A friend of mine’s worship dance group, Ministers in Movement, will be leading warm-up and other presentations during the first part of the meeting. The second half will be devoted to people that want to present dances.
This is a great opportunity to love and bless one another while worshiping God in unity and truth.
Please wear modest, loose-fitting clothes. If you’d like to present a dance offering, please contact Frances ASAP via email - firstname.lastname@example.org
When: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Location: Zohar School of Dance – Palo Alto, CA
Click HERE for more details!
I just got back from New York last week and wow what an amazing experience! I attended the ABT Collegiate Program for 3 weeks, then when my husband arrived we vacationed there for another week and a half. The 3 weeks at ABT was absolutely a WOW experience! In order to stay in shape after ABT I took ballet classes at Steps on Broadway, Peridance Capezio, and Dance Arts Center. When I took classes at Steps I felt a little overwhelmed due to the competitiveness of the dancers. I had never been to an “Adult Program” at a studio SO competitive. After a while I learned that in order to do a combination I had to be persistent to run to the front so I had a chance to do it. Lol! I also learned that in order to not kick, jump, or turn into the pillars in the center of the studios I had to move a lot and get creative! Over the weeks I felt a little frustrated with myself because I was getting too caught up on the little details and not enough on my love of dancing. During that time a theme kept coming up…
What is my voice?
In the dance world having your own voice is what being a professional is all about. It is the difference between the student and the professional/artist. Having your own voice can include your own style such as in technique, how you dress, etc. However, I am talking about a voice that comes from within you. Something that cannot be stylized or duplicated. It is that something you see in a dancer that captures you and inspires you.
In my search to find “my” voice I found these scriptures:
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galations 1:10
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
In order to have my own voice I cannot fear failure or fear what others think. I must focus on the true meaning of my dancing in the first place… dancing for the Lord.
You know… I am realizing that it is more common to just have good technique. Not that I have perfect technique! I mean that it is something more rare, desired, and powerful to find a dancer that has good technique and also expresses their passion, heart, and voice. This is something so easy to forget when as ballet dancers we are working daily to perfect our technique.
I hope that this encourages you to not just be another dancer out there, but a dancer that has a unique, beautiful, powerful, and inspiring voice that cannot be duplicated! Be a “creative stamp” that will leave audiences in awe that there is something different about you.
In the past few months I have also emailed/mailed in audition materials to many companies all over the U.S. Since dancers are not always able to fly out to all out of state auditions many companies provide an option to email or mail in a DVD/You Tube links, your resume, and dance photographs. Once they review your information they will then invite you to fly out and take company class as an audition or let you know they are not interested. So far I’ve had a few companies that have contacted me with interest, but no solid offers yet. I am still waiting and am trusting the Lord. I know that He is directing my steps. I do have to say that over the last few weeks patience has not been my number one virtue! I check my email, spam, and mailbox… let’s say 3+++++ times a day. I am excited and I guess kinda anxious for the results of a few other companies.
It had been a number of weeks since my husband and I were in a car accident. Thankfully it didn’t take me very long to snap back into shape and be ready for my next audition. I arrived 30 minutes early at City Ballet Studios for the Smuin Ballet company audition. I was very thankful I arrived at least this early because I found out that the audition started at 11:00 AM, not registration! This left me just enough time to stretch and mentally prepare.
The Artistic Director and Ballet Master were a bit in shock of the turnout. Pretty soon dancers were asked to bring more and more barres in from the other studios. In order to help they called each of our names and gave us a number to stick on our leotards… problem was my leotard fabric didn’t like this. After barre they noticed these sticky numbers would not stay on our leotards on their own and they offered paper clips. It worked thankfully!
The Ballet Master began class and I was doing great. I remembered the combinations, was precise, confident, and enjoyed myself. Center came and the combinations given were challenging, but the choreography was beautiful and I enjoyed dancing to it. I surprised myself to see how my ability and confidence had grown since the last audition I had done. My pointe work just seemed more comfortable as I completed the adagio, turn, and jump combinations. Toward the end we did a quick turn combination across the floor and I freaked out. Not sure quite why, but when it was my turn to go I did not feel ready. I struggled with keeping up with the other girls and I began to get embarrassed. I took a mental note that this is a “must” to work on after class next week.
The audition concluded and they asked only certain numbers to stay… I was not one of them. Bummer! Even though I was not kept I was proud of myself and happy with how far my abilities had come since my last audition. I was truly at a new level!
Audition #10 a success!
