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classydance

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Reply with quote  #176 
In a straight audition you are not seen doing a variation by yourself on stage.  

Companies do ask for footage of variations for company class considerations or closed auditions but not for the open call/cattle call.  

So the competition gets to show what you can do. . . .

And with any comp, it's about which the ADs or school directors are there and go and your interest in them. At yagp regionals, for instance, there are people in the mix who don't represent schools or companies. Kathryn Morgan, Wendy Perron, Gennadi Savliev (sp?), but at finals it will be ABT, NBS, Royal, Princess Grace, etc. Many times the local compas are just getting people to fill in. 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #177 
Quote:
Originally Posted by classydance
In a straight audition you are not seen doing a variation by yourself on stage.  

Companies do ask for footage of variations for company class considerations or closed auditions but not for the open call/cattle call.  

So the competition gets to show what you can do. . . .

And with any comp, it's about which the ADs or school directors are there and go and your interest in them. At yagp regionals, for instance, there are people in the mix who don't represent schools or companies. Kathryn Morgan, Wendy Perron, Gennadi Savliev (sp?), but at finals it will be ABT, NBS, Royal, Princess Grace, etc. Many times the local compas are just getting people to fill in. 


Perhaps. But again the overwhelming majority will end up with absolutely nothing... despite the thousand upon thousand upon thousand dollar investment.  That's my point.  And that if anyone thinks ballet comps (any comp not just yagp) are the 'best' way to get noticed/receive a scholarship/a contract... if that's THE reason they choose to do them.... then perhaps they need to sit down & think on this a little more.

Also, fwiw, a 2 minute variation carefully chosen to showcase a dancer's strengths/hide their weaknesses (& likely rehearsed to perfection, sometimes for yrs) is not always a reliable representation of what a dancer has to offer.  Truth is, if you've really got the goods you should have as much if not better luck demonstrating that in a different setting. And if you really don't believe that you should listen to your inner voice.  Because it's trying to tell you something & you'd be wise not to ignore it.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #178 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459


And still the overwhelming majority will end up with absolutely nothing despite the thousand upon thousand upon thousand dollar investment.  THAT'S the point.  With all due respect, if anyone thinks competitions are the 'best' way to get noticed/receive a scholarship/a contract... if THAT'S why they choose to do them.... they need to sit down and think on this a little more.


I have to admit I struggle with this.  How DOES a dancer get noticed then?  What are some other ways to increase visibility?  I have no idea where to begin if YAGP or competitions aren't a good way to do it.
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Lorax

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Reply with quote  #179 
I'm a relative newbie but it seems if you've got "it" between SI auditions and attendance and straight up regular company auditions there's a lot of visibility. Frankly, competitions seem like something you do for "you", for the pride and accomplishment and the benefit of one on one coaching to improve your own skills so that... when it comes time to go to SI or regular auditions you stand out. But I'm green, very early on in the process so take that with a huge grain of sand... edited to say salt. I'm tired today I guess.

Also, you get noticed by getting an agent and paying a professional a fraction of what you might pay chasing competitions all over the place. Start with the agency getting you booked for modeling or working jobs when the time comes. They KNOW how to get people visibility.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #180 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joriebelle


I have to admit I struggle with this.  How DOES a dancer get noticed then?  What are some other ways to increase visibility?  I have no idea where to begin if YAGP or competitions aren't a good way to do it.


I guess we have to ask ourselves how all the ballet dancers who don't do comps do it.  Which, don't forget, would be the overwhelming majority.  I see it as simply a matter of mastering the art of networking.   Auditions, open classes, master classes, wkshops,  summer intensives, winter intensives etc.  It's getting yourself out there.  The more you get out, the more people will see you & the more chances you'll have to make an impression on someone who will ultimately matter.

