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Hi

My daughter is currently auditioning for Company Dancer positions around Europe. Many companies are not considering applicants from the U.K due to not having a European passport. Any advise or information greatly appreciated. 

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1 minute ago, Cantref said:

Hi

My daughter is currently auditioning for Company Dancer positions around Europe. Many companies are not considering applicants from the U.K due to not having a European passport. Any advise or information greatly appreciated. 

Hi. There was another post similar to this question a couple of weeks back. Sadly, at present there isn’t a lot any one can do, except search through the family tree and source some EU connection (incl Irish) then with that info apply for a passport for that country (🤞🏼) giving the individual dual nationality. Even this pathway takes time so there’s no quick fix solution. 😞

 

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4 minutes ago, Cantref said:

Thank You for your help. Do you know how hard it is for UK dancers to get a visa to dance in the U.S? 

My Ds’s US company applied and paid for his visa petition and my Dd’s company arranged the petition but we had to pay the $1000 for it. This took about 4 months to come through. Then is the face to face appointment at the US embassy in London. That, due to Covid, closed in March 2020 and is scheduled to reopen in August 2021. With out the face to face you can’t get the visa so enter the US. So neither of my Dc went 😓 Ds’s visa the year before was fairly straightforward. I think it depends on the company. There were 23 international dancers in that petition and all were given entry. 

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Sorry to hear your daughter is being excluded from auditions in Europe.  We did managed to get my DC an Irish passport due to 1 Irish grandparent. It did cost some money to get them registered on the foreign birth register but now means they have a year long contract in Europe.  Some companies are still accepting UK applicants,  its a very difficult time for our young dancers without the added difficulties of Brexit.  

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I’m sorry. It is very, very difficult right now. Mine has had her contract in Europe renewed, but she was there already. Others in the company did not. Because so many touring companies are not operating now, there are more unemployed dancers than before all competing for the same few jobs. The bigger, more established companies will perhaps be more likely to be accommodating towards U.K. applicants, but of course these are much sought after. Have you looked outside of Europe? Asia? Africa? Anywhere where Covid has had less of an impact?  You could try looking at all countries and then the major towns in a country, seeing if there’s a company there and just approaching them. There’s nothing to lose. 

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1 hour ago, rowan said:

  You could try looking at all countries and then the major towns in a country, seeing if there’s a company there and just approaching them. There’s nothing to lose. 

Ds/Dd went on Wikipedia and searched for companies by country. They are listed and some have websites and email addresses listed 😊

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Unfortunately we do have any Irish relatives. Just England and Wales for Grandparents and Great Grandparents. We have sent details to over 50 companies in Europe and the U.S so far.  We have had a few responses of interest from the U.S but worry we won’t be able to sort a visa.  We will continue to plough through all the companies we can find online. Thanks for all your suggestions and advise. 

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46 minutes ago, Cantref said:

Unfortunately we do have any Irish relatives. Just England and Wales for Grandparents and Great Grandparents. We have sent details to over 50 companies in Europe and the U.S so far.  We have had a few responses of interest from the U.S but worry we won’t be able to sort a visa.  We will continue to plough through all the companies we can find online. Thanks for all your suggestions and advise. 

In our experience an average is over 100 applications, 10 auditions and 1/2 offers, and we aren’t talking paid contracts. This is pre Covid 😢 

My heart goes out to those seeking dance employment. I personally would be looking to another graduate years training and hoping things improve next year x

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15 hours ago, cotes du rhone ! said:

My Ds’s US company applied and paid for his visa petition and my Dd’s company arranged the petition but we had to pay the $1000 for it. This took about 4 months to come through. Then is the face to face appointment at the US embassy in London. That, due to Covid, closed in March 2020 and is scheduled to reopen in August 2021. With out the face to face you can’t get the visa so enter the US. So neither of my Dc went 😓 Ds’s visa the year before was fairly straightforward. I think it depends on the company. There were 23 international dancers in that petition and all were given entry. 

Hi cotes du rhone, in your experience were the visas given to dancers that had been at US dance schools or companies for a certain period of time?  I just imagine that they had to have some close connection.  What do you think the 23 dancers had to get the tick of approval (in a pre-Covid world)?

