Ballet Careers
Knowing your rights can help you steer clear of toxic dance companies. Getty Images

I was applying to audition for this ballet company, and the form asked if I had a history of mental issues (i.e., eating disorders, anxiety, depression) and to give a detailed description of them and steps taken for treatment. Is this something that companies normally take into account during auditions? Moreover, are they allowed to ask this? I felt so strongly about not wanting to give that information that I decided not to apply. —Melanie

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Health & Body
Photo by JoelValve/Unsplash

Even though it's still summer, audition season will be here before you know it. The goal is to look, dance and feel your best when auditions roll around. You're likely focused on improving as a dancer technically and artistically, but aesthetics are (unfortunately) something companies will consider as well. To look your best, healthfully and mindfully crafted body goals will make a world of difference.

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Your Training
Photo by Jim Lafferty

I'm worried about my upcoming summer program auditions. I haven't been able to jump lately because of an injury. How can I approach the auditions so they don't think I'm lazy? —Shannon

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Audition Advice

I'm often cut from the final round of auditions. Is there a polite way to follow up with directors and ask them for feedback? —Megan

When it comes to seeking feedback from directors, I think it depends on the situation and the method of communication. If it's a large cattle call and you've been cut before the final round, sticking around to ask why isn't a good idea. “I don't think there is much a dancer can do to 'hang in there' till the end of the audition if the director is not interested," says Tulsa Ballet artistic director Marcello Angelini, who says he receives more than 1,200 audition requests a year. It's one reason why he and many other directors request videos ahead of time. “If a dancer doesn't fit the look, the taste, the movement quality and technical or versatility requirements of the company, I urge them not to audition. I'd rather they spend their hard-earned funds on a place that's interested in them."

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News

Are you hoping to get a contract this year? These top-tier companies are hiring!

Company: Miami City Ballet

MCB is holding open auditions in New York City for the 2017-18 season. Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez is seeking classically trained male and female dancers with at least 10 years of professional experience to join the Company at all ranks. Training in the Balanchine technique is a plus.

Date: March 26, 2017 3-8 pm

Location: School of American Ballet 165 W. 65 Street, New York (W. 65th St. between Amsterdam and Broadway)

Specific audition class times to be announced via miamicityballet.org

Pre-registration:

  • Resume
  • Current headshot
  • 2-3 full-body dance photographs
  • Recent video (link) to a classical work, variation

Send to: Michael Sebesto – Msebesto@miamicityballet.org You will receive an email confirming receipt of pre-registration materials. No phone calls please.

Bring: Hard copies of resume, headshot and dance photos with you to the audition.

If you cannot make it to the New York audition, please submit the required materials, and you will be notified by email if you are invited to attend an audition class in Miami.

Tulsa Ballet

Tulsa Ballet is seeking dancers with strong classical technique for its 2017/18 Season.  All auditions are by invitation only.  Please send your resume and a video link of your dancing to companymanager@tulsaballet.org.

The Sarasota Ballet

Sarasota Ballet is seeking strong classically trained male dancers for the 2017 – 2018 Season. Click here for more information.

American Contemporary Ballet

American Contemporary Ballet is currently hiring dancers for the 2017-18 season. Contracts are available for the full season (May–February) and summer only (May–August). Flexibility on contract start date (into May and June) is sometimes available. Click here for more information.

Date: Sunday, March 12, 2017

Location: School of American Ballet

Bring: A headshot, dance photos and resume/CV.

Fee: $25

Alberta Ballet

Pre-registration: Send the following materials to auditions@albertaballet.com

  • C.V. (include full name, phone number, email address, citizenship, training and performance experience)
  • Photos (one head shot and one full body dance photo)
  • Video (high quality stage or studio video that display a range of repertoire, no more than ten minutes; a link to online material will be accepted)

Date: Saturday, March 11, 2017

Location: Joffrey Ballet School 434 6th Ave, New York, NY

Registration: 2:00 pm–3:00pm, $10 registration fee

Audition: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

School Audition

The Accademia Teatro alla Scala Ballet School in Milan, Italy, is now accepting applications for 2017.

Duration: The complete path of the ballet school lasts 8 years, each one from September to June. An exam is given at the end of each year. If admitted, all pupils are admitted for one academic year only and must reapply for following years.

Attendance: Mandatory. Lessons are held Monday through Friday for levels 1-5 and Monday through Saturday for higher-level courses. Courses 1-3 meet in the afternoon, courses 4-7 are full-day.

Prerequisites for admission:

  • Candidates who are in the 5th year of elementary school during the 2016/2017 school year may apply for the Level 1 course.
  • For higher courses (Levels 2-7), the candidates must show that they are prepared to be admitted to the courses corresponding to their middle school or high school level.
  • Candidates for Level 7 must be under 18 years of age on Friday, March 24, 2017.

Selection: In order to be admitted to the courses, the candidate must pass a screening test, as described into the official Announcement (Point 7, 8 and 9). Please, download it and read it carefully. The admission tests will take place in late April at the Ballet School in Milan (Italy), according to the calendar specified at the point 9 of the Announcement. No other exam sessions are scheduled for the year.

Venue: Ballet School of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala – Milan | Accademia Teatro alla Scala – Milan.

Fees: registration fee to the selection of € 85 + attendance fees to be paid with a Bank SDD (SEPA Direct Debit) in installments. Please, read carefully the official Announcement for all the details about fees and tuitions, as for scolarships and exemptions available for admitted pupils. Download here the document to apply for scolarships/exemptions .

Application 2017/18: applications must be completed and submitted online, by clicking on the “Apply now” button, NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017.

The following documents (scanned) must be included with the application, as detailed into the official Announcement, point 6:

  • valid identification for both parents or legal guardian (identity card or passport)
  • receipt for payment of €85.00 (eighty-five euros)
  • candidate’s codice fiscale (Italian national identification number) or statement declaring that the candidate does not have an Italian “codice fiscale”
  • a professional quality photograph, passport format of the candidate’s face
  • account’s holder codice fiscale (Italian national identification number) or statement declaring that the candidate does not have an Italian “codice fiscale”

Each document must not exceed 1 MB. Documents must be in doc, docx, pdf, jpeg, jpg, png format only.

Be sure to check our Auditions Page regularly!

Inside PT

(Photo by Nathan Sayers)

Life has a funny way of working out sometimes. When our cover girl, Jahna Frantziskonis, took company class on a lark at San Francisco Ballet during a trip to California, she had no idea she’d wind up with a job offer. She soon faced a dilemma—to stay in her current company, where she had a secure and promising future, or risk the unknown by joining the much larger SFB. She chose the latter, and it turned out to be a smart career move. With her go-for-broke technique and onstage charm, this rising corps dancer has been racking up roles since her arrival.

As Frantziskonis proves, taking chances can come with major benefits. Of course, most of us don’t have our dream job fall into our lap—we have to audition. But that’s where a fearless attitude can help you the most. Take it from BalletMet dancer Grace-Anne Powers. Throughout her career, she’s auditioned countless times and secured contracts with four widely different companies. Needless to say, she’s figured out a few things along the way. Read her essay, “Finding Your ‘Yes,’ ” for her insights on how to increase your chances of success. Then, turn to our Auditions Guide for more information on companies looking for dancers like you.

Audition season is also a time to consider expanding your horizons, especially with the recent boom of ballet dancers on Broadway. (Since 2014, five New York City Ballet dancers alone have made debuts in musicals!) But the audition process for musical theater is vastly different. Read “From Ballet Company to Broadway” for tips on how to prepare. As you steel yourself for the job hunt, remind yourself that you have nothing to lose. Approach your auditions with confidence and an open mind, and you may just find your dream job.

Ballet Training
Photo by Jim Lafferty for Pointe.

How do you “perform" at auditions without being obnoxious? —Mikayla

Auditions are no place to hide or act self-consciously—but there's a fine line between being assertive and being aggressive. Focus on keeping your movements lush without getting in the other dancers' way. Keep your face pleasant and relaxed (emphatic nodding and sky-high eyebrows signal that you're eager to please, but can come across as student-y). A bright leotard or hair accessory can help the panel notice and remember you. But more importantly, pay attention to what the director is asking for in class. They're more apt to notice a fast learner or precise musicality.

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Audition Advice
Houston Ballet Academy student Lily Blazevic with Sabrina Lenzi, Instructor. Photo by Cameron Durham, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

Just as all the Nutcracker madness comes to an end, summer intensive audition season begins. Whether you're looking to spend your first summer away from home or hoping to get your foot in the door at your dream company, auditioning can be a daunting process. To help you manage this anxious time of year, we've mined the Pointe archives for our best tips on the audition process—everything from researching schools to battling audition day jitters to paying for the program itself.

1. Start by researching schools. Our 2018 Summer Intensive Guide features 100s of programs and is a great place to start. Search for schools by state or country, and find information on tuition, housing and classes all in one place.

2. Develop a strategy. Think about your goals. What do you hope to achieve this year? Doing so can help you figure out which auditions to prioritize.

3. Quell your audition anxiety. If you feel paranoid that the teachers leading the audition will write you off, you're most likely overreacting. Making mistakes, having to ask a question, or not catching the director's eye does not necessarily mean you're going to be rejected. Nevertheless, auditioning is hard. These strategies, such as preparing the night before or treating the audition as a master class, can help you keep your jitters at bay.

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Everything Nutcracker
Thinkstock

I always get sick during Nutcracker. Help! —Emily

Long days, late nights, chilly weather and overworked bodies make the perfect recipe for disaster during Nutcracker season. I'll never forget burning up with a fever backstage in my Arabian costume, or the time when a flu outbreak caused major casualties in our Snow and Flower corps. Staying well requires a combination of nutrition, hydration and sleep—not to mention preparedness and discipline.

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Audition Advice
Megan Zimny Kaftira believes in taking changes. Photo Courtesy Dutch National Ballet.

Ballet company auditions are hard to dodge for anyone aspiring to the profession. But they can serve as valuable learning tools by helping dancers determine which types of companies they prefer and ascertain the best ways to present themselves as artists. “How can I be seen in an audition?" “What should I say to a director?" “How do I handle my nerves?" Those are among the valid questions that the three professional dancers here thought about before plunging into the audition circuit. Over time, they've discovered ways to use the audition process to their advantage to bolster, rather than sabotage, their confidence and to reveal who they are as artists.

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Ballet Training

Prepping a variation for your upcoming auditions? If the Paquita music you downloaded from iTunes isn’t a ballet-friendly speed, try the Tempo SlowMo app, which lets you import songs from your music library and adjust their tempo—between 20 and 250 percent of the original speed—without changing pitch. The app’s helpful markers make rehearsal more efficient. To nail that tricky petit allégro section or build stamina, use the loop markers to replay sections of the song on a continuous loop. Pinpoint the “5, 6, 7, 8” before your fouettés with a place marker, or cut applause and lengthy intros on a live recording with the start and end markers. When you’re ready to film your variation, save the speed-adjusted track and export it via Dropbox or email.

