When January hits and ballet summer intensive audition season in upon us, I get many questions from parents about when their child should start auditioning and what is the importance of this process.
A ballet summer intensive is a full day dance training program during the summer that encompass daily training for one to five or more weeks. Many of these intensive training programs are sponsored by prestigious ballet and dance companies such as Houston Ballet, Washington Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and the list goes on and on! Most of these programs will hold an audition tour in which they travel to various cities to hold auditions for their upcoming program.
Auditioning takes practice, so I always recommend that our students do as many auditions as they can once they are ready having mastered enough skills to feel comfortable in the class/audition. It is always best to check with your teacher for recommendations when considering summer programs and auditions.
Although an audition for a summer program is very much like just taking a class, the auditioner is looking for a student that is attentive, expressive, shows artistry, and has the ability to get noticed in a large audition. If you are attending a ballet summer intensive audition with fifty or more students in the room, you could be very talented but just simply get over looked. The ability to get noticed is very important. A student that is very nervous might be rejected because they couldn’t remember the combination or when the auditioner was looking their way, they were looking at the floor or looked bored and expressionless. It is important to perform during the audition just as you would to an audience. The auditioner is the audience and you should strive to draw their attention to you.
Being accepted by a program involves not only technical skill in ballet but also artistry. Controlling your nerves during an audition sometimes takes practice. With that in mind, it is a good practice to attend auditions even if you are not seriously considering attending an away program.