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DD Driver

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  1. That is interesting, Alison. In many countries people are looking to see more representation of their community on stage. Of course every country, quite rightly, has a different context. Royal NZ Ballet went through a media furore in 2017/18 because so few of their dancers where New Zealanders. They realised that they needed to make 'better pathways' to ensure that kiwis could come through at the required level and that there was an NZ 'voice' in their works. Yes, many lead characters in classical ballets are required to be etheral - delicate and light.
  2. People talk about wanting more diversity in ballet. Government bodies and Arts Councils talk about linking funding to Ballet based on clear examples that they are taking steps towards greater diversity. Action must however start at a very young age! I see selections being made by big schools for training & intensives and by global comps, from the age of 9, that send a clear message to people with non-conforming body shapes - that they are not welcome. I know 2 teenage girls who are part Pacific Islander. They have curves - only if compared to others in the studio. They hav
  3. I would hope that is a rare occurrence. Maybe you have seen otherwise. My child and her peers seem to get quite a lot of audition, open class and stage opportunities so they are used to being watched and know (believe) that 99% of parents are very supportive of them. Children not wanting to be watched (or refusing to allow, their own parents to watch) when they are dancing, is a whole other thread! The parents I know are very careful if allowed to watch a class. Parents don't talk. There is a skill in watching of course! e.g. very limited focus for more than 3 seconds in any o
  4. I am very sorry to hear people said nasty things and targeted your sister - or any young student! Auditions are competitive situations and can be stressful. Directors are making selections based on their personal, preferred criteria. Of course. Different students have different advantages - in their facility, their body shape, their dancing, their looks, their height etc. I don't believe that commenting on where the preferences (appear) to lie, is necessarily a product of envy. People are looking to understand the selection criteria and what directors want. Ove
  5. Yes, I agree that companies want the best of the best - at 18 and older. I am seeing schools, PdL and YAGP however prioritising a certain low weight, very lean-look over talent- at the 16 and under age range. In Australia, unlike many countries, students can continue to train at a very high level even when they have been repeatedly rejected by vocational school/s. Often it appears that the rejection is about meeting a certain aesthetic. We get to see some of these students go on to win a place at top upper schools, comps or companies when they are 16 and older. S
  6. Hi Kate_N, I certainly understand why you question my statement: "some of the students chosen for vocational school are not gifted dancers" It may sound like sour grapes to you! No, I am definitely not an expert ballet teacher. I said this because I have asked for honest thoughts and feedback from some of the top ballet teachers in Australia and 2 AD's from top overseas vocational schools (US/Europe). These people have seen my DD for weeks in class through to many years. They have given me their appraisal of my daughters facility and dancing ability. They have told me of their
  7. Oh just to mention a silver lining...some good things have come out of my DD not having the right 'look' for top vocational schools when she was 11, 12 and 13 years old. She has stayed at home with her family. We have made it clear that she should not consider her 'ballet' weight until she is maybe 16 or older, wanting to audition for an upper school or company. This means she can protect her mental health and experience puberty. She is at a ballet studio, dancing with a very talented cohort. If the school is no longer right for her, she can move to another one. She
  8. This is exactly the issue Kanangra. Some of the students admitted into vocational schools are not gifted dancers. Maybe they look like someone's ideal of a ballerina. I want to see talented people on stage. People who are beautiful in motion, showing musicality and artistry that moves me. I see too many gifted full time ballet students being rejected by vocational schools, PDL and YAGP because they do not fit the mould. Meanwhile they win the local and national Eisteddfods and comps because of their stage presence. They are chosen as soloists in their ballet school productio
  9. It is so disappointing that MCB did not make this work! She has a massive following that they could have leveraged to attract a greater audience. Misty Copeland has star power that brings people in, despite complaints around her technique by serious ballet fans. It is good cash business for ABT. Ballet desperately needed a shot of body diversity. You know, US size 2! I don't know if many of the Artistic Directors out there have the leadership and management skills this industry needs.
  10. Yes! Early rejections can help our young dancers to build the drive and resilience they will need in a company or any walk of life. Or that's just what I tell myself every time it happens haha
  11. Hi Kanangra - Thanks! No she wasn't! It is ok though as she has become very resilient. Also open minded about where she might land up one day. Luckily good training is available in big cities here. Going to The Australian Ballet School is just one route.
  12. In the last few months, a large amount of young dancers did video auditions for the Australian Ballet School. This is for either full-time or associate-like programs. It was actually a great learning opportunity for them and it is lovely to have the video to watch given, as parents, we are not seeing our children perform or in classes. My DD's conclusion however is that the school would have ONLY watched her video (amongst 100's) if she passed the first test. That is, deemed to have the right 'look' in her photos!
  13. So true! In Australia, people often observe how dancers in one of our top company do not look like the students in their associated school. Of course some did not go to that school or joined in the last few years. As a parent, you can only say to your child: I don't understand this. Isn't the job to be beautiful and talented 'in motion'? All you can do and control is: aim to be the best dancer that you can be. I always remember how normal Torvel & Dean looked in interviews. On the ice they were sublime.
  14. Nama - the phrase 'it's a skinny contest' often comes out of my mouth. Especially in relation to auditions. The best opportunities for my DD are when an AD sees her in action for 3 or more days. That is, sees the dancers doing classwork, learning choreography and showing musicality and artistry. Sigh...
  15. Inspiring words from Steven McRae on his Instagram. He talks about how some people comment that they liked his body 5 years ago when he was skinnier and less fit! Living his life in a 'calorie deficit'
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