So it’s been way too long since my last post and I have been terrible about taking photos to go with these posts. I think I just found two minor New Year’s Resolutions.
I was invited to attend the audition for Dance Iquail, which I found exciting. The artistic director has a great background, teaches at Alvin Ailey, and I was impressed by the performance reel I watched on their website. Really great classically based work.
I was expecting this audition to be challenging knowing the caliber of dancer he normally hires, and the audition notice said we would start with a ballet class. At least I knew there was no way I could be as much of a shit-show as I was a regular ballet audition. :-/ *knock on wood*
I headed way uptown for the audition. I got there early and stalled for a bit because I was trying really hard to do my get-the-later-number trick so I wouldn’t have to go up with the first group. I saw other dancers who had numbers in the late 20′s so I figured it was safe to sign up. I ended up with #6. WTF?!
I realized after the fact that there were two lines and the other line had the later numbers. So much for not being in the first group. HOWEVER, I did learn at this audition that it seems the auditors go easier on the dancers who have to go first. More on that later.
I had a lot of time to warm up. We went into the room about 15 minutes before the start of the audition so I was in there early. The room was packed, as per usual. We sped through an extremely fast, un-complicated ballet barre. Everyone knocked shins trying to show off their high extensions. We did maybe four of the exercises a ballet barre would normally consist of and then moved to the center. We then moved right into a pirouette combination (no tendus or adagio! why bother). Of course, I was in the first group. I thought I had the combination down pat, but I flubbed the sequence of steps pretty bad on the right side and managed to fix it on the left, kind of laughing it off the whole way. We only got to do the combination once, so I was sure I was going to be cut.
We went through all the groups – I think we were up to 100 something – and then they made the first cut. I have never seen a more demoralizing first cut in the history of a dance audition. He had groups of 10 line up by numbers and while looking at the dancers (and while all the other auditionees in the room were looking at the dancers), they made their cuts. I stood in line, sure I was going home. Somehow, I didn’t. I made the first cut.
They went through all the other groups of 10 and about one third of the dancers went home. We moved on to a grande allegro. I love grande allegro. I’m so good at big jumps and I love flying through the air. I felt really confident with this one. We got to do it twice and I showed off some cabriolles. Well, THIS is when I got cut. Oh well. I was not sure why they kept some of the dancers they kept and I saw some really amazing dancers get cut with me, so it must be aesthetic.
Even though I got cut, I left this audition feeling very proud. I held my own, I did my best to show off my strengths, and I didn’t take myself too seriously. I learned the routines (pretty well ) and I felt confident in what I was doing even if I didn’t do it perfectly.
Before I left, the lead company dancer who had been leading the class said something very refreshing: “Dancers, I’ve been a professional for 17 years and I never got a job from an audition. Keep going to them, keep meeting people, but whatever you do, don’t give up.” So that’s what I’ll do.
I’m going to have a post coming up with some of my plans/resolutions for the coming year, and I hope you will share yours. I will also have a holiday post, which I will write as I sit at home with my family in Richmond, Virginia eating pecan pie and sipping bourbon. I also have some potential performance announcements coming up (finally, geez….) that I will look forward to sharing with all of you.
Until next time…