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Odd audition exercise


Belljul
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Can anyone shed any light on why, during lower school auditions, the Royal Ballet ask the dancers to hold their arms straight out in front of them, feet together, and bend knees slowly until they are crouching with their bottoms close to the floor? I imagine it's to test for achilles length but not sure. My son has been told he has long achilles, yet he tends to fall over at the end of this exercise. Anyone know any more about it? Thanks

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My dd said she did this on the year 6 intensive in Covent garden and at the practise audition they did it there. She can't remember why. She's trying to show me now! Lol! However she can't remember if you can stick your bottom out to do it (in which case she can with no bother) or keep your body vertical (in which case she has to go onto the balls of her feet). Which is it??

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My two have done this at all the RB auditions and my older DD is rubbish. Spent two wks practising it for WL audition in yr 6 and fell over every time. Then adrenalin must have kicked in on the day because she managed without falling over!!! Still struggles with it now though although has made it all the way through to yr9 finals and SA's and has v tight Achilles. Will get girls to ask teachers on Saturday if someone's not come up with the answer by then. PS think she 'fudges' it now by lifting her heels hoping noone notices!!!!

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You see a lot of people squatting down like this as a matter of course in the East. Many years ago on holiday in Bali a group of young men used to sit like this for hours at the gate of our hotel, hoping to entice people to their restaurants or shops. We found some fantastic restaurants through them!

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Thanks balletmumfor2. I could also ask daughters teacher, hadn't thought of that lol. Let's see what the teachers say. It is very hard to describe. My son struggled not fall over yet he has a huge jump that is said to be due to long achilles which is why I am confused. dr dance?...?

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It's like the cereal box game. Or if you can do one you're probably good at the other. By some freak of nature I can squat all the way down with my back straight up and heels on the floor, which makes me the envy of all my cereal box game-playing friends! (Only way I do stretch, mind you)

 

(Cereal box game being pick up a cereal box with your mouth off the floor without touching floor with anything except your feet. Cereal box gets shorter and shorter until it's a flat piece of cardboard)

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Lol! My dd was just talking about this exercise the other day saying that her and older dd cannot get fully down (they both say it is to test length of achilles). Whilst reading these posts I tried so hard to resist but in the end I just had to try it and did it with ease (much to their dismay). However after showing off and doing it repeatedly, I now feel a bit of a strain Oops!

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I came across this exercise when I watched JA's who had been preparing it ahead of RBS auditions - having said that the one who was successful at the auditions has really short achilles and couldn't do it! I've never seen it done anywhere else but I'm pretty sure it's to look at achilles/calf length in conjunction with balance and control.

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Well, i had to try and it was very easy with a straight back.And the cereal game I played with my friends and I could do it with a sheet of paper!!

I will ask my dd to try when she gets home.

Is there any other exercises that us non royal ballet associates can practice to help for audtions? it would be much appreciated. Thanks xxx

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They did this odd exercise when dd was at the insight day, and she was completely hopeless - strange when she's hypermobile and she used to bob down and play like that all the time when she was small.

 

I mentioned it to the osetopath who said that she's currently got tight calf muscles from a: pointework, b: calf muscles bigger and stronger with age and c: getting taller with long legs in proportion to her body.

 

She's spent the whole Christmas holiday stretching her achilles and calf muscles, and it hasn't made a jot of difference, oh well, let's hope they don't notice at the audition!!

Edited by taxi4ballet
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Ah, now the cereal box game is something I would really like to see introduced at auditions! Perhaps with the addition of Twister to test rotation in the hips ;)

 

Our family (even my son) got banned from the cereal box game one year as we were deemed too bendy!

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