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1 hour ago, DD Driver said:

Hi cotes du rhone, in your experience were the visas given to dancers that had been at US dance schools or companies for a certain period of time?  I just imagine that they had to have some close connection.  What do you think the 23 dancers had to get the tick of approval (in a pre-Covid world)?

The nationality of the 23 dancers were written on the petition, there were 8 dancers in Dds petition, so you could see they came from all over the world. I don’t believe that any had trained at US dance schools. Ds and Dd were both U.K. graduates who had flown over for the audition in the February. The contract/visa was for a year and the dancers were interviewed by the AD the following February and told if they were staying another season and the visa petition application started again. It was a P1 visa. From mid August to mid May. The dancers then had to leave the US. It’s not a settled life, very short season then having to come home with no income for 3 months. 
If you want to stay in the US then it is easy to fly around and audition at other companies but getting back to Europe for work is a long way and very expensive. But for a majority even if they manage to secure a contract it is a very short lived career 🙁

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2 minutes ago, DD Driver said:

Thanks cotes du rhone!  Well you have 2 go-getters there! 

All dance careers seem precarious so the goal is to have some amazing experiences and enjoy. 

I think we were very naive as to what happens in grad year until we experienced it. Sadly there was very little guidance. Both Ds and Dd had to work it out on their own. They had a mentor allocated to them and he was was helpful. We had a deal with our Dc, you get the auditions and we will get you there. I’m a wizz at international travel now 😂

Be prepared that the whole job hunting is going to cost you a fortune and then some. As soon as Ds got his US offer he pulled out of his European auditions to save us money. He actually cancelled the audition with the company he is with now, that was a mistake in hindsight. His US audition cost us £800. He did 4 in Europe prior to this.Then to get him there, including US Embassy appointment, flight, rent deposit and month up front, health insurance, furniture and kitchen equipment ( still in storage 🙁) and the odd Publix food delivery and Ubers it was the best part of £3000. I am not sharing this to scare anyone, it’s the reality. He shared an apartment with two other dancers too but it still wasn’t cheap.

Dd would have lived in North Miami Beach 🏝. She had a junior contract which would have covered her bills, living costs etc but not her rent. She made a friend in the company to share with but the cheapest apartment, close to the company, as there is no way you would want her out and about in Miami on her own, was going to cost us $1000 a month. It was a lovely company, she took class with them for her audition and had a  really positive feeling about it. But the cost makes pre professional training programs look more attractive 😂 In the past two graduate years from their school I can count on one hand how many girls are making a living out of ballet. The boys are fairing better but that is still a struggle. 
I just wish that there was more honesty and transparency in upper school especially as to the reality of gaining employment. And there needs to be a lot more support for these young adults with a plan b when they don’t get the dream job, and sadly a majority of them won’t 😢 We aren’t bitter at all, it’s been a hell of a ride 😅

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Wow reality bites!  

I think we all mostly hear it but can so easily get caught up in chasing the dream.

Covid has actually helped me to take a step back and set some parameters in my head.

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I just wanted to add that my DC did a year long post grad apprenticeship with a different European company before they got their year long contract and they've gone down the contemporary route.  Post grad things definitely worth considering especially at the moment.  

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I have opposite problem..my DD has EU passport but not interested in EU companies at all. I think she has a mental block against Europe and i struggle to convince her to apply. She is graduating this year and our conversation got heated so much that I made her to give up ballet as a career. We have calmed down since and she has mentioned post grad programs but I can not see myslef working 2 jobs again for another year just to chase this dream. I too think that there should be more transparency in upper schools about the reality. Only time will tell....

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9 minutes ago, FlexyNexy said:

I have opposite problem..my DD has EU passport but not interested in EU companies at all. I think she has a mental block against Europe and i struggle to convince her to apply. She is graduating this year and our conversation got heated so much that I made her to give up ballet as a career. We have calmed down since and she has mentioned post grad programs but I can not see myslef working 2 jobs again for another year just to chase this dream. I too think that there should be more transparency in upper schools about the reality. Only time will tell....

I agree upper schools need to be open and honest to their dancers and more guidance needs to be given to them for a plan B. At DD’s upper school they send them audition notices etc for companies across Europe and the states however there is no guidance for those who may not get jobs or who want to step away from dance after July. Unfortunately it seems that they just want them graduated and out the door so they can move onto the next year group.

