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  1. Presented by Emma Northmore (Ballet Boost) at Pineapple studios for £65. I am pleased to be offering one day workshops on audition techniques with individual feedback forms for all dancers. Monday 24th Oct - those interested in Vocational Upper school auditions Wednesday 26th Oct - those planning to audition for Vocational Lower Schools Friday 28th Oct - Those approaching the minefield of Company auditions open to aged 16 and over. These days will be starting at 11am with a ballet class full of advice (body language, etiquette, presence, application of technique in a foreign environment etc)and many many more tips for the auditionee including as much knowledge as I can give of the work to be expected within each schools audition. They will need to bring at least two other leotard options as I may suggest a different style or colour will help etc! This will all be pointed out during the morning class. After a short lunch there will be a Mock Audition with a relevant guest teacher and we will be replicating the whole audition environment so they feel nervous and learn to manage this important and difficult aspect. These skills are lifelong for the potential ballet dancer so the day is open to all students wishing to refine their work and open up their chances of success in any stressful situation such as assessments, exams and performances. For booking or queries please email me emmanorthmore@yahoo.com. As i will personally be writing each form numbers are most definitely capped!!!
  2. While clearing out some old Dancing Times magazines, I found an article you might be interested in (from2008) – about vocational school auditions: cost, feedback etc: “Mrs S Saik-Boyce asks: With auditions costing upwards of £30, why won’t schools give any feedback as to a failed audition? It would really be most helpful to find out weaknesses so that they can be worked on, instead of floundering in the dark. Mary Goodhew replies: I am sure that all vocational dance schools would wish to waive audition fees to ensure that they do not bar entry to anyone and some schools currently do waive the fee in cases of need. Sadly, sheer economics prevents this in most schools, as audition panels, pianist, teacher/s, studio running costs, administration, paperwork, postage, etc all take their toll on already cash-strapped budgets. It is the raw potential that is sought and often this involves a second audition with a physical screening by a physiotherapist and an interview. To my knowledge, no UK vocational dance school charges for their second or final audition. You ask for feedback after an audition so that “weaknesses can be worked on”. Even if schools had the resources to produce individual statements on all auditioning candidates, such statements inevitably raise supplementary queries. If a candidate is already receiving dance training, the dance teacher, who knows the child best, will be able to tell you where weaknesses lie. Often there is no one specific reason or weakness in the candidates seen, but when schools seek out the best of the best, there could be other candidates who show more potential at that time. If externally assessed dance examinations are not taken at your child’s dance school, getting an independent assessment from another dance teacher may assist in comprehending a young aspiring dancer’s strengths and weaknesses. Your dance teacher would be the best person to advise on this. I am often asked if a young dancer should give up if they are unsuccessful in an audition at a vocational school they wish to join. I always say, “No, they should not give up if they are enjoying it”. I know a number of dancers who were unsuccessful at an audition in the early years, who then went on and made the grade professionally in dance and performing arts.” A couple of things that I thought I’d comment on: I think her point about asking your local dance teacher about weaknesses is interesting - I’ve found they often see their students through rose-tinted spectacles (and using exam marks doesn’t really give you a proper picture of a student’s potential), so going to another dance teacher for an “assessment” would be a good idea; and it’s an excellent point when she says “Often there is no one specific reason or weakness in the candidates seen, but when schools seek out the best of the best, there could be other candidates who show more potential at that time.” - that’s exactly what we tell people on here
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