Bear with me, dear readers. I’m going to go back in time with a few of these posts. These are all auditions I’ve done this year, so I’m sorry that they did not just happen, but I wanted to share them with you because I’ve learned things from them that might be helpful.
The first one I’m going to write about is Gainesville Ballet – Virginia, not Florida. I did this one back in January, when I decided to start trying some ballet auditions again.
When I saw the post for this one, I thought it would be a good practice one for me. They were looking for company members and guest artists, and it was a smaller company in Northern Virginia. I thought perhaps it would be a little easier than some other classical ballet auditions I had attended.
Once again, I thought wrong.
Lesson learned: Never underestimate the technical level of dancers from a lesser known company or a smaller town. You might be surprised at just how challenging their work could be.
This was an early morning Sunday audition that carried an audition fee. There were about 35 dancers present both male and female, including me. Which is a very small audition. There are pros and cons to an audition with a smaller attendance.
Pros: Less dancers competing, a better chance that you will get noticed and hired
Cons: Less dancers in the room means you better know what you’re doing and learn it fast! And any mistakes you make will probably be more noticeable.
Let’s just cut to the chase: I completely bombed this one. Reason: nerves. But it was a pretty tough two hour audition, which consisted of an abbreviated barre, centre work, a contemporary ballet combination, and then a million turns en pointe, including fouettes.
During one of the grande allegro combinations, I found myself doing the ending of the combination we had done just previous to that. In the middle of my pirouette I remember thinking to myself “Katrina, what on earth are you doing?! You know the combination! Why are you doing this?”
Another time I was going along happily doing the combination really well, and even saw the director watching me, up until I totally forgot where I was and froze, which made me imagine that my fouette jump to attitude probably looked about as graceful as this cat:
Fouettes en pointe? Yeah, right. That didn’t happen.
I was so frustrated with myself that I couldn’t remember combinations, and that I knew I was capable of doing so much better, but I just let myself get worked up and intimidated by other dancers to the point where I blanked and couldn’t even locate my core muscles.
I’m remembering the advice I was given about getting nervous: “Just don’t.” It’s pretty solid advice, but is going to take some solid practice to get that habit out of me.
I go home and have a good cry, and then I’m over it. It’s not like it was my life-long dream to dance for this company, and even if I wanted to audition for them in the future, I’m sure they would happily let me pay another audition fee to fall on my face again. But maybe next time I won’t.