The various import/export options, markers and tempo-adjusting tool come with the free download. Additional features are available for in-app purchase, including a playlist option that allows you to consolidate your customized classical and contemporary tracks in one place. Tempo SlowMo, by Martian Storms Ltd., is compatible with iPad, iPhone and iTouch and is available for free download from the App Store.

Benedicte Bemet, newly appointed soloist at The Australian Ballet, rehearsing Paquita. Photo by Lynette Wills courtesy of The Australian Ballet.

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.

News

The Joffrey Ballet's Dara Holmes. Photo by Quinn Wharton for Pointe.

The International Association of Blacks in Dance has announced that it is hosting its first annual ballet audition for women of color. On January 24, 2016, women ages 15 and older will have the opportunity to audition for directors from multiple companies, second companies and schools at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studios in Denver, CO. (See list of confirmed participating companies below.) Professional development, summer workshops and training positions will also be available.

 

Ballet’s lack of diversity—and what to do about it—has been a frequent topic of late, with stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland leading the conversation. The sheer number of companies participating in IABD’s collective audition is a hopeful sign that directors are listening. For more information on how to apply, click here.

 

Confirmed participating companies:

Ballet Memphis

Charlotte Ballet

Colorado Ballet

Dance Theatre of Harlem

The Hartt School

Houston Ballet

Joffrey Ballet

Kansas City Ballet

Nashville Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet School

Pennsylvania Ballet

San Francisco Ballet

The Washington Ballet

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.

Ballet Auditions
Photo by Jim Lafferty for Pointe

Looking for dancers? Send your audition notices to pointemagazine@dancemedia.com. We will post for free.


Audition for CityDance Summer Intensives in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem and Koresh Dance
Sunday, Feb 10, 2018

DREAM Center for Dance2001 10th Street NWWashington, DC 20001
Ages 8 and up
More info: https://www.citydance.net/Training-Classes/School-and-Conservatory/Summer
Contact summer@citydance.net / 301.581.5204

CityDance Summer Intensives provide a challenging exploration of classical and contemporary techniques taught by Dance Theatre of Harlem, Koresh Dance Company and International Artists, as well as CityDance Ballet Master Stanislav Issaev and award-winning contemporary choreographers including CityDance Choreographer-in-Residence Robert J. Priore. Intensives take place in Rockville, MD.

_____________________________________________

Dances Patrelle announces auditions for the brand new ballet The American Dream: It's Only Business on Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 6-7:30pm (sign-in starts at 5pm) at Ballet Academy East, 1651 Third Avenue, NYC. Auditions are free of charge.

Dances Patrelle is looking for three teens, male and female, between the ages of 15 and 18, with strong ballet technique and acting skills for the upcoming production of The American Dream: It's Only Business. Ladies should be prepared to dance en pointe. Additionally seeking four or five young dancers, between the ages of 10 and 12, who are studying ballet and who are interested in dramatic roles. All dancers should arrive in appropriate dance attire.

Dances Patrelle will present The American Dream: It's Only Business from April 12-14, 2019 at New York Live Arts.
For questions, email director@dancespatrelle.org.

*Please do not call Ballet Academy East or Dances Patrelle Offices*

______________________________________________

Pennsylvania Ballet II will be holding an open audition on Sunday February 24 at 11am at our studios, located at 323 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Registration will begin at 10am.

The audition will begin at 11am.

There is no audition fee.

Please bring a copy of your resume, headshot, and an arabesque photo.

This will NOT be an audition for Pennsylvania Ballet or The School of Pennsylvania Ballet Summer Intensive.

Please email audition@paballet.org with questions.

______________________________________________

Indianapolis Ballet 2019/20 Season - Company & Apprentice Auditions

On the heels of its historic debut year of programming and performances, Indianapolis Ballet is seeking experienced dancers for the professional resident company's 2019/20 Season (August 2019 through May 2020). Acceptance to the Indianapolis Ballet professional company is by audition only. Candidates for the professional company must have at least three years of professional dance experience, and training in the Balanchine technique is a plus.The audition will consist of a full ballet class and repertoire. Please prepare a classical variation, contemporary work, and provide music on CD format. (Variation/solo not to exceed 3 minutes each). An audition fee of $25 must be paid online during pre-registration or upon arrival at the audition. Active members of AGMA will have their registration fee waived (must provide proof of membership at on-site registration).See below for audition dates currently on our calendar; video submissions will also be accepted … visit www.indyballet.org/auditions for full details and to pre-register.

Chicago, Ill. | Sunday, February 3

  • Ballet Chicago | 17 N. State Street, 19th floor in downtown Chicago
  • Registration at 1:30 p.m. CT, followed by class from 2:00-4:00 p.m. CT

Indianapolis, Ind. | Sunday, February 24
  • Indianapolis Ballet | 502 N. Capitol Ave., Suite B (2nd floor) in downtown Indy
  • Registration at 2:30 p.m., followed by class from 3:30-6:30 p.m.

New York City, N.Y. | Sunday, March 3
  • The School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts | 70 Lincoln Center Plaza in Manhattan
  • Registration at 4:00 p.m., followed by class from 4:30-7:00 p.m.

______________________________________________

Indianapolis School of Ballet 2019 Summer Intensive Program Auditions


The Indianapolis School of Ballet - the official school of America's newest fully professional resident ballet company, Indianapolis Ballet - is taking auditions for its 2019 Summer Intensive program on the road beginning in January. The 2019 ISB Summer Intensive will take place from June 10-July 19 at IB's downtown Indy studios and feature instruction and seminars from experienced faculty and professional dancers, including members of the IB company and IB/ISB's founding artistic director, former Pennsylvania Ballet principal dancer Victoria Lyras.

Dancers ages 10-23 are invited to attend the following auditions, with a registration fee of $30 due either during pre-registration online or upon registering in person on the day of the event.

Students must be 10 years of age by June 1, 2019. Housing options will be available for students ages 13-23.
Please bring two photos to the audition - a headshot (may be a school photo) and full-length dance photo in first arabesque. Ladies must bring pointe shoes.

For full details on the 5-week and 3-week ISB Summer Intensive programs, including tuition, housing, and scholarship information, please visit www.indyballet.org/summer-intensive.

Indianapolis, Ind. | Sunday, January 20

  • Indianapolis Ballet | 502 N. Capitol Ave., Suite B (2nd floor) in downtown Indy
  • Ages 14-23: Registration at 12:00 p.m., followed by class from 12:30-2:00 p.m.
  • Ages 10-13: Registration at 1:00 p.m., followed by class from 2:00-3:30 p.m.

Springboro, Ohio | Saturday, January 26

  • Pontecorvo Ballet Studio | 20 Commercial Way in Springboro
  • Ages 10-23: Registration at 2:00 p.m., followed by class from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Bloomington, Ind. | Sunday, January 27

  • IU Ballet Theater at the Musical Arts Center (MAC) | 101 N. Jordan Avenue, Room 305 in Bloomington
  • Ages 10-23: Registration at 2:00 p.m., followed by class from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Chicago, Ill. | Sunday, February 3

  • Ballet Chicago | 17 N. State Street, 19th floor in downtown Chicago
  • Ages 14-18: Registration at 11:30 a.m. CT, followed by class from 12:00-1:30 p.m. CT

Indianapolis, Ind. | Sunday, February 24

  • Indianapolis Ballet | 502 N. Capitol Ave., Suite B (2nd floor) in downtown Indy
  • Ages 14-23: Registration at 12:00 p.m., followed by class from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Ages 10-13: Registration at 12:00 p.m., followed by class from 1:30-3:00 p.m.

New York, N.Y. | Sunday, March 3

  • The School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts | 70 Lincoln Center Plaza in Manhattan
  • Ages 16-18: Registration at 4:00 p.m., followed by class from 4:30-7:00 p.m.

______________________________________________

Avant Chamber Ballet is seeking classically trained men and women for the 2019-2020 season in Dallas TX.
ACB repertoire includes classical to contemporary works with a contract from late Sept to late April. Dancers are paid weekly based on experience. Training in the Balanchine technique is a plus.
Please bring your resume, headshot, and full-body dance photo. Women will need pointe shoes. Cost is $30.

CHICAGO:
March 9th, 1-3pm. Registration starts at 12:30pm.
Lou Conte Dance Studio
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
1147 West Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60607

DALLAS
March 17th, 1-3pm. Registration starts at 12:30pm.
Park Cities Studios
7979 Inwood Rd
Suite 201
Dallas, TX 75209

NEW YORK CITY:
March 24th, 1-3pm. Registration starts at 12:30pm.
The Ailey Studios
The Joan Weill Center for Dance
405 West 55th Street at 9th Avenue
New York, New York 10019

For more information, email info@avantchamberballet.org

______________________________________________

Ballet San Antonio is a professional ballet company with 23 dancers including apprentices, corps de ballet, soloists, and principal dancers.

HOW TO APPLY

Auditions are by invitation only. If you would like to audition, please submit the requirement to auditions@balletsanantonio.org. Audition materials cannot be returned.

VIDEO SUBMISSION DEADLINE: February 1, 2019

RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT: February 8, 2019

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Must be 18 or older (18+ for Corps and up/17+ for Apprentices)

Resume or CV

3-5 minute video | Performance footage (one classical and one contemporary) or center work only

Send via email with link to You Tube or Vimeo

If available, send an excerpt of a recent performance filmed within the last 3 months. If this is not a solo work, be sure to clearly indicate which one of the dancers is you. If older performance clips are included, please note the month and year.

Two-three full-body dance photos and a headshot

If selected, please see the audition times below.

AUDITION DATE: March 9 and 10, 2019

REGISTRATION: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

AUDITION TIME: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

LOCATION: Mexican Cultural Institute, 600 Hemisfair Plaza Way, San Antonio, TX 78205

REGISTRATION FEE: $25.00 due at check-in

______________________________________________

Ballet Memphis will hold national auditions on March 16, 2019.

Time: Registration 12:00-1:00, Ballet Class 1:00-2:30, Repertoire 2:30-4:00
Location: Ballet Memphis Studios, 2144 Madison Ave., Fly Studio
Cost: $20.00 (cash or credit)

Dancers should be prepared to work on both flat and pointe. Registration will occur on site the day of the audition, and each dancer should arrive with a resume and a headshot.

Contact: Ballet Master Brian McSween at bmcsween@balletmemphis.org

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Ballet des Amériques is pleased to announce its 2019 Summer Intensive program AUDITIONS

Saturdays January 19, 2019

Participation in our summer program is by audition only.

4 to 8 years old scheduled at 9:00

12:30 pm to 2pm for all others levels and ages in our studios at 16 King Street in Port Chester.

For pre-registration and information call

646-753-0457 or email admin@balletdesameriques.com

______________________________________________

Roxey Ballet

Audition Location:

243 N. Union Street

Lambertville, NJ 08530

Audition Date:

January 19, 2018

Audition Times:

Ages 4 to 6 - 2:00-2:30

Ages 7 to 10 - 2:30-3:00

Ages 11 to 13 - 3:00-3:30

Ages 14 to 18 - 3:30-4:00

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your audition time.

