The New Year starts tomorrow – have you set your goals or resolutions for the year? When we think of the “year” as dancers, we tend to look at it the way we look at the school year, September through June. While the start of the school year is a great time to set new goals, this doesn’t mean that you can’t set new goals starting January 1st! The following are some goals and resolution ideas to help you out in 2014!
Resolution #1: Write down your corrections – You are more likely to actually improve and apply corrections if you write them down. Take notes of what your teachers tell you and look back on those notes every few weeks.
Resolution #2: Stretch – Stretching is an essential part of your muscle recovery at the end of the dancing day. Make it a habit to stretch before bed each night so that you feel refreshed and ready to go in the morning.
Resolution #3: Limit negativity – As dancers we sometimes become perfectionists. This perfectionism can sometimes put us in a negative place mentally. Do your best to think positive thoughts and seek solutions rather than complaining about them.
Resolution #4: Help others – Is a friend having difficulty picking up choreography? Help him or her out. Going over the choreography with your friend will also help you learn it better. Plus helping just feels good!
Resolution #5: Nail those auditions – Be confident and nail those summer intensive auditions this year! Showcase your best by looking the part and acting the part.
Did I give you some ideas? Now sit down and start writing out your detailed New Year resolutions for a successful 2014 dancing year. You’ll be glad that you did!
Now that Nutcracker season is over and it’s the New Year, chances are, you are gearing up for your ballet summer intensive auditions. With summer intensive auditions, there can be hundreds of different schools to choose from. How do you know which schools are right for you?
Make sure you start doing the research before the audition to make sure you don’t waste your time, energy, and your parent’s money. If you live in a city such as New York or San Francisco, where pretty much every Summer Intensive holds an audition, I recommend going to as many auditions as possible for experience. If you don’t live in a city where schools typically hold auditions, you will have to travel, which is something you and your family may need to discuss and take into consideration.
What style are you trained in? While it is always fun to attend a school that trains dancers in a different style than you, you want to make sure that style suits you. School of American Ballet, for example, typically looks for dancers who are trained in the Balanchine technique whereas a school like the Kirov looks for a Russian trained dancer.
Remember, your ultimate goal is to be accepted into a professional company, right? So this means you want to choose which summer intensive you attend wisely once you are accepted.
Also consider your family’s budget should you get accepted into the school. Does the summer intensive offer scholarships?
For your first summer intensive program, I recommend going to a school that isn’t too far away from home. When I went to my first summer school, Chautauqua, at age 11, I was very homesick. Luckily my family was only a few hours drive away and came up to visit me on the weekends.
As you get older, you want to look for summer intensives that have schools which feed into a professional company. The last summer program that I attended, for example, was Ballet Austin where I was offered a professional contract prior to the programs end.
Be a smart auditioner and you have the potential to get in to the summer intensive of your dreams…and possibly the professional ballet company in the future!
As the end of June approaches many of you will head off to your very first summer ballet intensive program. With your suitcases packed have you left anything behind? You have surely packed enough leotards and pointe shoes to get you through the 3-6 weeks that you will be away from home. Have you forgotten the most important thing you will need for your summer intensive?
The most common thing that dancers forget to do before leaving for a ballet summer intensive program is set goals. Why are you doing this summer intensive program? To improve, right? But what exact areas of your dancing are you looking to improve? Let’s face it, without setting goals what exactly will you get out of your summer intensive experience?
Before you leave home (or even if you are in your first few weeks of the intensive) write down these questions in your ballet journal. ( I cover the journal details in a previous blog and in my book The Ballet Audition Preparation Guide)
What do I feel that I most need to improve on this summer? This could be anything from pirouettes to technique.
What have my teachers been encouraging me to improve on? This would be the corrections that you get in class or at the school year-end conference.
What do I need to do to make these corrections over the summer? Listen to the teachers, focus, etc
Why did I choose this summer intensive? List the key reasons that you decided to go to this particular summer program. Anything from teaching staff to city.
What do I most want to accomplish this summer at (fill in your summer intensive name) ? What is your ultimate goal in attending this particular summer program? Do you perhaps want to be asked to stay for this school’s year-round program?
By answering these questions and looking them over every few days, you will stay on track at your summer program. I know it sounds kind of dorky but if you really want to become the best dancer you have to set goals and remind yourself of those goals consistently. Have fun and make friends but remember, you are there to dance!
What is the worst thing that you can do in an audition?
I’m sure you ask yourself this questions each time you walk in the audition room to try out for a new ballet school or company.
If you are like most dancers, you worry yourself silly about things like what the directors are looking for, what body-type they prefer, or even what color leotard you should wear. We all worry about these things that we can’t control in the audition rather than focusing on the factors that really make the huge difference. This is what causes us to form bad habits. What we should be doing is focusing on the things that we can control. And that is just the half of it.
Luckily I have written Inside the Audition to go along with my Ballet Audition Preparation Guide techniques to tell you exactly what not to do inside the audition room! With audition season already upon us, you cannot afford to make these mistakes. They may cost you a job or spot in the company or school of your dreams.
Don’t lose out to your competitors this audition season. Download these must-have dancer guides now! Best of all, you don’t have to wait for it to be shipped, the tips are available immediately following the download.
I can’t wait to hear how much it improves your audition skills.
If you are like most young dancers, you are gearing up for 2010 Summer Intensive Program Auditions. You have been taking class every day and working on the corrections that your ballet teachers are giving you. You have been putting 100% into every ballet class, but you still feel unprepared. Does this sound like you?
Here are a few simple tips to help with the success of your 2010 Summer Program Auditions;
1.) Smile- No auditioner wants to look at a dancer who doesn’t look like he/she is enjoying themselves. Don’t plaster a fake cheesy grin on, but do make sure to look pleasant. This is the time when you need to use your acting skills the most. Even if you mess up, keep that positive and confident mindset. If you can keep that attitude, your face will show it!
2.) Don’t sweat the small stuff- Be your best you. Don’t look around you and size up the competition…this will only discourage you and make you feel less confident. Instead focus on yourself and think about how well prepared you are! Again, your confidence in yourself will shine through to the auditioner!
3.) Everyone makes mistakes- Yes, it is true that no one will have a perfect audition. The difference is that the best dancers are the ones who don’t let the auditioner see the mistakes. Stay poised even if you mess up instead of frowning or making a face. The auditioner doesn’t want to watch a dancer who is hard on herself. Save that for the classroom.
4.) Make Eye Contact- Look them in the eye, I dare you to! Laugh at their jokes. It’s okay to be human and show emotion. In fact, this will make you more likeable to the teachers.
I hope that these simple tips help you go confidently into that Summer Program Audition! If you are interested in learning more in-depth tips that will get you noticed in auditions, be sure to check out my eBook, The Ballet Audition Preparation Guide. You can download it instantaneously right to your computer without having to wait to go to the book store!
Merde in your auditions!
Nikol Klein Professional Ballet Dancer/ Certified Personal Trainer & Nutritionist
P.S. You can purchase The Ballet Audition Preparation Guide HERE!