And I'm not against comp... you know that.  Dd is at her 3rd one in a month as we speak.  They certainly are 'one' way to get yourself out there, I don't deny that.  All I'm suggesting is that people be realistic.  And perhaps understand that w/comp the journey should be as much the goal as the desire for some sort of tangible reward.  Because the truth is that the overwhelming majority of dancers are NOT going to be recognized w/a tangible reward. 


eta:  that said, if you're really THAT good, even w/o an award (a placing, an offer) you will likely make an impression.  You just won't know it beyond perhaps the feedback on your score sheet.  And imo that is the more realistic recognition dancers should be striving for.  But it takes faith.  Faith that it will all come full circle.  And that's tough for many, I get it.  IDK  My guess is that this desire for this immediate gratification is hurting many more dancers than it is helping.  

 

 

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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #181 

Quote:
I have to admit I struggle with this.  How DOES a dancer get noticed then?  What are some other ways to increase visibility?  I have no idea where to begin if YAGP or competitions aren't a good way to do it.


Here's the thing. A dancer only needs to dance to get noticed. Nothing more, nothing less. Agents are not involved in the ballet world except for those looking for work outside of ballet. If that's what a person seeks, you can do that without being a ballet "star" and it would likely be cheaper to do so without pursuing ballet at all. 

I am assuming you are talking about visibility with the purpose of getting a job actually dancing ballet. The question then should be how does one get a position as a dancer. Here's the rub. Competition doesn't play a large role in that game. It plays a minute role and no role whatsoever for many. Dd got noticed by some from sending an email with her resume, a link to videos, and her photos. Others noticed her when she attended an open call. That's it. No competitions since she was about 9 or 10 and she never did a ballet comp. Not a single one. Not only that, but she never spent a year perfecting the same variations. She worked on something for a short time and then moved on, which is exactly what life is like in a company. They put on a gorgeous full length ballet in 4-5 weeks time. 

You want visibility for employment purposes, once you dancer is a teen, start sending her/him to SIs at different places where they get exposed to different instructors, possible choreographers and different environments. But the best visibility comes later, when they are actually auditioning. Before then, they are only looking at your dancer for two things- one is potential source of money and the other is someone they can put their stamp on. If dancer X looks like she has boatloads of potential, ballet school Y might like to have their name in her bio (dancer X also trained in the summer at programs Y and Z). Company affiliated schools are just that. They are still schools and not the company. More companies than you would think do not have much of a line between the school and the company, and of course, there are always many more in the school, even at the top level, than can possibly be taken into the company. 

Competitions are an extra. They are not needed. Don't be fooled into thinking they are. Also don't be fooled into thinking that what a dancer does before they are ready for prime time matters to a company director. It doesn't. What matters is what they have to present when they are old enough and ready for the next step in the journey. 

 

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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #182 
I have always heard that many pro dancers have never done competitions.  I just wondered if it helped get known but reading all of these comments has helped me see things in a different way.

Thanks Heidi, Lorax, Tendumom.  
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Lorax

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Reply with quote  #183 
I agree with most of what you've said tendumom, however I will add that, for my family at least, competitions and the placements or judge's critiques may be as good as it gets. It's more likely that my child will not grow up to beat the odds and get a professional contract and so preparing for competition, perfecting those variations and a contemporary solo, getting the chance to perform it on stage and acknowledge all of her individual hard work and dedication is extremely validating. Considering that it may be their only chance to ever dance solo in reality, it can serve an important purpose.

I absolutely agree, however, that if people are giving competition the purpose of helping catapult a dancer to a career I think they are misguided. 

Look at Lex Ishimoto... he became famous for winning SYTYCD and his ballet competition WINS were a very very very small asterisk mark for a very very very small amount of time (Lex Ishimoto, winner of season bazillion of SYTYCD... had previously won YAGP in whatever year). People outside of circles like this rarely discuss his YAGP win at all currently, but they do discuss his prime time win constantly.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #184 

Lorax, I never knew my dd was going to beat the odds and make the transition to professional dancer. I would have laughed at you if you had suggested such a thing when she was younger.  Frankly, I did not believe she had sufficient facility nor talent. Sure, she had stage presence. She was practically born with that, but the rest was missing. When the other kids were dancing around on their toes, she was struggling to get over her boxes. 