**Audition Fee - $35.00

Audition Registration Fee:

Register Online

Download audition form and bring it to the audition

Online Registration will be available until Friday January 18th at 5:00 PM

______________________________________________

Ballet Frontier of Texas is holding open auditions in Fort Worth, TX for the 2019-20 season. Artistic Director Chung Lin Tseng is seeking classically trained male and female dancers to join the Company at all ranks. Age 15 and up.

Date: Sunday, February 17 2019

Time:

  • Registration: 9:30am
  • Audition 10:00-12:00pm

Location: Ballet Center of Fort Worth, 6132 Overton Ridge Blvd., Fort Worth TX 76132, tel: 817-852-6887

Pre-registration/registration:

Resume
Current headshot
2-3 full-body dance photographs
Recent video(s) to a classical work, variation
There will be a $30 pre-registration fee payable by credit card

Bring: Hard copies of resume, headshot and dance photos with you to the audition.

If you cannot make it to the Fort Worth audition, please submit the required materials to our video audition page, and you will be notified if you are invited to attend an audition class in Miami.

Register here: https://www.balletfrontier.org/audition-registration
For questions please contact balletfrontier@gmail.com

______________________________________________

Bayer Ballet's 2019 SUMMER INTENSIVE
July 1 - August 9
Ages 9 - Pre-Professional

Location: Mountain View, CA (San Francisco Bay Area)

Refine your technique & artistry, while discovering opportunities to take your dancing to next level.

An artfully-rigorous curriculum, presenting Vaganova technique in its purest form, is delivered by internationally-acclaimed Bayer Ballet Faculty & Guest Instructors.

**Qualified Summer Intensive students are invited to audition for the full-time pre-professional training program.

-----------------------
AUDITION TOUR
------------------------
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
February 3
Westside School of Ballet
2:30-3pm - Registration (ages 9-12)
3-4:30pm - Audition (ages 9-12)
4-4:30pm - Registration (ages 13+)
4:30-6pm - Audition (ages 13+)
------------------------
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON
February 10
Pacific Northwest Ballet
10:30-11am - Registration (ages 13+)
11am-12:30pm - Audition (ages 13+)
12-12:30pm - Registration (ages 9-12)
12:30-2pm - Audition (ages 9-12)
------------------------
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
February 24
Bayer Ballet
11:30am-12pm - Registration (ages 9-12)
12-1:30pm - Audition (ages 9-12)
12:45-1:30pm - Registration (ages 13+)
1:30-3pm - Audition (ages 13+)
------------------------
VIDEO SUBMISSIONS
Deadline: March 31, 2019
------------------------
REGISTER & MORE INFO
https://www.bayerballetacademy.com/summer-programs

______________________________________________

Portland Ballet (Maine) Artistic Director Nell Shipman is seeking apprentice and company dancers for the 2019/2020 season — Contracts are 35 weeks and run from September until May; PB presents four mainstage productions each season, in addition to outreach and collaboration performances.

AUDITIONS ARE BY INVITATION ONLY. To be considered, please submit an audition video, along with a cover letter, resume, 2/3 dance shots and a headshot via email: nell.shipman@portlandballet.org

______________________________________________

The Ballet Company of Comic Opera for Children, Bucharest

The Comic Opera for Children is seeking male and female dancers to join the ballet company as soloists and corps de ballet for the 2019/2020 season.

Requirements:

  • Strong classical technique.
  • Ladies: 18-28 years old, height 1.63-1.70 m
  • Gentlemen: 18-28 years old, height 1.75-1.85 m
  • This audition is by invitation only.

To apply:

  • Please email your resume, photos, as well as video links (ladies on pointe) atbaletoperacomica@gmail.com with Audition in subject line.
  • Your CV must contain: your age, height, weight, nationality, as well as recent photos such as head shot and full body shot in classical ballet poses.
  • The audition will comprise a full ballet class and a classical variation

When:

Monday, March 18th , 2019 at 2 p.m. corps de ballet

Monday, March 18th, 2019 at 4 p.m. soloists

Where:

Calea Giuleşti, Nr.16, Bucharest, Romania

Deadline for applications: 03.04.2019

All appliers will receive an email response within one week of submission.

______________________________________________

The Ballet Hispánico Company, under the artistic direction of Eduardo Vilaro, seeks experienced male dancers with strong classical and contemporary training. Auditions will be held on Monday, February 4, 2019 at 167 West 89th Street, NYC. Registration begins at 11:00am.

A minimum of 3-5 years of professional dance experience is required. Auditions are for 2019-2020 season contracts with excellent benefits and world travel. Auditioning dancers should bring an 8x10 headshot, resume, and $10 nonrefundable fee (cash only). Questions can be addressed to auditions@ballethispanico.org.

______________________________________________

The University of Oklahoma School of Dance will hold a national audition tour for its annual Summer Intensive dance program to be held in Norman, OK from June 10 through 29, 2019 for students ages 13 to 25.

The Summer Intensive audition tour will include such locations as Washington, D.C., Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta and San Francisco, reflecting OU's status as a top-tier dance training institution. Auditions begin in Chicago on Jan.12 and conclude in Norman on March 2. Video auditions are also accepted, uploaded to our website or postmarked no later than March 4, 2019. Please call (405) 325-4051 or visit dance.ou.edu/summer/ for audition details.

______________________________________________

Island Moving Company's NEW YORK AUDITION

Audition: Ballet class, Choreography and Island Moving Company Rep
Sunday, February 3, 2019 ~ 4-6pm (3:30pm Registration)
Steps on Broadway – Studio 2
2121 Broadway @ 74th Street, NY, NY 10023

http://islandmovingco.org/the-company/audition-information/

Fee: $20. Please provide resume and headshot.

Professional contracts available for male & female dancers.
Strong classical ballet, modern & contemporary technique and partnering experience required.

Regular Contract Period September 2019 – July 2020 (28+ weeks annually)

Season includes repertory performances and touring nationally and internationally.

Contact Associate Artistic Director Danielle Genest for audition requirements & additional information
danielle@islandmovingco.org or 401-847-4470

Island Moving Co. is a classically trained contemporary ballet company based in Newport, RI, which produces new dance works through a collaborative creative process. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen, the Company has produced and presented dances for 38 years by a diverse group of choreographers, working with musicians, poets, and visual artists.

Island Moving Company resides in beautiful Newport, RI, with its bustling waterfront, year-round festivals and events, historical mansion and lively eateries. The IMC dancers work in spacious studios in the heart of this famed home of musicians, artists and dancers, creating new and innovative nationally recognized work.

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Savannah Ballet Theatre is seeking professional dancers to fill positions at all levels within the company for the exciting 2019/2020 Season. SBT's repertory includes classical full-length ballets and exciting original productions. Company contracts are for 31 weeks. Company benefits include pointe shoes and performances pay. Apprentices (ages 17-21) pay a nominal tuition fee, receive daily training, and take company class and perform with the full company in all productions. Dancers should bring resume and head shots. Audition spots are limited. Online registration available at www.savannahballettheatre.org

Saturday, February 2, 2019 @ 10:00 AM
Saturday, March 9, 2019 @ 10:00 AM
Saturday, April 6, 2019 @10:00 AM

Savannah Ballet Theatre Studios
115 Charlotte Road
Savannah, GA 31410

If you have further questions regarding the open auditions, please contact us at contact@savannahballettheatre.org. Read more about Savannah Ballet Theatre at www.savannahballettheatre.org.

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GREGORY HANCOCK DANCE THEATRE COMPANY AUDITIONS

Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, located in Indianapolis, Indiana is seeking male and female dancers for company positions, guest work, and apprenticeships for its 2019-2020 season. GHDT is a contemporary ballet/modern dance company looking for dancers with strong training in ballet, modern and contemporary styles. ALL APPLICANTS WHO LIVE OUTSIDE THE U.S. MUST HAVE A VALID WORK VISA. ALL APPLICANTS MUST BE AVAILABLE TO AUDITION IN PERSON.

Auditions will be held on:
Saturday, January 19, 2019 1:30-3:30pm

Saturday, March 9, 2019 1:30-3:30pm

Saturday, April 13, 2019 1:30-3:30pm

All auditions will be held at:

The Academy of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre
329 Gradle Dr. Carmel, IN 46032
Registration begins 30 minutes prior to audition time

Audition fee: $20
Audition will include ballet barre, modern exercises, and company repertoire.

GHDT also accepts auditions during company class. These auditions are by invitation only. To apply, please email a resume, headshot, and recent dance reel to auditions.ghdt@gmail.com.

For registration or inquiries about the audition please visit gregoryhancockdancetheatre.org or email auditions.ghdt@gmail.com.

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Stavna Ballet, under the direction of Shannon Hunter McConville, is looking for male and female dancers with strong classical and contemporary technique for the 2019-2020 season. Dancers should bring a résumé, current headshot and a dance photo. Ladies must bring pointe shoes. Selected dancers will be asked to stay for repertory. Trainee and company positions available.

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The Portland Ballet will hold auditions for new students January 21 for its 2019 Summer Intensive, Second Semester Curriculum & Career Track programs. Auditions will be held at its TPB's studio, 6250 S.W. Capitol Highway. There is NO registration fee.

This audition is for NEW students only, ages 11-22. Current TPB students are not required to audition. Students younger than 11 can audition during a regularly scheduled class. Audition forms will be provided at the time of audition, and digital photos will be taken during registration. Dancers should not bring resumés or headshots. TPB is devoted to nurturing, student-centered ballet training.

Date: Jan. 21, 2019
Registration: Noon
Class: 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Ages: 11-22*
Note: If on pointe, please bring pointe shoes.
* Students younger than 11 can audition during a regularly scheduled class. Call the studio for more information and class schedules.

NO REGISTRATION FEE.

Dress code:
-Girls: A simple leotard, pink tights and ballet slippers (and, if applicable, pointe shoes)
-Boys: Black tights, a white T-shirt/leotard and ballet slippers

More information: theportlandballet.org, theportlandballet.org/classes/auditions/, 503.452.8448

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Virginia National Ballet is holding auditions for the 2019-20 Season at the Alvin Ailey Studios in NYC on Sunday, March 10, 12 pm – 2 pm, $30 Audition Fee.

Virginia National Ballet, Rafik Hegab, Artistic Director, is an Affiliate Arts Partner of the Hylton Performing Arts Center and a member of the Virginia Commission for the Arts Tour Directory.

Full Company Contracts are for a minimum of 32 weeks. Apprentices receive performance stipends. Trainees pay a tuition fee, receive daily training, and take company class and perform with the full company in all productions.

To register, please email info@virginianationalballet.org with the subject "NYC Audition Registration", attaching a headshot, photos, and video links, along with either a cover letter or personal greeting in the email.

