tie closely to the next one which is making your final list as there are often many factors involved in this decision that go beyond what you simply want.
Auditions can be stressful moments in your career as a student and professional, but there are certain things you can do to help prepare yourself. Remember that being a ballet dancer not only requires aptitude in the physical skills associated with class and performance but also the mental strength to manage the various experiences that you will go through.