As a professional dancer, I doubt that she will ever be the one perfecting a solo. Maybe it will happen. Who knows? She had a few solos in ballets at age 16 and 17, but not a stage by herself but as part of a ballet. Before that, she was always in the corps. Nothing featured. Just the corps dancer. They did 2 full length ballets each year and a recital. Not once did she get to do a variation alone in the recitals. Not a single time. A few girls did, but she was never one of the ones who was chosen. She always did her variation with 1 or 2 others doing the same thing. Not quite the same. 

My point is that while it is a wonderful thing to get on stage and compete, it is just not a necessity. There are other ways to accomplish the same thing. 

 

The other thing that gets me... and part of this comes from my own training... is what is there to look forward to or aim for? To me, dancing a solo was a great honor. It was a big deal. That honor went to one of the oldest, most advanced dancers, not to everyone. It was something to work towards, a goal that you knew you might never attain, but you were going to try your hardest so maybe someday it might be you as well. Not your turn for a solo because you were a senior, but something actually earned. I see these dancers doing all these variations that were meant for principal dancers. Everyone is working on 2 minutes of a ballet, a ballet that lasts maybe 2 hours. Learning to be a character on stage is important, but learning to be a character in an ensemble on stage is actually even more important. 

I do hope that these dancers who are working for all these weeks on end are also getting the opportunities to be in actual ballets too.  And not just the Nutcracker. Ballet is so much more than isolated variations and the training of a dancer should reflect that. 

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classydance

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Reply with quote  #185 
Tendu mom

I think that you are hitting on why many comp queens and insta folks kind of peeter out. It's not about dance entirely but attention
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #186 
"Competitions: Beyond the Medals".   From Pointe Magazine.

http://www.pointemagazine.com/issuesjunejuly-2010competitions-beyond-medals-2412810384.html

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Emmie46

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Reply with quote  #187 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joriebelle
"Competitions: Beyond the Medals".   From Pointe Magazine.

http://www.pointemagazine.com/issuesjunejuly-2010competitions-beyond-medals-2412810384.html



Thank you. That was a great article to read.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #188 
Great article, but while it is a way to be seen, it is not the only way. And this is one again not about the value for anyone other than a dancer who is close to taking the next step in their journey, whether that is as a professional or as a student at a school away from home. Both of these goals can be achieved in other ways. I am just trying to figure this populate concept that competition is THE path to these steps when it is only A path.

And once again, the gorgeous Misa Kuranga is used as an example. In my eyes, she is one of the most exquisite professionals dancing today. I can't help but feel that she would have gotten a position at a company that was a good match for her no matter what path she took.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #189 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom
Great article, but while it is a way to be seen, it is not the only way. And this is one again not about the value for anyone other than a dancer who is close to taking the next step in their journey, whether that is as a professional or as a student at a school away from home. Both of these goals can be achieved in other ways. I am just trying to figure this populate concept that competition is THE path to these steps when it is only A path. And once again, the gorgeous Misa Kuranga is used as an example. In my eyes, she is one of the most exquisite professionals dancing today. I can't help but feel that she would have gotten a position at a company that was a good match for her no matter what path she took.


Totally agree with you there, tendumom.

Competitions are definitely not necessary.  Many different paths!
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gymanddance

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Reply with quote  #190 
Tendumom,

Thank you for your insight!
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Motherhem

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Reply with quote  #191 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom

Lorax, I never knew my dd was going to beat the odds and make the transition to professional dancer...  



I didn’t quote the whole thing because it was long but it was chocked full of good information. I wanted to say thank you for sharing. The whole post was very insightful and very thoughtful. My dd walks a similar path. It is very good to hear of others in ‘like’ situations. Especially when one of them ‘made’ it. Congratulations to your dd.
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Motherhem

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Reply with quote  #192 
Another article on competing vs not competing. http://www.dancespirit.com/to-compete-or-not-to-compete-why-this-dancer-chose-the-non-comp-route-2499015331.html?utm_campaign=RebelMouse&socialux=facebook&share_id=2814392&utm_medium=social&utm_content=Dance+Spirit&utm_source=facebook
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Emmie46

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Reply with quote  #193 


Thanks for the link to the article. That was an interesting read.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #194 


Not really sure if that is competing vs. not competing as it is quitting competitions so she can choreograph instead?
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