For more information visit https://virginianationalballet.org/auditions/

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KAMEA DANCE COMPANY, ISRAEL

Artistic Director: Tamir Ginz

Audition for professional Male and Female Dancers for the 2019-21 seasons. Contracts from August 2019. Kamea Dance Company is a major company in the Israeli dance scene, holding around 80 performances a year in Israel and abroad. Contemporary- modern repertoire by resident choreographer Tamir Ginz andrenowned guest choreographers. Annual 12 month salary, 2 years commitment required.

European Audition in Amsterdam – The Netherlands: Sunday, March 3rd 2019, at 9:30 -16:30, At: Chasse Dance Studios Chasséstraat 64, 1057 JJ Amsterdam

Requirements: We are looking for exceptional talents with good physique and strong classical ballet and modern technique. Age: over 20 to 30 Max (No exceptions). Creative dancer, highly motivated, serious attitude, commitment to job. Professional experience in a recognized company is an advantage.This is an open audition, No videos are required. No need to prepare any variations.

For more details and registration: https://www.kameadance.com/en/blog/european-auditi...

We are looking forward to your application!

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Ballet 5:8 seeks male and female applicants for our 2019-2020 Trainee Program. Ballet 5:8's Trainee Program is a dynamic two-year experience that challenges aspiring professional dancers to put the finishing touches on their training while dancing alongside the Ballet 5:8 professional company. As Trainees, dancers take advantage of an intensive schedule of classes, ballet, pointe, variations, men's class, pas de deux, pilates, Progressing Ballet Technique and other. Performances opportunities include casting opportunities within the Trainee Program, with Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts, and alongside the Ballet 5:8 Professional Company, both in Chicago and on tour.

Open by audition only to dancers ages 18-24 with a solid background in classical ballet, the Trainee Program prepares promising students for careers with Ballet 5:8, with other professional dance companies, and in a range of dance-related fields.

Audition Dates:

Brooklyn, NY // January 4, 2019 at 5:30pm

Orland Park, IL (Ballet 5:8 Studios) // January 12, 2019 at 10:30am

Atlanta, GA // March 29, 2019 at 7:00pm

You'll need to bring physical copies of the following along with your pre-registration confirmation to the Master Class:
  • A headshot photograph
  • A first arabesque photograph (en pointe for ladies, en relevé for gentlemen)
  • A current resume
Please follow the link to register in advance:
https://www.ballet58.org/trainee-program-audition/

Please see our website for video audition instructions, if you are unable to attend one of the audition dates.

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Oregon Ballet Theatre is seeking professional classical dancers to fill positions at all levels within the company for the exciting 2019/2020 Season. OBT's repertory includes classical full-length ballets and repertory productions featuring new and iconic works from Resident Choreographer Nicolo Fonte in addition to well-known artists such as Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, & Jiří Kylián. OBT is a member of AGMA and offers dancers competitive salary plus benefits and a minimum contract of (at least) 32 weeks.

AUDITIONS

San Francisco, CA, Friday, January 4, 2019

New York, NY, Monday, January 21, 2019

Auditions are by invitation only.

Please include:

  • Your CV
  • Head and body shot
  • Video link to one classical and one contemporary piece

To be considered email Tracey.Sartorio@obt.org

https://www.obt.org/company/auditions/

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Magnum Opus Ballet is seeking female dancers for the 2019-2020 season. Apprentice and company positions available. Please visit our website for audition requirements. www.magnumopusballet.org

Magnum Opus is also launching a trainee program for dancers 17 years old and older. The program will further develop dancer's technique while being mentored artistically and spiritually by the Trainee Director, Melissa Mendl. The trainee schedule offers: ballet technique, pointe, contemporary, and choreography class. Dancers will also train alongside the company on a weekly basis and have the opportunity to perform in every major company production. Artistic Director, Abigail Henninger, will consider trainee dancers for apprentice positions with the company at the end of each season. Accepting applications now! www.magnumopusballet.org

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Houston Ballet, under the direction of Stanton Welch, is looking for male and female dancers with strong classical and contemporary technique for the 2019-2020 season. Pre-registration for the open auditions is not required. Dancers should bring a résumé and current headshot (additional dance photos may be submitted but are not required). Ladies must bring pointe shoes. Selected dancers will be asked to stay for repertory and partner work.

Company Open Auditions for the 2019/2020 season:

Sunday, January 20, 2019 – New York, NY
The Ailey Studios, The Joan Weill Center for Dance, 405 West 55th Street (at 9th Avenue), 6th floor, New York, NY

9:00-9:45 AM Registration for Women
10:00-12:45 Women's Class
12:15-12:45 Registration for Men
1:00-3:00 Men's Class
3:15-5:00 PM Repertory Class for selected dancers

Sunday, February 3, 2019 – Los Angeles, CA
Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, University of Southern California, 849 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA

9:00-9:30 AM Registration
9:45-11:30 Combined Class for Women and Men
11:45-1:00 Repertory Class for selected dancers

Sunday, March 10, 2019 – Houston, TX
Houston Ballet Center for Dance, 601 Preston St, Houston, TX

9:00-9:30 AM Registration
9:45-11:45 Combined Class for Women and Men
12:00-1:00 Repertory Class for selected dancers

If you have further questions regarding the open auditions, please contact us at companyauditions@houstonballet.org. No phone calls, please.

Company class auditions are by invitation only. Although we prefer that dancers attend one of our open auditions, individuals interested in being considered for a company class audition may submit the following materials:

  • Résumé /CV
  • Current headshot and full body dance shot
  • DVD or video link (Vimeo or YouTube only) including at least TWO classical variations

Please send materials by email to companyauditions@houstonballet.org or by mail to:

Houston Ballet
Attn: Company auditions
601 Preston St
Houston, TX 77002

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Ballet Academy East 2019 August Intensive Auditions

Audition Dates: March 9, 2019 and May 11, 2019

The 2019 August Intensive dates are August 19 – August 30.

This two-week program gives serious students ages 9-19 the opportunity to cap off their summer studies and prepare for the season ahead. An internationally illustrious faculty instructs students in technique, pointe, men's, pas de deux, variations, and modern classes.All potential students must fill out the audition application, and will receive an e-mail response within one week of submission. Please note that the faculty might still require an in-person audition.Website: http://balletacademyeast.com/august-intensive/#1496956352261-fa475d51-e0f4

For more information, please email info@baenyc.com or call 212-410-9140

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Ballet Academy East 2019 Pre-Professional Summer Course Auditions

Audition Dates: March 10, 2019 and May 5, 2019

Under the guidance of Artistic Director Darla Hoover, the school's acclaimed faculty teach students using BAE's proven syllabus. Students also have the exceptional opportunity to learn from in-demand guest artists from across New York City and around the world.

The year-round curriculum includes technique, pointe, partnering, variations, stretch, men's classes, modern, and character. All classes feature live musical accompaniment. BAE has a commitment to supporting each student holistically and addressing their individual needs.

The 2019 Summer Course dates are June 24 – August 16.
Admission is by audition only. Current BAE students are not required to audition. Call 212-410-9140 or email info@baenyc.com to register.

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Ajkun Ballet Theatre is looking for professional dancers for its Season 2019-2020 and professional dancers and dance students for its upcoming European Tour November 2019 - January 2020.

Auditions by Video are currently been accepted. Rehearsals will take place in New York City. Repertory performed: Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, choreography by Chiara Ajkun.

Salary starts at $1,000.00/week for experienced professionals ages 18-35 years old. Dance students ages 8-17 years old are offered a performance fee commensurate with experience and EU Child Labor Laws. In addition to the salary, the cast receives round trip flights from New York City, ground tour transportation by Charter Bus, hotel accommodation (breakfast included), per diem and ballet shoes.

AjkunBT NYC Open Audition

Saturday, February 9, 2019 3:30-4:30 pm registration, 4:30 -6:30 pm audition class at the Alvin Ailey Studios, 405 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019

AjkunBT ROME Open Audition

Saturday, February 2, 2019 2:00-2:30 pm registration, 2:30 -4:30 pm audition class at ATELIER DELLA DANZA DI RAFFAELE PAGANINI, Circonvallazione Appia 107, 00179 Roma ITALY

AjkunBT CHICAGO Open Audition

Saturday, February 16, 2019 4:00-5:00 pm registration, 5:00 -7:00 pm audition class at HUBBARD STREET DANCE, 1147 W. Jackson Blvd., CHICAGO, IL 60607

AjkunBT MIAMI Open Audition

Sunday, February 24, 2019 3:30-4:30 pm registration, 4:30 -6:30 pm audition class at MIAMI YOUTH BALLET STUDIOS, 9210 SW 158 LN, Miami, FL 33157

AjkunBT LONDON Open Audition

Saturday, February 23, 2019 4:00-5:00 pm registration, 5:00 -7:00 pm audition class at PINEAPPLE DANCE STUDIO, 7 Langley St, London WC2H 9JA UK

AUDITION CALENDAR https://www.ajkunbt.org/auditions-in-person.html

For information: ajkun@ aol.com | (864) 420-6150 | https://www.ajkunbt.org/auditions-in-person.html

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Ballet des Amériques seeks Male and Female Classical Dancers

Ballet des Amériques is looking for classically and modern trained dancers – 1 man and 1 woman to start immediately– for its professional dance company. Candidates should also be comfortable with neoclassical, contemporary and modern techniques and works. Knowledge of African and Afro-Caribbean dance styles would be advantageous.

Ballet des Amériques engages dancers who grasp and appreciate the pedagogical, aesthetic and ethical principles of its organization as whole and who are willing to commit to their realization in the dance company.

Ballet des Amériques is looking for individuals with artistic sensitivity and a high level of commitment to the arts as a whole.

To be considered for a company class audition:

Please send your cover letter, resume, photograph, and video material to admin@balletdesameriques.com. Please include "Seeking classically trained dancers" in the subject line.

All applicants must have the proper documentation to work in the U.S. (i.e: work permit, Green card, U.S. Citizen, etc.)

If hired, candidate will be asked to fill out a W-4 and sign a contract. Dancers receive rehearsal and performance pay.

Location: 16 King St. Port Chester, NY 10573

Note: Studios are 1 minute from Port Chester's MNR commuter train station

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The Bayerisches Staatsballett is looking for dancers with excellent classical technique. Free positions available from corp de ballet to principal, both ladies and gentlemen.

Preferred height:

Ladies min. 1.65 m / 5'5''

Gentlemen min. 1.80 m / 5'11''

Please apply via www.staatsoper.de/balletaudition with CV, portrait, full length body photo and a recording of a classical variation.

Invitations will be sent out once all online applications have been reviewed.

Application deadline: January 21, 2019

Audition: January 27, 2019

Contact:

Bayerisches Staatsballett

Platzl 7

D-80331 Munich

T +49.(0)89.21 85 17 01

audition@staatsoper.de

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Smuin Contemporary Ballet: Company Audition 2019/20 Season

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Academy of Ballet, 2121 Market Street, San Francisco

1:00-1:30 pm - Registration

1:30-4:30 pm - Audition: Includes ballet class (women en pointe), partnering, and repertoire.

