Earlier that day my husband and I left the Oklahoma City Ballet audition in San Francisco. We were now on our way to Los Angeles for my audition with Oregon Ballet Theatre. 6 hours later we arrived at my dad’s place exhausted! The reason I decided to drive to the audition is because it is always best to be there live for an audition versus sending in a DVD of how you dance. This way the Artistic Director and/or teacher can truly see you shine.
Sunday morning came and I was up eating my oatmeal (each dancer has their ritual of what they do before an audition) and enjoying the fact that I had some down time to relax until my audition later that afternoon. Noon came and we were off to the audition. I was enjoying the drive until all of a sudden something not so unusual happened in LA. We were stopped dead in traffic with no movement whatsoever. Eventually we made it to Dance Arts Academy where the audition was held.
As I walked in the building I saw no one and nothing. I finally found some home made signs posted for dancers to go up the stairs. As I followed them I came to a shut door with no windows and thought it was strange. I opened the door and found many dancers and parents waiting in a lobby so I walked in and made myself at home.
I started my usual stretching routine when I overheard another dancer ask a woman setting up the registration if she could audition for the Apprenticeship position and Company. The woman said that would be not a problem, but she should definitely take both auditions. You see the schedule was 3:00 PM Registration, 3:30-4:30 PM Summer Intensive and Apprentice audition, and 4:30-6:00 PM Company audition. This meant we would be auditioning for 2 and a 1/2 hours! I thought “why not” and let the woman know I was going to do the same thing!
3:30 came and only 6 people showed up. I chose a spot at the barre that was front and center where the woman sat at a table judging. …Yes nerve racking, but she will see me! Class started and I truly felt she had her eye on me. I did great at the barre! I felt strong, confident, and able to relax. Center and across the floor exercises came and I was truly tested in my confidence. I was so incredibly shaky that I didn’t hold positions well, but I did turn pretty good. By this time I wondered if the woman was interested anymore. Class ended and she told us that the Company Audition would begin in 5 minutes and dismissed those that were not staying. Taking a deep breathe, drinking as much water as I could, I started stretching and stood at the same place at the barre. Since my adrenaline was running I was not even tired. About 30 people came in the studio and started warming up. Class began and this time the combinations were a faster pace and more complicated. I knew more what to expect since I just had completed the previous audition.
After barre we did a very slow adagio (extensions) and this time I made sure I did not let myself be shaky, but pushed my leg into the floor and felt as if my head was reaching to the ceiling. I also did turns with even more ease and portrayed confidence. After these combinations they made a cut and I didn’t make it. Even though I was bummed I was so glad I went to the audition. I not only had two opportunities to show them my dancing but I also grew through the experience.
As I walked out of the studio my husband was there smiling at me and offered his encouraging words. I smiled, took a deep breath and relaxed a bit. I started talking with the other dancers that were cut and each of us were as bewildered as the other at why. We began sharing what auditions we had done and which ones we were going to do. This really helped me put things in perspective that I am not the only one that has had to fight for this dream of mine. It was truly encouraging that they were also going out there and giving it there all. I hope to see them at other auditions and performances in the future!
Audition #7 a success!