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6 minutes ago, Glissé said:

I agree upper schools need to be open and honest to their dancers and more guidance needs to be given to them for a plan B. At DD’s upper school they send them audition notices etc for companies across Europe and the states however there is no guidance for those who may not get jobs or who want to step away from dance after July. Unfortunately it seems that they just want them graduated and out the door so they can move onto the next year group.

this is what we are feeling right now, "just graduate and leave...we are now advertising for new entries and how they will pay their fees"

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18 minutes ago, Glissé said:

I agree upper schools need to be open and honest to their dancers and more guidance needs to be given to them for a plan B. At DD’s upper school they send them audition notices etc for companies across Europe and the states however there is no guidance for those who may not get jobs or who want to step away from dance after July. Unfortunately it seems that they just want them graduated and out the door so they can move onto the next year group.

I totally agree.

Those who choose a different path are not openly congratulated and are made to feel even more of a failure and disappointment than they already feel 😢 

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I just want to share Dds and my first European audition experience 😂

I have never been to such a dead place, this was pre Covid, but it was like it had been in lockdown for years 😂 So flat and grey. The company never show their studios on their Instagram account and we soon discovered why 😂 Dds local dance school in a church hall has better flooring. 100 plus auditionees  crammed into a small theatre space. Dd did one double pirouette but feared for her ankles to do any more on an ice rink quality flooring 🥶 She actually came out relieved that she didn’t make it through to the solo round 😅 She said that if this was the last place on earth she couldn’t live there 😂 So we then went to try and do a bit of retail therapy 🤑 To discover the height of fashion was C&A 😂 I even took a picture for my mum 😂 We discovered what our bottom line was that trip. It was a pretty bleak start but it picked up a bit after that 😊

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10 minutes ago, cotes du rhone ! said:

I totally agree.

Those who choose a different path are not openly congratulated and are made to feel even more of a failure and disappointment than they already feel 😢 

Totally agree my dd is keen to choose a different path after July however with no guidance from the school and others around her making audition videos etc she feels like a failure for not doing the same which is very sad 😔

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Similarly to your DD and DS cote du Rhône , my DS and his peers received little guidance regarding auditions and show reels - I think this seems to be normal .

We agreed he could audition until the money ran out .

He organised his own auditions  ,travel and accommodation.

He booked Air bnb and arrived at the first one to be told he was a month early ! ( He’d made a mistake when booking ! )

Fortunately I had given him emergency money in case the bnb didn’t feel right !!

 

He had made his own decision to take the first job offer he got , and that I wasn’t to talk him out of it .

 

He auditioned for Northern Ballet first , and was offered the grad programme , then he flew to Czech for 2 more auditions . The first one he got quite far but was cut , the second one offered him a contract .

He is still there , in his 4th season .

It is a lovely medium sized company , with great visiting choreographers , and plenty of variety , from the classics to new contemporary works .

 

Beautiful theatres , where everyone gets dressed up to the nines to attend .

I would say don’t rule Europe out , if it’s an option for you .

I’m happy to answer any questions if you private message me .

 

I wish everyone every success in whichever path they take .

Nothing is ever wasted - and no one should ever be deemed a failure for  changing their path , I would call it courageous.

 

Meadowblythe I believe your DS is nearby ? 

 

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Just back to the EU passport issue - just be aware that some countries don't recognise dual nationality. Our family could fairly easily get citizenship of another European country, but we would have to renounce our British citizenship,  which for the time being at least we don't want to do. 

It isn't the same everywhere of course, but it's worth checking the legislation in individual countries if you do have a claim to another nationality. I had just assumed we would be entitled to both and was disappointed to find we aren't. (But glad we did find out before we got far with it.)

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I think it’s about time that the British ballet companies started increasing company contracts / apprenticeships and opportunities to support British training and it’s graduates. 
BRB last year auditioned Elmhurst graduate students at the school for its annual apprenticeship, that is not paid for by the company, and then chose sadly not to honour it because of Covid 😢 But still went on to use two post graduate students in its live streamed company Nutcracker performance. Lovely experience for them, again, but no opportunities came from it 😢 These graduates don’t need a visa to work here in the U.K. so why aren’t there more opportunities ? 

