Please use this guide as a reference and always confirm dates and requirements through official intensive websites before auditioning.
Summer Intensives for Ballet
What to Expect:
Many ballet students considering a professional career in dance start auditioning Summer Intensives as young as age 8. Some schools have young dancer workshops to accomodate serious dancers under the age of 12 and they last about 2 weeks. Most schools accept dancers into their full program at age 12 and these workshops can usually run 3-6 weeks. Some dancers go from one workshop immediately into another and dance all summer long sometimes even traveling to more than one state or country!
Some schools offer dorms while others do not or in some cases dorms are only open to older students age 16 and up. Many schools welcome parent chaperones. Things you should consider are location, being away from family, friends and pets and of course career goals.
Summer Intensives can be a great way to find a company that is a right fit for you. You may have always had your heart set on a NYC based company only to find out that you do not like subways or the big city! So it's a great learning experience from all aspects.
Many companies use their schools to feed into their studio companies (junior companies) which then feed into their main company. As you probably already know ballet is very competitive and just attending and SI will not guarantee you a spot to any company. But the experience can at least help you find out where you think you fit in and help direct your dreams and goals.
Some schools offer scholarships and you will usually be notified if you have been scholarshipped. They are usually merit based so you usually don't apply. But be sure to research your options.
At the Audition:
If you have not pre-regisistered prior to the audition date you will have to register on location. Pre-registration recomended for obvious reasons. Bring photos, only what they have asked for, to the audition if required. make sure they are the proper size. Usually snap shots are okay. You don't have to hire a professional photographer! School photos can even serve as your headshot.
You will likely be given a number to pin on to your leotard and divided by age group. Follow the guidelines for garments. They may have asked you to wear a particular color. Don't be afraid to show some personality by choosing a classy, not overly obnoxious or big, hair decoration . Guys you can skip that :) Light make-up that is age appropriate is also acceptable. Should I state the obvious things? Don't be late, don't talk or be disrespectful in anyway and don't try too hard for attention. Be yourself. Also be prepared for "judges" to talk about you to other judges! You may overhear some things- good and bad!
Bring spare tights and some food and water in case you get stuck longer than you anticipated. Plan ahead for traffic. It is better to arrive very early than late. Plus then you will be relaxed not stressed out. Find out about parking and if you need change for meters etc.
Coming soon... planning for your trip away from home and what to do if you are excepted into more than one program.