  • Women 5'6" and under; Men 5' 8" and over
  • Candidates must be eligible for employment in the United States
  • Please send CV, photo, and video link to audition@smuinballet.org prior to audition. Include name/audition 2019 in subject line (i.e. Tina Ballerina/audition 2019).
  • We accept applications via email from November 1, 2018 – March 24, 2019.

Smuin Ballet offers 35-40 week competitive dancer contracts, presenting approximately 70 performances per season.

A staple of the San Francisco dance community for 25 years, Smuin pushes the boundaries of contemporary ballet within a distinctly American style, combining classical ballet training, technique, and artistry with uncommon physicality and expression. Recent repertoire includes works by: Michael Smuin (founder), Amy Seiwert, Jiří Kylián, Trey McIntyre, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Helen Pickett, Val Caniparoli, Ma Cong, Garrett Ammon, Adam Hougland, Darrell Grand Moultrie and others.

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Experienced professional photographer located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia/Loudon County, VA area is looking to create a series of artistic images of ballet dancers. The dancers will receive finished images electronically for use as he/she pleases. This is a great opportunity for ballet dancers to have action and headshots done at no cost.

My work can be viewed at https://sautestudios.com. Interested dancers can contact me through the website to express interest.

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2019 Grand Audition will be held February 5-6 at the Teatre-Auditori Sant Cugat in Barcelona, Spain. Professionals dancers and graduate students between 17-26 are eligible to apply.

Grand Audition provides a unique opportunity for dancers to audition for several ballet companies at one time and in one place. Since its first edition in 2016, a total of 473 dancers took part in Grand Audition with over 160 job offers from companies.

2019 Grand Audition participating ballet company directors:

  • Dutch National Ballet (Junior Company)
  • Lithuanian National Ballet
  • Mariinsky Ballet Theater
  • Novosibirsk State Opera
  • Polish National Ballet
  • Zurich Ballet
  • National Ballet of Panama

Applications can be submitted online at: www.grandaudition.net

Application deadline: JANUARY 3, 2019

Due to the limited space available, we choose the right to close the application process once the number of accepted applicants reaches its limits.

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Glorify Dance Company, a Christian ballet company in West Chester Pennsylvania, has a few openings left in our company for dancers ages 18+ for our 2018-2019 season and is now accepting video auditions to fill these spots. We are looking for classically trained dancers; females should be comfortable dancing sur le pointes, males should be skilled in partnering. Rehearsals are on Thursdays from 9am-1pm from September through Mid-December and from February through May in West Chester, PA. Dancers are paid a small stipend each month for the 32-week season of rehearsals and performances. It is our goal to cast dancers who are interested in growing with the company; each year we hope to expand the size of our company as well as increase the stipend of the performers, ultimately offering full-time contracts.

For more information about the company, please visit our website: http://glorifyperformingarts.org/dance-theatre

To submit audition video, please email mstanert@glorifyperformingarts.org with "GDT AUDITION" in the subject line. In the body of the email, please include: Your full Name, Address, Email Address, Phone Number, and attach your performance/work resume and headshot/full body dance shot. Also be sure to include the link to your audition video.

Instructions for video requirements:
  1. Please begin with a short introduction, include your name, where you are from, and how you believe dance connects to your faith in Jesus.
  2. Share a video of your performance of your favorite piece of choreography; it should be either classical or contemporary ballet. If you do not have a video recording of a performance, rehearsal footage is fine. Please make sure we are able to know which dancer you are if it is a group piece.
  3. In the studio, film a demonstration of a grand allegro combo that you love.
  4. If there is anything else you want to share, place it at the end of the video.
  5. Post your video on an online platform (YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, etc.).

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Dissonance Dance Theatre - Male & Female Dancers - Washington, DC Area

Private Audition/By Invite Only

Company dancers receive performance stipends and pointe shoe allotments. Apprenticeships are non-paid positions.

Dissonance Dance Theatre is seeking contemporary ballet male and female company dancers and apprentices for its twelfth season.

Auditions will be conducted in Washington, D.C. Season includes engagements in Washington, DC, and Maryland. The season runs from mid-July 2018 through May 2019.

We are looking for emerging dance artists, who are hungry, open, and talented. Is that you? Then we want you.

Company dancers receive performance stipends and pointe shoe allotments. Apprenticeships are non-paid positions.

Interested dancers, send headshot, resume, and video reel to Director Mr. Shawn Short at sshort@ngcfddt.org.

Company Reel - https://vimeo.com/271965805
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/ngoma_ddtdc/?hl=en
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/DDTNgoma/

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RENOWNED BALLET SCHOOL LAUNCHES NORTH AMERICA-WIDE TOUR

Royal Winnipeg Ballet School seeks next generation of professional dancers

From October 10 – January 25, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) School Professional Division will hold auditions across Canada and into the U.S. in search of new talent. Auditions are the first step for students hoping to join one of the RWB School's three full-time professional programs: Ballet Academic (grade 5 and up), Aspirant (post-secondary), and Teacher Training (post-secondary).

Auditions include a Q & A session as well as a master class in some cities. Students who are unable to attend an audition may submit a video application online, which will be accepted until May 1, 2019.

2018/19 AUDITION TOUR: CITY, DATE AND LOCATION INFORMATION

SASKATOON - WED. OCT 10/18

Brenda's School of Baton and Dance

610 Clarence Avenue South

Saskatoon, SK S7H 2E2

EDMONTON – THURS. OCT 11/18

Ruth Carse Centre for Dance

11205 107 Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5H 0Y2

CALGARY – FRI. OCT 12/18

McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy

5107 33 Street NW

Calgary, AB T2L 1V3

NANAIMO – SUN. OCT 14/18

Harbour Dance Studios, Inc.

139 Bastion Street

Nanaimo, BC V9R 3A2

KELOWNA - MON. OCT 15/18

Canadian School of Ballet

2303 Leckie Road

Kelowna, BC V1X 6Y5

VANCOUVER – TUES. OCT 16/18

Scotiabank Dance Centre

677 Davie Street

Vancouver, BC V6B 2G6

THUNDER BAY – WED. OCT 31/18

Art in Motion

115 Johnson Ave, 2nd floor

Thunder Bay, ON

TORONTO – THURS. NOV 1/18

Dance Teq Centre

226 Queen Street West, 2nd floor

Toronto, ON M5T 1Z6

ST. JOHN'S – FRI. NOV 2/18

Connie Parsons School of Dance

77 Portugal Cove Road

St. John's, NL A1B 2M4

HALIFAX – SUN. NOV 4/18

Maritime Dance Academy

36 Duke Street

Bedford, NS B4A 2Z5

MONCTON - MON. NOV 5/18

DancEast

601 St. George Blvd

Moncton, NB E1E 2C2

OTTAWA – TUES. NOV 6/18

Greta Leeming School of Dance

1460 Merivale Road

Nepean, ON K2E 5P2

MINNEAPOLIS – SUN. JAN 13/19

Minnesota Dance Theatre & School

528 Hennepin Ave, 6th floor

Minneapolis, MN 55403

LONDON – SUN. JAN 20/19

Dance Steps

275 Colbourne Street

London, ON N6B 2S7

MONTRÉAL – MON. JAN 21/19

Les Studios

1435 rue de Bleury, suite 400

Montréal, QC H3A 2H7

WINNIPEG - FRI, JAN 25/19

RWB

380 Graham Avenue

Winnipeg, MB R3C 4K2

For additional information, please visit rwb.org/audition, email: school@rwb.org, or call: 1-204-957-3467.

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US International Ballet is seeking male and female dancers to fill three professional positions:

Most Unique Ballet Company in America

  1. Paid professionals - stipend to salary pay - professional experience required
  2. Intern positions - college graduate or company trainee graduate - one year tuition with guarantee of professional contract at completion of year
  3. Professional Trainee - high school graduate - guarantee of professional contract upon completion of two year tuition program
  • Five performance season season including Vampire, Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, Mid Summer Night Dream, and a Repertoire Concert
  • Sold out audiences at multiple major theaters including 1500 seat Wilson Center www.capefearstage.com
  • Every dancer is guaranteed at least two challenging roles in every production
  • Every dancer is guaranteed to tour at least once to a major 1500 seat theater is a multi-city tour
  • Daily ballet, pointe, and alternating class (including body conditioning, jazz, contemporary, partnering)
  • World renowned faculty and choreographers
  • Body diversity and health initiative - dancers are valued for passion, talent, and commitment
  • Dancers may opt to end their day at 2:30 in order to work or go to college
  • Multiple local college options
  • Great local economy with abundant second job options and low cost of living
  • Additional afternoon classes available without additional cost - up to 8 hours per day - 6 days per week
  • Video auditions accepted - in person auditions may be scheduled
  • Mentoring available in add on skills: Costuming, marketing, teaching, ect

www.usinternationalballet.com

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Virginia National Ballet has openings for a male dancer with strong classical and contemporary technique for the 2018-19 season. The company presents three mainstage productions and one tour annually in addition to other performances such as festivals and outreach activities. Contracts are 36 weeks. Please send your information to info@gainesvilleballetcompany.org if interested in auditioning.

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Bristol, U.K.-based New Works Ballet Theatre is looking for male and female dancers with strong ballet and contemporary techniques. Other techniques desirable but not essential to join this exciting new company.
We cannot offer a paid contract, but in return you will have regular performing experience and expert teaching. If interested, please send C.V. together with dance footage and headshot to NWBTbristol@hotmail.com.
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New York City-based dance company Ballets with a Twist seeks dancers for paid rehearsals and performances. Pointe work is required for women. All applicants must have strong classical ballet technique, be available for touring and reside in the New York tri-state area.
Women: 5'5'' and taller
Men: 5'8''-5'11''
Please submit resume, at least one full-body classical photo (en pointe for women) and video footage (if available) to info@balletswithatwist.com.
Ballet Careers
Trey McIntyre with dancers. Photo by Daniel Rosenthal, Courtesy McIntyre.

Auditions are an unnerving fact of life for dancers—and can be especially unsettling when they're done in the comfort of your own company. When visiting choreographers and répétiteurs come to town, they prefer to have a day or two to work with the company before making their casting decisions. The good news is that when someone from the outside is casting roles, dancers often end up on the same playing field regardless of rank, with an equal shot at getting noticed. And if you make the most of the audition, your career can get a major boost. Here are some tips for putting your best self forward.

Before the Big Day

Dance Theatre of Harlem's Ashley Jackson. Photo by Franck Thibault.

Prior to visiting, a choreographer will probably do some homework by watching videos of the company and getting a feel for the dancers ahead of time. Trey McIntyre, director of the Trey McIntyre Project, starts by talking to the director and rehearsal assistants first. "I do my best to explain what I'm trying to achieve with the piece and get suggestions in terms of who they think might fulfill those roles the best," he says. If you have a reputation for being focused, versatile and a fast learner, you'll be at the top of the list.