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@tutugirl as you say, similar experiences. DS was lucky he got 2 offers on his first weekend trip to Europe to look.  And a UK offer, but he wanted to work abroad.  He also got support from his school and help looking at what might suit, but this because he took the initiative and ask.  Certainly no one made a show reel or took photos, but that's one of the advantages at being at an upper school with film studies students!   My DS has now travelled further East (I think!) but has very fond memories of his time in the company next to your DS.  As have I.  If he had stayed, I would seriously have considered retiring out there .. I loved the culture, the people, the whole way of life.  No chance now of course, anyway.

 

Funnily enough, we were talking about the cuts in opportunities for all our young people at school today.  Musical DD spent 5 months in Norway on the last Erasmus programme.  It was literally life changing for her.    I'm about to start ordering careers books for the sixth form library ready for next year.  Do I need study abroad titles?  Gap year?  It's so sad and so frustrating.

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6 hours ago, Glissé said:

Totally agree my dd is keen to choose a different path after July however with no guidance from the school and others around her making audition videos etc she feels like a failure for not doing the same which is very sad 😔

The environment at upper school is focused on graduating to a company. As students audition around and fail to get a contract they start to feel the pressure and excluded from the other students who have gained a contract and are planning their lives and future. In my dd school the students who don’t gain a contract prior to graduation day are excluded from any published graduate lists and excluded from even The final year performance programme. There is no list that is public that states “graduates” even if they legally and officially are graduates and hold the diploma to prove it. Additionally the students who wish to change paths and chase another career aren’t listed either ( eg uni or college place). They are just wiped from history in the schools graduate records.  That’s not fair. They are made to feel less accomplished. 

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4 minutes ago, Nama said:

The environment at upper school is focused on graduating to a company. As students audition around and fail to get a contract they start to feel the pressure and excluded from the other students who have gained a contract and are planning their lives and future. In my dd school the students who don’t gain a contract prior to graduation day are excluded from any published graduate lists and excluded from even The final year performance programme. There is no list that is public that states “graduates” even if they legally and officially are graduates and hold the diploma to prove it. Additionally the students who wish to change paths and chase another career aren’t listed either ( eg uni or college place). They are just wiped from history in the schools graduate records.  That’s not fair. They are made to feel less accomplished. 

That is so so sad 😞 

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4 hours ago, cotes du rhone ! said:

I think it’s about time that the British ballet companies started increasing company contracts / apprenticeships and opportunities to support British training and it’s graduates. 
BRB last year auditioned Elmhurst graduate students at the school for its annual apprenticeship, that is not paid for by the company, and then chose sadly not to honour it because of Covid 😢 But still went on to use two post graduate students in its live streamed company Nutcracker performance. Lovely experience for them, again, but no opportunities came from it 😢 These graduates don’t need a visa to work here in the U.K. so why aren’t there more opportunities ? 

In my dd graduate year the uk opportunities primarily went to foreign passport holder students and visas were all required. I know in Australia the visas are very limited and company’s are very cautious in planning and allocation. The uk needs to think how many students are in each graduate year and actually plan how they are going to help them get  uk jobs first. I was quite shocked to see how many students are in graduate year when the situation has tightened considerably in recent years for graduate jobs. Surely if there is less demand for ballet dancers - train less and reduce the inflow of overseas candidates for a while until the situation improves. Just like any employment market in any part of the world if there is an over supply you adjust. Especially given the reliance on the uk tax payer for supporting this industry 

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21 minutes ago, Nama said:

The environment at upper school is focused on graduating to a company. As students audition around and fail to get a contract they start to feel the pressure and excluded from the other students who have gained a contract and are planning their lives and future. In my dd school the students who don’t gain a contract prior to graduation day are excluded from any published graduate lists and excluded from even The final year performance programme. There is no list that is public that states “graduates” even if they legally and officially are graduates and hold the diploma to prove it. Additionally the students who wish to change paths and chase another career aren’t listed either ( eg uni or college place). They are just wiped from history in the schools graduate records.  That’s not fair. They are made to feel less accomplished. 

 

That is appalling.  The opposite happened at DS' school - some students without contracts were showcased in the final show.

 

It does seem a particularly ballet thing doesn't it?  Having two other children also involved in theatre/performing arts in various ways the idea that you during a course you find another route seems to be accepted, even expected.  

 

 

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It’s just as bad abroad, I suspect. Where my DD is - European national company - there are complaints over the number of foreign dancers in the company, and over the fact that fewer and fewer young people from the national ballet school get into the company. They accept about one every two years in recent years.

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