As I approached Ballet San Jose memories started flooding my mind. As a student I would watch the professional dancers of Ballet San Jose for hours and hours as they rehearsed for various ballet’s. I would imagine what it would be like to be a professional dancer in this company and each day I would get there early enough to watch them. I always hoped that whatever they had I would catch so I could dance in the company! Now here I was standing in front of Ballet San Jose where my dream to become a professional ballerina began! SO COOL!
Okay back to the story. The front doors were locked and the dancers were required to wait outside until registration began. The doors opened and I realized I didn’t pre-register (usually a good idea to check ahead lol). After registration I headed up the stairs and was in awe of the beautiful pictures on the walls of the company dancers. The familiar smell of the studio where the professionals would dance hit me. Wasn’t sure quite what the smell was, but I knew I was home again.
More and more dancers arrived stretching and preparing for the audition. I decided to stand at the very front center barre that was already out “assuming” they would place us according to numerical order. It was time for the audition to begin and two past Principal dancers and one current Principal dancer with Ballet San Jose walked in. I was star struck and now very nervous! They decided to keep us where we were at the barre and not put us in numerical order. I was NOT okay with this because these principal dancers saw me dance when I was 15! The pressure was on now to show them who I had become as a professional dancer. AH! Okay Anna breathe…
As the class progressed I felt great. I was strong, did double turns pretty consistently, and could show I was enjoying myself even though I was very nervous. When we began to do small jumps I froze and did not remember the combination at all. It showed and I was a bit embarrassed. Across the floor exercises came and my confidence was shaky but I did the exercises anyway and pushed myself despite what I felt like. The audition concluded and they said they would be getting in touch with us on the results. They didn’t say when, but I am assuming April or May.
As I headed down the stairs I patted myself on the back that I was actually back at Ballet San Jose where my dream first began actually auditioning for the company! Now the results were out of my hands and it was time to focus on my next audition!
Audition #9 a success!
Meet us at 11:45 AM @ Eagle Park in Downtown Mountain View (behind library)
Eagle Park address: 650 Franklin Street, Mountain View, California
dance anywhere® is a simultaneous worldwide public art performance and we want YOU to be the star! For the past 8 years, people of all ages and artistic capacities have made dances in parks, museums, street corners, schools, work places, community centers, bathrooms, and just about anywhere you can imagine. Participants have been professional dancers and artists, plumbers, doctors, soccer players, teachers and politicians. Some dances are choreographed, some are improvised, and some stretch the definition of what dance is.
We hope you will participate on Friday, March 30, 2012 at noon CA, 3pm NY: (click here for your time).
where will you be?
At work? Taking a lunch break? In class? Running an errand? In line at the bank? The library? The grocery store? Walking the dog in the park?… Perfect! Your participation doesn’t need to be an event you plan months in advance! … Tap your foot, do a little jig, bob your head… You have our permission. And you will be joined by thousands around the world. Get together with your friends, family, colleagues or strangers on the street – wherever you will be – and have some fun!
the mission of dance anywhere®
build community by engaging people worldwide in a simultaneous, public art, performance
reconsider the definition of art, public space, and community
make dance accessible to more people
change perspectives through community art experiences
I debated and debated whether to even audition for Dawson Wallace Dance Project, a contemporary dance company. I was trained to be a classical ballet dancer and picturing myself auditioning for this company seemed like a ballet dancer competing in a break dancing or hip hop competition. Thankfully my coach helped me to realize that learning contemporary dance will only help me as a professional and stretch me in a good way. So my decision was final and I was going.
I arrived early for the audition at Lines Ballet in San Francisco. As I was wandering around looking for the studio a man asked me if I was there for the Dawson Wallace Dance Project audition. I said yes and he quickly handed me paperwork to fill out. As I was filling it out I asked him a few questions about their workshop, pricing, etc that was listed on the paper. Later I found out that he was one of the Artistic Directors! I was a little embarrassed since I probably should of already known what I was asking him. Thankfully he was so kind and helpful.
The audition started and everyone was wearing something different. Pretty much no-one was in pink tights and a leotard. For contemporary dance companies most audition in black tights and/or shorts and a leotard. The class was like a usual ballet company audition with a barre, center, and across the floor exercises. One of the Artistic Directors taught the class and the combinations were classical with a sort of edge to them. He would have his past students that were in the audition show the combinations to give us an idea of what he was looking for. The timing, expression, and movements were beautiful and flowed in a way that was never ending. The class portion was completed and repertory began.