You can gain a competitive edge if you do a little research of your own. "The more prepared you are, the more you can adjust to what the choreographer might want," says Dance Theatre of Harlem member Ashley Jackson. Before someone comes to set a piece, Jackson looks up the choreographer's biography online, watches examples of their work on YouTube and reads recent reviews to get a sense of what to expect. For added insight, she tries to talk to friends who have already worked with the choreographer. "You could learn that the person prefers dancers to be more internal, with less showmanship," she says. Knowing that can help you adjust your projection accordingly.

Don't Hide

While you don't need to stand front and center to get noticed, where you are in the studio—and what you're doing—says a lot. "It's important to find at least a couple moments when you're forward and present," says choreographer Julia Adam, who has created work for companies like San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "Hiding in the back can look like you're disinterested." Jackson prefers standing in the front but off to the side so she doesn't have the pressure of being on center. She also tries to make eye contact with the choreographer to make a connection and convey her interest.
McIntyre will hesitate to work with dancers if it looks like they're afraid to expose themselves artistically. "If someone's using anything to hide, whether it's where they stand in class or if they continually make a joke of their mistake instead of focusing on how to fix it," he says, "I'll take pause." McIntyre and Adam also warn against wearing too much junk. "I don't mind funky style," says Adam, "but you absolutely have to be able to see the body. That's also showing an openness and vulnerability, rather than hiding."

Have a Focused and Open Mind 

McIntyre in a stage rehearsal. Photo Courtesy McIntyre.

Choreographers might value different things when it comes to movement quality or aesthetics, but they appreciate a strong work ethic and positive approach. "I look for people who are extremely focused in the studio, who want to take chances creatively and devote themselves to the process," says McIntyre. "They should do everything they can to describe the kind of person they are in rehearsal and what I can expect them to be like."

When auditioning for a new ballet, Jackson realizes that her ability to absorb details is being scrutinized as much as her dancing. "I listen to other people's corrections and avoid talking in the back of the room," she says. "When other groups are going through combinations, I go with them or work on the side by myself." More than once, Jackson got into a piece because the choreographer saw her reviewing material in the corner. She's also made an impression by learning other people's choreography, even the men's steps. "If you have to do a version of it later, you already know it," she says.

If the choreographer teaches material as part of the audition process, it's important to be adaptable. "You have to be open to what the choreographer wants to create," says Jackson. "Sometimes it feels weird, or you're not sure about a step, but the trust needs to be there."

Adam concurs. When she's unfamiliar with dancers, she tries to make the most honest connections as quickly as possible. "I try to get a sense of not only how they move but who they are as people," she says. Adam looks at the dancers' musicality and whether or not they take direction well. "I can't reinforce enough the importance of being open," she says. "Show who you are in your body and in your mind, and don't pretend to be something you're not. Then you'll be put in the right place."

Audition Advice
Devon Carney with Kansas City Ballet dancers Laura Hunt and Travis Guerin. Courtesy KCB.

With so many talented dancers competing for so few company jobs, it sometimes feels like a struggle just to be seen. Rather than pinning a number to their chest, most dancers would prefer to audition privately by taking company class. “In a cattle call you could be thrown out after the first exercise," says Ballet Arizona dancer Amber Lewis, who was accepted into the company after being invited to visit for two days. “But when I took company class I had the opportunity to stay the whole time." There are other benefits, too: Not only do you receive more individualized attention when you audition privately, but you also have a chance to see how the company works up close.

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Ballet Training
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I'm from a small studio and don't have a lot of outside dance connections. I'm afraid that when I audition for companies, I won't stand a chance against students from professional schools who already know the teachers. How can I make up for this? —Erin

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Audition Advice
Pixabay.

Ever dreamed of dancing your way through Europe? Of discovering new companies and wandering the streets of historic cities? For Kelsey Coventry, an American dancer with Leipziger Ballett in Leipzig, Germany, moving abroad was the perfect next step. “I thought that I would try to spread my wings a little further," she says.

Europe also comes with another lure: lengthy, stable contracts with good benefits. “Since I work for an opera house here, and we're government funded, I'm considered a government employee," says Coventry. “We're paid 13 months out of the year, with a 2-month vacation. It's a pretty good deal."
But before you get the job, you need to audition. If you've never traveled abroad, planning a European audition tour can seem daunting. But with advance planning and the right blend of organization and flexibility, it can be an easier and more affordable experience than you think.

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Summer Intensive Survival
Students in class at Pacific Northwest Ballet School's summer program. Photo by Angela Sterling, Courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet.

This story originally appeared in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Pointe.

When 17-year-old Rock School student Sarah Lapointe was auditioning for summer intensives, she faced a dilemma. By mid-January, she'd been accepted to a great school. But she needed to give her answer in seven days and still had four more auditions on her agenda. “I thought, What should I do?" says Lapointe. “Do I turn down this offer, or risk being wait-listed or not receiving another acceptance somewhere else?"

It's a common conundrum. For Lapointe, the answer was to contact the first school to ask for a deadline extension, which it granted. “This allowed me to focus on my remaining auditions and make a solid decision," she says.

When it comes to getting into your dream program, we know that schools look for stellar technique, artistry and dancers who will fit in well. But there's more to the equation—those things you can't control, like acceptance deadlines, class sizes and limited housing. If you've ever wondered how the admissions process works, the answers may surprise you.

At the Audition

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Audition Advice
Susan Bryant teaching class at Houston Ballet's summer intensive. Photo by Cameron Durham, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre corps member Corey Bourbonniere got a late start in ballet, so he knew he needed to commit himself completely to the art to catch up. But at 16, when a neglected hamstring injury progressed into a hip injury just in time for summer intensive auditions, it felt as though the dream might pass him by.

It seems completely unfair. An injury sustained in January can prevent your acceptance into a program that doesn't start until June. Often it feels like the stakes couldn't be higher: There are only a few summers in your life as a ballet student and missing one can seem catastrophic for your future. But an injury during audition season doesn't mean you'll necessarily spend the summer sitting around. You may need to adjust your expectations, but there are ways to navigate the audition process to ensure that you still get the most out of your training this summer.

Speak Up
If you are injured when a can't-miss audition comes to town, it may still be worthwhile to take the class, but you have to speak up. Margaret Tracey, director of the Boston Ballet School, says that if she has a student who is nursing an injury, like shin splints, but can take partial class, she would still encourage them to do the audition. “But only once they have spoken to the adjudicators and they've cleared it with them," she adds. Bourbonniere did just that when Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's intensive audition came late in the cycle. He still felt a little unstable on his standing leg and his turnout was weak, but he told the teacher at the audition and was told to give it a try anyway. In this instance Tracey would make a note on the student's registration form and be able to frame her evaluation of that student with the knowledge of their limitations.

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Inside PT

Got Nutcracker auditions coming up? You might want to avoid texting right before you take your place at the barre.

 

Fascinating new research from Harvard Business School found that people who spent a few minutes typing on a small, handheld gadget were only half as assertive in follow-up tests as those who had typed on a desktop computer. They were also far more meek on an additional test that measured power and self-confidence.

 

Why is this relevant to dancers? The study authors say the hunched, compact body posture we take when typing on our smartphones negatively affects our confidence. Meanwhile, sitting in a more open position can actually decrease your body's stress hormones and increase your pain tolerance—both especially helpful perks for dancers.

 

If you can't avoid responding to your mom's "Merde!" text, simply take a wide second position split and keep your shoulders back and chin up while you write her back. It just might get you one step closer to landing Sugar Plum.

Ballet Training

Have a question? Click here to send it to Amy and she might answer it in an upcoming issue!

How do I mentally prepare myself for an audition? I’m afraid of seeming unsure if my nerves start to take over. —Meghan, New Jersey

Looking confident means feeling confident. Starting a few weeks before your audition, remind yourself of your strengths on a daily basis. Try writing down the impressive things that you achieve each day: Did you nail a triple pirouette? Did someone give you a compliment? Make positive thinking a habit. Catch yourself when you start getting overly critical during class—acknowledge what you need to work on, but also recognize what you’ve done well.

It helps to research the company you’re auditioning for. Do they look for a particular style? What is their repertoire like? The more you find out, the more you’ll know what to expect. And remember, an audition is your opportunity to see if the company is right for you, too. How do you feel about the director, the dancers, the repertoire and the city? I always feel more in control when I think of an audition as a two-way street.

If you still feel nervous, try not to let it read in your body language. Take a deep breath, smile and look the director in the eye. Auditions take practice. You’ll start to feel more self-assured after you get used to the process.

Every professional dancer I see has a really nice arch and instep. But my feet just have a medium-sized arch and a low instep. I use a Thera-Band and think it’s helping to strengthen my feet, but my arch and instep haven’t changed. Is it possible to make them better? —Lexi, Maryland

Unfortunately, you can’t change the bone structure of your arch or instep. But you can improve the look of your feet in other ways. A friend of mine at Ballet Arizona, Kendra Mitchell, has a similar problem. “I always wanted great feet growing up, and it used to get me down,” she says. “But eventually I figured out how to work with them.”

You’re smart to strengthen your feet with a Thera-Band. Mitchell also recommends this exercise: Keeping your heel on the floor, pick up a marble with your toes, move your foot to the right and gently place the marble back on the floor. Repeat going to the left. “Be realistic,” she says. “Exercises won’t give you bigger arches. But when your feet are strong, you can use them well.”

Try wearing deshanked pointe shoes during barre to help develop your foot articulation and strengthen your demi-pointe. Mitchell used to practice walking and running in her pointe shoes. “I also work on maintaining good turnout,” says Mitchell. “When you’re turned out, the heel is up and forward and your arch is less visible.”

Flattering pointe shoes are a must. Once you’re at an advanced level, try cutting your shanks where your arch bends the most so that your shoe forms to your foot. Sew the sides of your shoe down lower to create the illusion of a bigger arch. Mitchell also recommends buying shoes with a lower vamp: “You need flexibility in the toes to make up for the lack of flexibility in your arch.”

Try not to get frustrated with your limitations. You’ll need to habitually think about using your feet when you dance, but focus on the rest of your body, too. Solid technique and thoughtful artistry will draw attention away from your imperfections. The audience may not even notice your feet!

I recently auditioned for preprofessional schools, and every place told me that even though I’m good, I’m behind for my age and they’re not interested. I decided to stop pursuing a professional career but am having trouble coping with being a “recreational dancer.” How do I deal with quitting? —Olivia, New York

Becoming a professional dancer is extremely difficult. Just because a ballet career seems unlikely doesn’t mean you’re a failure! Because ballet is so consuming, we often identify ourselves only as “a dancer.” You may feel lost without that label, but don’t worry. I’ve watched many friends make the same tough decision. They needed time to adjust, but eventually they moved forward and are now living happy, successful lives. Most found ways to keep ballet in their lives by dancing in college, becoming ballet teachers or working behind the scenes. One friend even became a physical therapist who specializes in treating dancers. Just think: Now you can enjoy dancing for the love of it without dealing with the financial instability, competitive pressure or chronic pain that professional dancers face every day. And your dance training has armed you with valuable skills to succeed in many other professions.

