Two days ago, I took the best ballet class of my life. It was for an extremely prestigious and selective summer program, Alonzo King’s Lines ballet. I was really nervous to go since I would be one of the youngest dancers auditioning, but I was extremely happy I decided to go! This is my thoughts… my takeaways…my experience.
What was the audition like?
I felt very nervous as I stepped into the crowded studio. Girls were sprawled all over the dance floor stretching. Some of them had messy buns that loosely flopped out of their heads, others with buns so tight it seemed like it hurt. I humbly walked to the corner of the room and put down my dance bag, trying not draw much attention. I got there early to stretch and it seemed like most people had the same idea. I quietly stretched, not trying to be intimidated by the amazing dancers around me. One guy did push ups, his arm muscles bulging. Another girl lifted her leg up over her head like it was nothing. Every one seemed older than me and more mature.
Finally, our teacher walked into the room. A couple of people were divided and escorted to another room to audition because of their age. Still, 65 dancers remained in the room i was in. Only about 20 went to the other room. We were placed, based on our audition numbers at barre.
Our teacher was amazing. His name was LeeWei Chao. He was so inspiring and made class so fun. As soon as we started the first combination, I knew this class was going to be different.
“Breathe… the movement never stops.” he said as we plied. I feel like I gained so much knowledge and artistry in that one class. Even if you aren’t planning to attend the summer intensive, I would recommend just taking the class.
We did a full ballet barre warmup. Be prepared to learn it fast because he said the combination pretty fast and expected us to know it and repeat it to the left. After barre, he separated us into groups for when we did the combinations, again based on numbers we had. I was lucky to be placed in the front and center of the third group. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t placed in a good spot, because the judges are great at watching everyone.
Yes, there are some judges, 2-3 that watch your class. They have some sort of grading sheet used to evaluate everyone.
In my class, we did tendus, adagio, pirouettes, petite allegro, and diagonal in center. I did pretty good except I wish I learned the combination better, which would have made me more successful.
Then, we went ONE BY FREAKING ONE from one side of the room to the other doing improv. We first did it to a ballet song, then we were surprised as an electro remix began to play. I love improv because it really helps show your individual movement. What makes you different from teh rest. Just be yourself and you’ll do fine in improv.
And that was it. The audition class was 2 hours, but passed by surprisingly quick.
What are the people there like?
What I learned is that the people there are a mixture of very outgoing and kind, fake nice, snobbish, or downright cutthroat. I befriended a girl about the same age as me which was great because we went over the combinations together, gave each other pep talks, and made each other laugh. I suggest trying to make a friend or two or bringing someone you know because it will make your class more enjoyable. One girl was very fake nice. She had a ton of makeup on from “Yagp.” I’ll admit, she was good, but she just seemed very fake and was only being nice to make the judges think she was a pleasant person to be around. Another girl, tall, mature, with a face of freckles, was very snobbish. I tried to say hi to her but she ignored me. I get that you want to be focused but SERIOUSLY CAN YOU NOT BE SO frEAKING RUDE GIRL??? Finally a couple of girls were downright cutthroat. Pushing people out-of-the-way to be in front, giving me dirty looks, jesus girl CALM DOWN. Most people were quite plesant however. It was nice to meet dancers from all around the area.
I would go again just for the class. BEST CLASS EVER. I had such an inspiring teacher, met some inspiring dancers (as well as some not so nice ones, and had a great audition experience. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get in, based on how selective it is, but I do know I tried my best, I’m happy with what I put out for the judges, and that i would do it again in a heartbeat.
Next week I have another audition for Joffrey Ballet. And I can’t wait!