The Artistic Director told us to “forget about ballet” and to basically make the choreography our own. I have to admit I was a bit scared at this point. To my surprise I was able to pick up the choreography and enjoy it even though it was different than a classical piece from Swan Lake. After we practiced and practiced we danced in groups to the song Carmina Burana. If you know how it sounds… wow, talk about emotional and fun to dance to! The other Artistic Director then taught us some of his choreography and to my dismay I was completely overwhelmed. I definitely need to strengthen my skill set in this area. I kept trying to focus on the steps and got lost in the movements and pretty soon was doing my own choreography! He told us that he wanted us to make it our own anyway! =) The audition was finished and I took a deep breath and realized I truly do need to take some contemporary dance classes to expand my abilities.
I am so thankful I went to the audition because I never knew I could move like that! I surprised myself. I am also using pieces of the choreography I learned for auditions else where that require a contemporary piece. It can only get better from here! The Artistic Director’s said they would let us know our results soon. Waiting to hear back.
Audition #8 a success!
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!
The day came and I was off to San Francisco with my husband for my audition with Oklahoma City Ballet. On the Oklahoma City Ballet website, they asked each dancer to call and RSVP. I mention this because I haven’t had to do this for any other auditions and it was a little different. We arrived and I found myself in the familiar SF Ballet lobby.
I began stretching on the cold stone floor breathing with my eyes closed, mentally prepping and staying focused. Every time I opened my eyes and looked up I saw more and more dancers arrive. Forty five minutes before the audition started we were led inside the studio to register. After I got my number I found a place at the barre and continued to warm up.
When the Artistic Director came in the focus shifted in the room. Silence fell as each of us were waiting for him to speak. He told us we were ahead of schedule and still had another 30 minutes until we began. A sigh of relief was let out all over the room since that meant we had more time to warm up and prepare. Okay… back to stretching. By this time I just didn’t want my muscles to get cold so I went outside of the studio and did a ponche on the wall for a while until the audition began. If you’re wondering what a ponche is… here’s a picture of the ponche i’m working towards!
The audition began and they let us stand anywhere we wanted at the barre…. this was nice and different from my previous experience! I was at a barre against the wall at the end. Perfect place except I couldn’t see myself! They had a curtain pulled across the mirror right where I was. As a dancer this can be nerve racking because you cannot see how you look in each position but instead have to feel it and trust you look good.
As the Artistic Director taught the audition I was trying to figure out what he looks for and what is important to him. Finally he said it… he wanted us to articulate more. Basically he wanted us to roll through our feet and exaggerate each position.
Barre was finished and we moved onto centre and across the floor. I definitely felt extremely shacky and lacking confidence during the adagio (extensions) and pirouettes (turns). I started to shrink back and feel that I wasn’t what they were looking for. At this point I had to kinda hit myself on the face to fight these thoughts and take a deep breath and relax. I reminded myself how I felt in the Colorado Ballet audition and the Ballet Austin one. After I snapped back into the determination mode I was able to really let my love of dancing shine.
After we finished the Artistic Director said they would contact us in April. I then began chatting with a few of the dancers and found out one of them I trained with when I was 16 at the Kirov… wow go figure?!
I ran out of the studio and my husband and I were off to Los Angeles for the Oregon Ballet Theatre audition the next day.
Audition #6 a success!
Ballet Austin (Audition #5)
After my audition at Colorado Ballet I was ready to focus and fight to show I can do everything the teacher may ask and more. Since registration started at 12:30 PM and the audition at 1:00 PM I arrived very early to be sure I would be physically and mentally prepared. I found out that I had to stay in the lobby and stretch on the cold stone floor until registration began. I was truly prepared to stretch in any location after my experience touring for the Nutcracker in Reno. There was a draft throughout the theatre and no warm areas! The cold stone floor at San Francisco Ballet was definitely warmer than that. Registration began and in we went one by one dropping off our resume, audition fee, and pictures and picking up our numbers. I was quickly greeted by a friend of mine I used to train with at Ballet San Jose years ago. We both continued stretching and warming up as we chatted a bit about the audition experience. I was nervous yet had the determination to not let it over take me to the point I freak out.
The Artistic Director came in and we each took our spot at the barre in numerical order. There were probably around 30 dancers there. The Artistic Director taught the class and gave combinations that weren’t too complicated… this was nice! As the audition went on I continued to focus and believe I could do everything and more. There were a few students from the San Francisco Ballet School auditioning as well that were just beautiful, but I kept focusing and remembering I had something to offer too. At times I did not always execute the combinations perfectly or as well as I would have liked. However, the parts I did know I felt confident I shined. I truly felt with it for this audition: determined, like I did my best. God was truly faithful to give me the strength and focus I needed.
After the audition the Artistic Director explained about the options that are available. This was so nice because at the auditions thus far I didn’t really see them take the time to talk to us and share about their programs, etc. He answered questions and said they would get back to us in April.
Well there you have it! Audition #5 another success!