Ask Amy - Web Exclusive

My Nutcracker auditions didn’t go as planned—I’m only in snow and flowers corp. I’m having a hard time listening to the other dancers talk about their parts. How can I get over this? —Olivia
 I’ve been in your shoes, and know how disappointing it feels when you don’t get the role you want. Once, I really let it get to me. I complained constantly, felt sorry for myself, lost motivation and bitterly critiqued everyone else’s dancing. I made myself totally miserable and couldn’t wait for the shows to be over. I don’t recommend this strategy.

A better way to deal with your situation is to stop thinking of your roles as “just” snow and flowers. The corps de ballet isn’t a trash heap for rejects! You’re a very important part of the show—who wants to see Swan Lake without swans? Snow and flowers are two of the most beautiful sections in Nutcracker and audience favorites. Feel proud to be a part of them.

Throw yourself into your roles to distract yourself from negative feelings. You’ll find deeper enjoyment in the rehearsal process and improve as a dancer and artist. There’s also no harm in asking to understudy one of the featured roles for fun. And as hard as it seems, be supportive of your colleagues—they’re probably under a lot of pressure and feeling nervous. Maybe you’re not ready for a lead this year, but use that as motivation towards next year’s audition rather than a source of misery.

Latest Posts

Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Alexandra McMaster

Start Your Dance Day With This Delicious Berry Breakfast Crisp Recipe

When it comes to breakfast, I want it to be easy and convenient but still taste delicious. My Berry Breakfast Crisp is just that. You can bake the crisp on the weekend as meal prep, then enjoy it throughout the week cold or warmed in the microwave. It freezes well, too!

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Liam Scarlett with Marianela Nuñez and Ryoichi Hirano during a rehearsal of his Swan Lake at The Royal Ballet. Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy ROH

Choreographer Liam Scarlett Has Died

Over the weekend, news broke that 35-year-old choreographer Liam Scarlett, a former artist in residence at The Royal Ballet, died suddenly at his home in England. "It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic, untimely death of our beloved Liam," Scarlett's family said in a brief statement. "At this difficult time for all of our family, we would ask that you respect our privacy to enable us to grieve our loss."

The cause of death was not disclosed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks