Los Angeles

Monday, January 3, 2011

Camp Ballet

HI Peeps,

This is a new feature I am trying out this year called:
In these features I will be tackling some dancer-themed ideas, DIY's,  giving some advice to the young dancers out there who may read this blog and sharing some ballet inspired photos and videos.  All these things get me excited about dance and I hope they'll do the same for you!

For the first installment I will share my thoughts on the most looming of ballet bothers: Auditions!

Nutcracker Season is officially over and unfortunately, that means audition season is about to begin.  But do not despair! Auditions can be fun and extremely beneficial if you look at them the right way.   I tell all my students (who are old enough) to go to as many summer intensive auditions as they can.  I think it's wonderful experience and you can really learn a lot, even if you have no intention of going away for the summer.  If you are looking to attend some auditions over the next few months, here are some quick and simple tips to keep in mind as you fill out those registration cards and pin on those numbers. 

Here we go, once more from the top, facing away from the mirror...a-5,6,7,8! ( If you don't get my reference, that's from the opening number in A Chorus Line, when they are at...an audition!)

* Remember that while a moderate dose of competition can be healthy, it's always more important to be calm, composed and polite.

* Pick out something special to wear that distinguishes you, without being distracting. Like pretty flowers tucked into your bun, or simple sparkly earring studs. The worst thing you can do at an audition is blend in, but you also don't want to come across as anything less than elegant and understated. While bright colored and revealing leos are generally a no-no, try to not fall into wearing the same M-Stevens black leotard for every audition....there are always more black leos in an audition classroom than any other color. Don't be afraid to stand out a bit!

* Be sure to always bring extra cash in 5's to every audition. Just keep a spare change purse in your dance bag. Especially if you are attending a lot of auditions, it's easier than you think to get costs of different ones mixed up. Is it $20 or $25? With some extra moola you'll always be covered.

* Put together an audition emergency kit, complete with extra tights, sewing supplies for quick fixes, extra bobby pins, pointe shoe ribbon, safety pins, the works. You want to be prepared for whatever mishaps that may come your way. Having enough of everything will allow you to focus on your dancing, not sweat the small stuff.

* Don't wear black tights. Don't wear skirts or warm ups that cover your body. Not only does it keep the audition-ers from seeing your body, it is not proper ballet etiquette and you may be perceived as rude.

* Keep in mind that many audition classes are taught by world renowned artistic directors, teachers and dancers. So even if it's not the school of your dreams, or you don't get an acceptance in the end, take the class with an open mind and learn as much as you can. Like a master class, it can be a great opportunity to get another professional's view and critiques.

* Try to have fun! Go to auditions with a group of other dancers from your school. Stick together and help each other calm your nerves. Looked at with the right eye, auditions quickly become fun and inexpensive master classes where you can expand your knowledge and push your boundaries!

So give it your best and as my mom would say to me, "Dance Pretty!"

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