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English Youth Ballet Auditions


dancing10
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My DD has done the senior audition 3 times and as far as I could see it was different each time.On the basis of her experience I don't think there's any particularly predictable pattern. There hasn't been any pointe work at any of the auditions she's done, though it always says on the letter to bring pointe shoes if you have them.

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My dd has done 3 EYB junior auditions now... Each have been different you can't predict what will be done!! She has been pulled forward for the scholarship twice now and won it both times, each time she has done different things. The children pulled forward for scholarship selection usually do something more technical :)

Have fun we always do!

Cx

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I can honestly say that for my dd the key step to winning the full junior scholarship was not her pirouettes! In fact, at that time she wasn't very 'technical' at all. The second time she auditioned was for the seniors, she got into the scholarship group and then went onto be cast as Clara in the Nutcracker. Nearly two years on her pirouettes still cause her problems!

 

I think they like them to show style and character, use epaulement, to smile and really enjoy their dancing. Yes, they have to be technically sound enough but I think being able to listen, take corrections and really have a go at steps they may not have done before without getting unnerved is just as important.

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I agree Klaris. It must be difficult for EYB staff at Senior Auditions as the age range is vast (12-18). You do need quite a varied vocab. My dd is studying RAD Grade 6 and Intermediate, and she said there was one step she hadn't done before, but to some of the children auditioning it was clear that many of the steps were unknown to them and they struggled somewhat.

 

The scholarship enchainement seems to vary from audition to audition. As you say, it's a willingness to give it all a good go that seems to help.

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The last EYB audition my dd did was Aylesbury for this summer. She found it probably the hardest of all three she has done, not because of the steps - though as you say some clearly found it difficult - but because there was such a huge number auditioning on stage. It was very crowded! Also, she found the stage floor really slippy and did slip doing one of the combinations. Fortunately this was not when she was in the front row. She was lucky enough to again be selected for the Scholarship group so obviously it either didn't matter or wasn't noticed!

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I will also echo the slippery stage! My dd did the junior audition and one poor girl actually fell over during the audition. It spoilt it for dd, she thought she would be next, hence she didn't dance her best and wasn't offered a place on the night. She was first reserve though and luckily got a place a few weeks later.

 

She's still on a high from EYB in Dartford and can't wait to do it all again!

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Absolutely! We had a long drive to get there and some of the roads were really slippy on the way home - mind you, that's nothing to the last audition at Bromley where we had to brave a snowstorm along the M11 coming home! We so wish my dd could do her local one (Norwich) - where they are auditioning today! But unfortunately not to be as it clashes with CAT scheme commitments.

 

Good luck to anyone with dd or ds auditioning today! x

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My DD was invited to try for the scholarship the last time she auditioned with EYB. Although the girls were asked to do a number of different steps/enchainments, I would agree with Dancing10 that, on that occasion at least, the scholarship did seem to be decided on the double pirouettes.

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Not sure whether I totally agree... At the last audition the 6 girls pulled forward all carried out the steps with ease (with no double pirouette!!) I think what my dd stood out with was her love of dance which never fails to show, her stage craft as she treats the audition like a performance from the moment she walks on to the stage... They said they were looking for someone who stands out from the rest and had good performance/musicality/presentation... Lastly she smiled :) I hope this helps?

Cx

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Tomuchtallent, I don't think that many children in this age group (in the UK) could do a double pirouette. They would have to be very advanced. Children are generally 10 or 11 when they take their RAD Grade 3 exam and I'm pretty sure that you don't do a double pirouette for this. Mind you I'm not sure of the difference between a pirouette and a turn. I thought that my daughter was doing a pirouette in her school play last night but she told me that it was a turn!

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So far, my dd has not been asked to do a double pirouette in any RAD graded exam (she's currently halfway through RAD Grade 6), but they are studying them in RAD Intermediate.

 

Aileen is right, it could have been a turn...or EYB were just seeing who would have a go at an obviously difficult step? I know they approve of people who will give it a go. :-)

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Spannerandpony, most children don't seem to start intermediate foundation classes until they are around 10 or 11. There's no point(!) starting it much earlier IMO because they have to do pointe work for the exam and most schools don't allow the children to go on pointe until they are at least 12.

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Gosh, that IS a tricky question tomuchtalent! :-)

 

Well, the reason I can't answer the pirouette question is that my dd auditioned by dvd the first time she did EYB, and this time around she was in the Senior Audition. There were children aged from 12 to 18, but the standard varied HUGELY. What I would say is that for any EYB audition, you do need a certain level of vocabulary (although Dominic does demonstrate), an ability to pick up enchainements, confidence to have a go (and confidence and spatial awareness to jump past or get out of the way of someone going the wrong way!)

 

The Senior EYB audition was tougher than I had imagined, both in terms of steps, numbers on the stage, and slipperiness of the stage. Very different to auditions for Vocational Schools where my dd said the steps themselves were easier than the level she was studying. Of course they wanted to see movement, musicality, flexibility and physique, and quite right too. So it is a different type of audition for EYB.

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Tomuchtallent, my daughter is not considering a career in ballet and (whisper this) I suspect that her ballet school is not one of those schools that is really geared up to children wanting to do ballet seriously. Consequently, I'm not really sure what standard a child needs to be to have a realistic chance of getting into a vocational school at 11. Some local schools insist on two or three classes a week from a young age; others don't (or can't). Some really push the children through the grades; others take it more slowly. I don't know how much weight is given to actual ability when a child applies to a vocational school. From other posts I've read on this site it seems that what is crucial is having the "correct" body for classical ballet. I am guessing that a less advanced child would get into a school ahead of a more advanced one if s/he had a "better" body, but I may not be right on this. I just don't know how actual ability (as opposed to potential) is weighed against the suitability of the body, but my feeling is that the schools take the view that a child with the right body and potential can be trained up.

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So it is a different type of audition for EYB.

Well I'm no expert, but this seems very true to me. The auditions are different because they are looking for different things and have different aims. No personal experience, but what I've picked up from other people is that the auditions for vocational schools (lower schools anyway) are not hugely technically challenging, because they are not so interested in current level attainment as they are in potential. They are taking the longer term view and looking for children with the attributes, physical and otherwise, that make them suitable for that school's training method. So a child with lots of potential who may have relatively little experience might well be selected ahead of another who is more technically advanced but with the wrong physique or lacking in musicality etc.

EYB on the other hand is a short term project. They are looking for children that, in a relatively short but intense rehearsal period, are going to be able to put on a decent show. So if they want say half a dozen 11-12 year old girls about 5ft tall who are going to be able to perform a particular dance then they will presumably be looking to pick girls who look to be about that standard already, or who look like they are going to be able to get there within the time available. So someone with great physique but little experience might not get picked whereas someone like my DD who is reasonably technically assured, a good performer and a very quick learner but totally the wrong shape wouldn't stand a cat in hell's change of getting a place at a vocational school but is very suitable for EYB. Of course there are children who "tick all the boxes" for both type of audition too.

But they really are two very different things and comparing the two audition processes is very much comparing apples with oranges, in my admittedly inexperienced opinion!

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Quite agree, pups_mum. And EYB are very good at making adjustments to the choreography to suit the standards of the children. It's a truly lovely experience, but is of course completely different to the audition process for Voc. school.

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