Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Day in Annapolis

This past Sunday I traveled down to Maryland's lovely capital to audition for The Ballet Theatre of Maryland. The audition was for dancers interested in either being company members, apprentices, or trainees. The company's artistic director, Dianna Cuatto, uniquely combines multiple styles of dance in her repertory. In fact, at the end of the audition when asked what we hope to gain if we were picked, most of the dancers said that they loved the company's variety of works and wanted to expand their versatility. The Ballet Theatre of Maryland is a great place to do that because they perform classical ballets, contemporary ballet pieces, and even include some modern and jazz elements.

This would be a great opportunity to continue my training and gain performance experience in many styles of dance. For example, towards the end of the audition we learned some repertory from a ballet about the four elements. We were taught the dance representing earth, which was very strong and grounded. It was modern en pointe! I loved the unlikely combination and the choreography truly showed the qualities of earth.

Before we learned choreography, we took a ballet class that was almost 2 hours long. This was the main part of our audition because Dianna wanted to see the level of our classical ballet technique. We did barre on flat and changed into our pointe shoes for the rest of class. Not only have I not taken a full pointe class in a while, but this one was extremely difficult! We're talking tricky pirouettes, lots of beats in the jumps, and 16 fouette turns at the end of the grand allegro. The steps included in the combinations were challenging, but so were the combinations themselves. Plus, Dianna never showed anything full out, so we hard to figure it out on our own, and very quickly. I am so glad I went and challenged myself because that's the only way you can improve. This audition was practice in technique, stamina, and picking up choreography. I definitely could have been more prepared with my pointe work, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger :)

The company is quite small and there were over 30 dancers at the audition (plus another group coming in to audition this weekend), so I'm not sure how many spots there are, but if it doesn't work out it's just on to the next one. No matter what happens at an audition, it's great experience to gain and you're putting yourself out there. The more you audition, the more you will be recognized in the future, and sometimes that makes you more likely to land the job. All you can do is your best, so instead of viewing the other dancers as your competition, try learning from them. When you see everything as a learning opportunity you are constantly growing, and when you are constantly growing you are unstoppable.


S said...

I'm sure you were great!! Would love to see you have the opportunity to go there.

Kelsey Stenta said...

Thank you! I would love it too :)