Ballet Training

Have a question? Click here to send it to Amy and she might answer it in an upcoming issue!

Some teachers say you should “dance big” at auditions and others tell you to stick to technique. What’s your best bet?

—Stephanie, Indiana

It’s a combination of both—you want to show off your technique, but you also need to reveal some personality to stand out. A great technician without any presence is just plain boring. In general, it’s always better to dance big; nothing says “wallflower” more than someone dancing timidly underneath herself.

But I don’t think exaggerated or dramatic dancing at an audition is a good idea, either. Too many over-the-top facial expressions can make you look silly. And “exaggerated” often translates to “affected,” which isn’t usually desirable to directors. I once stood next to a gorgeous dancer at a company audition years ago. She had feet, legs, extension—the works. However, all of her movements were extreme, unlike the simple style the director was demon­strating. She was among the first dancers cut. The only explanation I could think of was that she wasn’t paying attention to what the director was asking for.

Instead, maximize the space around you (without knocking down your fellow dancers, of course). Use your port de bras and the music to the fullest and project pleasantly towards the front of the room. Show them you’re an artist and a technician.

It’s really hard to stretch my knees when I stand on demi-pointe. And if I do stretch my knees, then my demi-pointe isn’t as high. How can I train it? —Paulina, Latvia

I spoke with Alison Deleget, a certified athletic trainer and clinical specialist with the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, about your problem. She suspects your calves and hamstrings are tight and/or weak, and that you’re compensating by using other muscle groups to relevé.

Try stretching in the simple runner’s lunge, with both a bent and straight back leg to target different areas of your calf. Also work on point-and-flex exercises using a Thera-Band while sitting with a straight leg to help you gain both strength and flexibility in your calves. “Practice two and one leg relevés with no plié at the barre to build strength,” says Deleget. Ask a teacher to observe your relevé to evaluate how you’re working. If you still have problems, make an appointment with a dance medicine specialist.

Which is a better training route for a preprofessional ballet dancer: performing with a local company or doing competitions such as Youth America Grand Prix? —Sofie, New Mexico

Ballet competitions aren’t a mandatory step towards becoming a professional dancer—most dancers I know did not compete. I myself danced with my studio’s performance group as a teenager, and I gained valuable stage experience that came in handy later. Dancing with a local company often gives you more performance opportunities and focuses on the group dynamic rather than on “winning.”

However, if you feel you have the time, resources and talent (not to mention steely nerves and a good coach) to prepare for a competition, go for it! Many famous dancers were first noticed at international ballet competitions, including Diana Vishneva (Prix de Lausanne), Sarah Lane (YAGP) and Rasta Thomas (USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson), to name just a few. Competitions give you exposure to major companies worldwide, plus you’ll gain intense individualized attention and experience dealing with high-pressure situations. Think about your goals and what you feel you can handle.

 

Talking to Amy:

Ballets de Monte-Carlo Principal Artist April Ball

“My brother and I competed when we were younger because we wanted to get more exposure and experience the highest level of our age group. Competitions can act as a massive audition because many directors come to scout talent. The medals got me into doors far easier, even years later.

I had a lot of invaluable one-on-one training with my coach, Roberto Muñoz. However, the process was extremely stressful. It takes a lot to be judged like that, so you have to figure out if you can enjoy yourself, too. But the nice thing is that if you don’t win, people won’t hold it against you.”

Looking for a job in a ballet company is likely the most daunting task of your career. It’s not enough to just hope you’ll get noticed at open auditions, or that your resumé will be plucked out of a pile of thousands. Landing that contract is rarely a straightforward process. Many directors now ask dancers to prove themselves through lengthy apprenticeships or project-based work. But while auditions are rough, they provide opportunities for self-examination and growth. Persistence, resourcefulness and patience are crucial on the bumpy road to employment as a ballet dancer.

Angelina Sansone was unprepared when The Joffrey Ballet let her go after a two-year apprenticeship. “I was devastated,” she says. “Joffrey had always been my dream.”

Audition season had already passed when she learned she wasn’t going to be promoted into the company. With no options, she enrolled at Indiana University. Her confidence was bruised, but she was determined to keep dancing professionally and traveled to as many open auditions as possible on weekends.

“From Indianapolis I drove to New York and Chicago,” she says, “sometimes driving through the night on Sundays for school on Monday. I knew I needed to show myself to everyone.”                          

The more auditions she attended, the more comfortable she became. “There were girls in black leotards and pink tights who’d stand in B-plus, eagerly nodding their heads,” says Sansone. “At first I thought that’s what directors wanted. But after a while I started to smile, or laugh if the teacher said something funny. I realized I had to be myself.”

She began donning a purple unitard, headscarf and a healthy dose of self-confidence. “I was determined to look like a professional, not a student,” she explains. Sansone also started researching companies that might be a good fit and saw a possibility with Kansas City Ballet. “The artistic director, Bill Whitener, had been a Joffrey dancer, so I thought I might have a leg up since I was familiar with where he came from.”

Whitener did notice her at the open audition, and he invited her to Kansas City to take class. When she arrived, “it just seemed right,” she says. “I knew I’d have something to contribute.”

Whitener sensed it, too, and offered her a contract. Sansone gladly accepted and is currently enjoying her fourth season in Kansas City.

Kirby Wallis, fresh out of Southern Methodist University in 2006, attended Ballet Austin’s open audition hoping for an apprenticeship. They were interested, but not yet ready to offer her a company position.

“They sent me a letter saying I was accepted to their school’s summer program with the possibility of an apprenticeship,” Wallis explains. Although she was nervous that her future was still uncertain, she took the gamble and enrolled.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard,” she says. “There were 55 girls trying out for 3 spots!” Stephen Mills and Michelle Martin, Ballet Austin’s artistic and associate artistic directors, taught the classes and directed rehearsals. “It was very intense, and I was really stressed because this was my last option for the year.”

Luckily, Mills offered her a position at the end of the summer. The apprentices make up Ballet Austin II, which performs with the main company and on its own. The two-year program serves as an extended audition period.  

“Mills and Martin were always testing us,” Wallis says, “giving us pieces of rep to see if we fit in.”

Towards the end of her second year, Wallis knew that company positions were scarce. She auditioned other places and had a possibility with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. But in her heart she wanted to stay in Austin, so when Mills offered her a contract last spring, she was elated.

In retrospect, Wallis feels investing in the process of becoming a full company member was time well spent. “I feel prepared. I know Stephen’s likes and dislikes, and his movement style. And I could also assess whether Ballet Austin was right for me.”
     
Lindsay Purrington was already a seasoned professional when she found herself struggling to land a job. After being a soloist at Carolina Ballet, she spent a couple of years freelancing in New York. But she soon missed the stability of company life, and mailed her resumé, photographs and a 12-minute DVD to directors, hoping for an invitation to company class.

“I’m more relaxed taking company class because at least you know they’re interested enough to invite you there,” she says. She also attended several cattle calls, even though she felt they showed less of her full potential. “Sometimes I’d send a DVD to companies afterwards so they could get a sense of how I perform.”

She sent her audition materials to Pennsylvania Ballet in the summer of 2006. “I called two or three times after to see if they received it, but never heard back.”

That November, she learned they were looking for extra dancers for The Nutcracker and called again to express her interest. She also asked Robert Weiss, her former artistic director at Carolina Ballet, and choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett, whom she had worked with extensively, to make recommendations. This time the company returned her call and invited her to take class. Artistic Director Roy Kaiser observed, and a few days later, he offered her a six-week Nutcracker contract.

She jumped at the chance. “I knew Roy had hired guests into the company before,” she says, “so I wanted him to see me at my best. Each day felt like an audition.”

Purrington was able to show her professionalism in the studio as well as her performance skills. As luck would have it, a position opened up at the end of the run, and Kaiser offered it to her.

Purrington notes that persistence is a key element in being invited to a company class. “Don’t give up if a director doesn’t return your phone calls,” she says. “They’re not always in the office. And use whatever connections you have, whether it be a choreographer, former director or dancer. It can’t hurt.”
   
There are many different paths to success. Job-hunting can be a huge time investment between preparing resumé materials and traveling to auditions. But you shouldn’t rely on talent alone. Strategize, use connections and make repeat phone calls. And remain open-minded about what’s offered to you—you never know how an opportunity will present itself. “Don’t give up,” says Purrington. “Try anything you can to get a job. There are very few to go around!”

Amy Brandt is a dancer with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

 

It’s a chilly winter day in New York, but inside 890 Broadway it’s stiflingly warm. Students stretch their limbs, eyeing each other nervously. This is, after all, a New York audition for American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive. Riana Aldana, 17, is listening to her iPod to get in her zone. She’s jittery and excited, “but kind of in a confident way,” she says, adding she’s already been accepted to other programs. “But ABT is my first choice.”

The dancers enter the studio single file in numerical order, taking their places along the barre. Faculty members stand at the front, clipboards in hand. “Can we start with arms off the barre, everybody?” asks the intensive’s artistic director Melissa Allen Bowman. Eyes shift anxiously toward the three adjudicators as they slowly walk along the rows of barres, jotting down notes on each student.

Sixteen-year-old Emily Richards is attempting to ignore the competition. “I try to think, ‘Oh, an audition,’ like it’s not a big deal,” she says. “When I’m not as nervous, I do better.”

As barre progresses, faces flush with exertion. “Breathing!” Bowman reminds them. “You’re turnin’ purple!” She begins each combination with the arms en bas, stressing very specific, unaffected port de bras. The dancers quickly shift to center, groups scurrying into place. Every so often a few students stand in the wrong order. “Remember, we’re scoring all of you,” Bowman cautions. “We may accidentally give your score to somebody else!” She ends the audition with tours for the boys and pointework for the girls. Within a week the dancers will know their fates—and both Aldana and Richards will be accepted to the New York site.

Each year, approximately 3,000 students audition for ABT’s Summer Intensive. The program is based in five cities: New York; Detroit; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Austin, Texas, and Irvine, California. Each site focuses on different levels of development: Tuscaloosa and Austin develop placement and strength, Detroit refines and strengthens intermediate to advanced dancers, and Irvine and New York offer intense training for preprofessional levels. The teachers place students in the appropriate site at the time of their audition, based on the scores and their location preferences. The number of dancers accepted depends on the results of the audition tour. While the New York intensive is the longest and most coveted, Bowman emphatically stresses that all of the sites are important. The programs are staggered throughout the summer, with the Irvine intensive held toward the end of July, allowing some students to attend two programs.

