It’s Time to Shine

(Photo by Nathan Sayers for Pointe magazine)

What makes someone a standout?

Onstage, it’s a dancer’s consummate artistry, as well as strong technique to back it up. But in the studio, other qualities come into play. Take our cover girl, Royal Ballet first soloist Francesca Hayward, for example. Though innately talented, her working style and ease under pressure accelerated her path to success. As a young student at The Royal Ballet’s Upper School, Hayward was frequently thrown onstage during company productions to cover for injured dancers. While her performances were no doubt beautiful, her reliability and intelligence in the rehearsal studio earned her a company contract before she even graduated. And while she’s creating major buzz onstage as an instinctive dance-actress, her calm, confident demeanor has allowed her to readily take on major principal roles.

As Hayward demonstrates, being a standout in the studio can make a major impression on a director. And when you’re auditioning for companies, you want to show directors that you not only have technical and artistic chops, but that you’re hard-working, dependable and self-assured. Trust me, they’ll notice. If you’re looking for examples of how to present your best self, turn to "Mastering the Audition Circuit." Here, three pros open up about what they learned after years of auditioning, and how they process the nerves and rejection that come with it.

With audition season around the corner, we’ve made sure to pack this issue with advice. Our annual “Auditions Guide” lists essential job-search information for companies and training programs large and small (and for current opportunities throughout the year, don’t forget to check out our Auditions page on pointemagazine.com). In “Put Your Best Audition Photo Forward,” former dancer and professional photographer Kyle Froman offers his tips for capturing the perfect shot (including which angle is best for first arabesque). If you’re entertaining thoughts about leaving your company, be sure to read “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” for telltale signs that you should start polishing your resumé. As you get ready for the big day, take note of your strengths, whether it’s your tenacious determination or lightning-fast memory, and let them shine. In a room full of talented dancers, they may be what make you stand out.

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Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!


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The charming and exuberant Antoinette Sibley became a principal at The Royal Ballet in 1960, when she was just 21 years old. Sibley dazzled alongside many danseurs during her career, including former principal Brian Shaw, a bravura dancer known for his virtuosic turns and jumps. The two were a natural cast for The Sleeping Beauty's Bluebird pas de deux, captured here in this 1963 film.

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