Each intensive consists of four classes a day, plus rehearsals for a final performance. Scholarships are awarded on a merit basis only. Faculty includes ABT artistic staff, including Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, and former ABT dancers such as Amanda McKerrow and Leslie Browne. Students are exposed to ABT’s National Training Curriculum, which combines principles from the Russian, Italian and French schools. The curriculum’s exact, unembellished style and unaffected port de bras aim to create versatile dancers for today’s varied company repertories. A medical advisory board helped develop the curriculum to ensure dancers use their bodies properly. “The dancers look and feel better because they know where everything goes,” says Bowman.

The summer program also serves as a starting point for potential ABT members. Artistic coordinators at each site scout for students who would thrive at ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. “It’s definitely the first step to possibly joining ABT,” says Bowman. Principal David Hallberg and soloists Misty Copeland and Kristi Boone are among the many company dancers discovered at the summer program.

So what are adjudicators looking for in prospective students? “Alignment, placement, and varying degrees of strength, coordination and artistry,” says Bowman. Strong pointework is also a major determining factor. A well-proportioned body helps, but Bowman stresses a healthy weight. “That goes either way. We need to make sure everybody can handle the rigors of an intensive.”

But what stands out most is confidence. “Look secure,” says Bowman, “and have a passion that comes through.” Falling out of a pirouette doesn’t matter as much as how you handle falling out of it.

Major turnoffs? Slouching, talking and looking disinterested. “We can see that,” says Bowman. “It makes me ask, ‘Why are you here?’ We want to see enthusiasm, excitement—you have to love it!”

The staff takes nerves into account, and Bowman notes that most students loosen up by center. Still, she sees many holding back because they’re afraid of doing something wrong. Her advice  is to really show what makes you special. “Use your épaulement and your arms,” she advises. “And go for it. Dance a bit more. Show us what you got!”   

Amy Brandt is the Ask Amy columnist for Pointe.

  • A few weeks before the audition, write down corrections your teacher gives you in class to help you remember what you need to work on. If you have time, take a few extra classes.
  • Take a good arabesque photo—one that’s in focus, centered and, most importantly, reflects what you can do. (Hint: Pictures taken from below are more flattering because they lengthen your line.) You don’t need to spend money on a professional photographer, but find someone familiar with ballet (perhaps your teacher) who knows when to snap the picture.
  • Eat a good breakfast to give you the energy you’ll need for a stressful audition day. You’ll focus on the combinations as opposed to a growling stomach or, even worse, weak, shaky muscles. Also pack a snack in case you’re put in a later group and have to wait around.
  • Look your best. A solid-color leotard with footed pink tights (black tights and a white, tucked-in T-shirt for boys) gives a clean look that says you mean business. Pay attention to the school’s preferences in its audition announcement—for instance, all auditionees must wear a black leotard for the ABT audition. Hair should be neatly and securely pulled back to ensure your bun won’t unravel during pirouettes.
  • Arrive early enough to register and stretch before the audition. Rushing in at the last minute will make you nervous and flustered. And never arrive late.
  • An audition is not a good time to break in new pointe shoes. They will distract you just as much as a dead, mushy pair. Instead, start breaking in a new pair the week before, so that they’re both supple and supportive.
  • Leaning on the barre, sitting down, talking and chewing gum are obvious no-nos. But also be aware of unconscious behaviors—yawning, crossing your arms, resting your hands on your hips, picking at your nails or slouching—that say, “I’m bored.”
  • Follow instructions and go when your group is called. Cutting into other groups to give yourself extra chances is annoying to both the other dancers and the directors. Also, be aware of your number and make sure you’re standing in the right order.
  • Keep a pleasant facial expression. Look like you’re enjoying yourself—even if you can’t wait for the audition to be over!
  • Believe in yourself! Instead of comparing your technique to other dancers’, focus on your strengths and doing your personal best.

For anyone interested in dancing with The Joffrey, the important thing to understand is that we are a non-ranked company—every dancer must be willing to do everything. Of course there are always leading dancers, but we couldn’t do something like The Rite of Spring unless everyone was invested in being part of the corps, as well as possibly dancing a principal role.

There are 42 dancers in The Joffrey now and not a huge amount of turnover. We are in dire economic times, so the key for me is to have dancers who are intensely committed to the company, who are contributing fully and who are being cast. I hope to stage Lar Lubovitch’s Othello in the fall of 2009, and Ashton’s Cinderella in 2010, so that requires at least 38 dancers. We operate on a year-by-year, 38-week contract, so I look at the budget, see what I need and figure out who does not need to be replaced. I am currently looking for a couple of strong male dancers and a few strong women, too.

I want fully trained dancers who know how to use the strength they have. I am far more particular than Gerald Arpino about women having really strong pointe work, with the ability to roll through their feet. For men, double tours, attitude turns and four or five pirouettes are givens. I also want real men who can run with power and weight, who can really do things. And the demands of most contemporary ballets make strong partnering skills absolutely essential.

Like Jerry, I am not looking for perfect cookie-cutter bodies, though obviously good physique and technique are important. But each individual is worth so much more than just his or her physical looks.

I don’t have a vision of the ideal dancer; mostly, it’s that you see someone dance and they just capture you. While I love dancers with individuality, they also must be able to dance in a group. I like genuine, honest movement—no affectations. An instant turn-off for me is a dancer with no understanding of the upper body or the use of the back, head and arms. And I don’t like people who want to dance in your face.

I always focus on enchaînements—those movement phrases that show me how the dancer connects the steps, finds the rhythm and musicality of a sequence and uses the port de bras. If a young dancer is “present,” and picks up combinations quickly, he or she just might be strong enough.

Robert Joffrey used to give extremely strict and rigid classes, but on stage, he expected so much athleticism and freedom. When I was with San Francisco Ballet, our auditions always included one Paul Taylor combination to see how a dancer could run, roll on the floor and keep moving. That is crucial.

For The Joffrey, even if there is no open spot, we generally hold two formal auditions each year—one in Chicago and one in New York. And I don’t mind if an interested dancer wants to take company class, unless we’re in a very busy rehearsal period. For the handful remaining at the end of an audition, I always talk with them. And if they say they need job security, I advise them to consider a European company.



Looking for a job in a ballet company is likely the most daunting task of your career. It’s not enough to just hope you’ll get noticed at open auditions, or that your resumé will be plucked out of a pile of thousands. Landing that contract is rarely a straightforward process. Many directors now ask dancers to prove themselves through lengthy apprenticeships or project-based work. But while auditions are rough, they provide opportunities for self-examination and growth. Persistence, resourcefulness and patience are crucial on the bumpy road to employment as a ballet dancer.

Angelina Sansone was unprepared when The Joffrey Ballet let her go after a two-year apprenticeship. “I was devastated,” she says. “Joffrey had always been my dream.”

Audition season had already passed when she learned she wasn’t going to be promoted into the company. With no options, she enrolled at Indiana University. Her confidence was bruised, but she was determined to keep dancing professionally and traveled to as many open auditions as possible on weekends.

“From Indianapolis I drove to New York and Chicago,” she says, “sometimes driving through the night on Sundays for school on Monday. I knew I needed to show myself to everyone.”                          

The more auditions she attended, the more comfortable she became. “There were girls in black leotards and pink tights who’d stand in B-plus, eagerly nodding their heads,” says Sansone. “At first I thought that’s what directors wanted. But after a while I started to smile, or laugh if the teacher said something funny. I realized I had to be myself.”

She began donning a purple unitard, headscarf and a healthy dose of self-confidence. “I was determined to look like a professional, not a student,” she explains. Sansone also started researching companies that might be a good fit and saw a possibility with Kansas City Ballet. “The artistic director, Bill Whitener, had been a Joffrey dancer, so I thought I might have a leg up since I was familiar with where he came from.”

Whitener did notice her at the open audition, and he invited her to Kansas City to take class. When she arrived, “it just seemed right,” she says. “I knew I’d have something to contribute.”

Whitener sensed it, too, and offered her a contract. Sansone gladly accepted and is currently enjoying her fourth season in Kansas City.

Kirby Wallis, fresh out of Southern Methodist University in 2006, attended Ballet Austin’s open audition hoping for an apprenticeship. They were interested, but not yet ready to offer her a company position.

“They sent me a letter saying I was accepted to their school’s summer program with the possibility of an apprenticeship,” Wallis explains. Although she was nervous that her future was still uncertain, she took the gamble and enrolled.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard,” she says. “There were 55 girls trying out for 3 spots!” Stephen Mills and Michelle Martin, Ballet Austin’s artistic and associate artistic directors, taught the classes and directed rehearsals. “It was very intense, and I was really stressed because this was my last option for the year.”

Luckily, Mills offered her a position at the end of the summer. The apprentices make up Ballet Austin II, which performs with the main company and on its own. The two-year program serves as an extended audition period.  

“Mills and Martin were always testing us,” Wallis says, “giving us pieces of rep to see if we fit in.”

Towards the end of her second year, Wallis knew that company positions were scarce. She auditioned other places and had a possibility with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. But in her heart she wanted to stay in Austin, so when Mills offered her a contract last spring, she was elated.

 In retrospect, Wallis feels investing in the process of becoming a full company member was time well spent. “I feel prepared. I know Stephen’s likes and dislikes, and his movement style. And I could also assess whether Ballet Austin was right for me.”
     
Lindsay Purrington was already a seasoned professional when she found herself struggling to land a job. After being a soloist at Carolina Ballet, she spent a couple of years freelancing in New York. But she soon missed the stability of company life, and mailed her resumé, photographs and a 12-minute DVD to directors, hoping for an invitation to company class.

“I’m more relaxed taking company class because at least you know they’re interested enough to invite you there,” she says. She also attended several cattle calls, even though she felt they showed less of her full potential. “Sometimes I’d send a DVD to companies afterwards so they could get a sense of how I perform.”

 She sent her audition materials to Pennsylvania Ballet in the summer of 2006. “I called two or three times after to see if they received it, but never heard back.”

That November, she learned they were looking for extra dancers for The Nutcracker and called again to express her
interest. She also asked Robert Weiss, her former artistic director at Carolina Ballet, and choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett, whom she had worked with extensively, to make recommendations. This time the company returned her call and invited her to take class.

Artistic Director Roy Kaiser observed, and a few days later, he offered her a six-week Nutcracker contract.

She jumped at the chance. “I knew Roy had hired guests into the company before,” she says, “so I wanted him to see me at my best. Each day felt like an audition.”

Purrington was able to show her professionalism in the studio as well as her performance skills. As luck would have it, a position opened up at the end of the run, and Kaiser offered it to her.

Purrington notes that persistence is a key element in being invited to a company class. “Don’t give up if a director doesn’t return your phone calls,” she says. “They’re not always in the office. And use whatever connections you have, whether it be a choreographer, former director or dancer. It can’t hurt.”
   
There are many different paths to success. Job-hunting can be a huge time investment between preparing resumé materials and traveling to auditions. But you shouldn’t rely on talent alone. Strategize, use connections and make repeat phone calls. And remain open-minded about what’s offered to you—you never know how an opportunity will present itself. “Don’t give up,” says Purrington. “Try anything you can to get a job. There are very few to go around!”

Amy Brandt is a dancer with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

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