How to Be Successful at Handling Rejection

Good morning Leaps readers!

Today I want to share with you tips on being better at handling rejection. This is not just for dancers who are cut from auditions, but literally anyone reading this who’s realized, as the Rolling Stones once put it, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. Some of my points will take a dance focus, but they are applicable to any and all areas of our lives and careers.

1. Take the Rejection as a Learning Opportunity

Whether you are at an audition or a job interview, reach out to the hiring director afterwards and ask for constructive feedback. If they are kind and have the time, they will try to give you pointers on what they did/didn’t see from you, and what they would have liked to. I have actually made many connections and opportunities for myself by reaching out to the people I wanted to work for to ask for feedback. The constructive critiques will give you something to focus on in your training and preparation for the next audition or interview. And it will also show the hiring director you actually care about improving and have a willingness to learn. By reaching out and showing an interest in growing, they may even reconsider their decision.

2. Look at the Other More Successful Auditionees/Applicants and See how They Prepared

Take a look around you. What are other applicants wearing? Is their resume and headshot in a neat folder, or are they pulling out a crumpled copy from the bottom of their backpack? What kind of training/classes/education did other applicants complete before attending the audition or interview? All of this is useful information, and can help you better prepare for the next time. Did you not bring a headshot or resumé? Was yours crumpled and folded, and on top of another applicant’s whose resumé was laminated and neat? It is important to pay attention to the details more successful applicants paid attention to, which will help put you ahead.

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Photography by Tim Lytvinenko

3. Talk to Other Auditionees/Applicants and Be Friendly (Even After Rejection)

A lot of auditions start the moment you set foot in the audition room. The casting directors and current dancers (or employees) will examine how you interact with the others in the room, your energy, and your willingness to cooperate and be a team player. Sometimes the people you are competing for the same job with are not very friendly, but in every audition I’ve been on, I’ve met at least one person who was super friendly and interested in talking to me. Engaging with the other people in the room is also a great way to network, and who knows! You could meet your new best friend, or a new acquaintance who could lead you to other opportunities.

Being nasty or bitter because you were not the one hired is a big no-no. People remember names and faces, and if you make a grand and unpleasant exit, you will validate their decision to not hire you. Enter and leave with the same dignity and grace you came in with.

4. Use the Rejection to Fuel Your Fire, Not Douse Your Flame

You want this. You made the effort to travel to the audition/interview on time. You bought a new leotard or a new outfit for this day. You did your hair a specific way for this. Remember this goal – these goals – are important to you, and one “No”, or many “Nos” should not make you feel like your goal is unattainable. You can do it, you just have to keep going, keep training, and make your opportunities for yourself. Prepare the best you can, and give it all you have every time, and eventually your hard work will pay off.

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Photography by Tim Lytvinenko

5. Treat Yourself 

After an audition, if you were successful – GREAT. Treat yourself to your favorite coffee or treat, or a nice lunch! If you were unsuccessful – that’s okay! Still treat yourself to your favorite coffee or treat, or a nice lunch. You are worth it, and you always try to make yourself feel positive and good after a rejection. You are worthy of feeling good whether or not you were hired by this one specific person. Self-love builds confidence and resilience, which can only help you when you are trying hard to be hired.

6. Keep Applying for Auditions/Interviews So You Always Have Something to Work Towards

This is pretty self-explanatory, but the more opportunities you create for yourself, the less you will be relying on one specific audition or interview as a potential source of income and fulfillment. Keep researching, keep applying, keep showing up. Make it happen.

Good luck!

xoxo

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First Rockette Audition

GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYONE!

Yesterday was such a fun and exhausting Monday! I auditioned for the Radio City Rockettes for the very first time! I have been told my entire life to audition for the Rockettes because everyone who knows me knows I am a dancer, and says I look the part (and I am definitely tall enough!). If you’re a long-time reader, you also know that I’ve auditioned for their summer program numerous times, and this year was the first year I was invited!

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This audition listing posted late, probably somewhere in the middle of July, so I decided to finally break the ice with the Rockette audition anxiety I’ve had for YEARS and go! It was definitely not as nerve-wracking as I anticipated, and I actually felt really confident and felt like I did a pretty good job (even though I was cut). In my previous post earlier in the summer, Rockette Mini Intensive – I Was Invited!, you know that I was not expecting any invite this year since initially they told me there were no spots for me.

But between my later invite to their summer training, and then their summer audition, I am most certainly going to attend any and all auditions they have to see where else it will lead me. I really hope next summer I can spend the week training with the Rockettes! Audition season is always a pain in the butt, however, it’s also super exciting and keeps me dreaming big; especially days like yesterday!

Did you attend the Rockette audition yesterday? How is your audition season going?

(Related postAudition Season is Coming – Here’s How to Prepare)

xoxo

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New Essence Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palettes?!

Hello beautifuls!

I was in Harmon Face Values the other day picking up a new tube of my favorite Essence Cosmetics Princess Lash mascara, when I noticed their product section had been expanded. I noticed there were three new eyeshadow palettes as well, each retailing for $9.99 each and coming with 16 pans of eyeshadow color! The palettes are titled “Spice Up Your Life”, “I’m with the Band”, and “Fairy Wings and Magical Things”.

The “Spice Up Your Life” palette caught my eye – not only because the palette title reminds me of the iconic Spice Girls song, but also because the design of the packaging was reminiscent of fall (which if you’re a long-time reader you know is my FAVORITE season). I didn’t buy the palette, but I took some pictures of it to show you all what it looked like because it was so cute, and seemed like a good deal!

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You can see why the packaging caught my eye – what a cute design! I love all of the spice doodles like the cinnamon stick and the pepper! Here is what the inside looks like.

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The eyeshadows have a clear packaging over them so there was a lot of reflection from the store lights, but how great is the shade range? There is a nice balance of warm-toned and cool-toned shades, which make this palette seem super versatile! I hope one day I will be able to check it out!

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The other two palettes included different color families, and their own fun combination of colors to match their themes. I will try to capture photos of the other two the next time I am in this store. Essence has so many fun and pretty products I want to try, especially now that their selection is so large in Face Values.

I am in NO WAY trying to rush summer, but fall beauty is my favorite!! There are always so many fun product launches all with fall themed packaging and color schemes. I can’t wait to see what else will be released by the end of August through October!

Have you tried this palette? What are your thoughts?!

Xoxo

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I’m Back and Ready to MOVE!

Hi everyone!

WOW, the American Dance Festival was a WHIRLWIND! I cannot fully express in words how busy I was, and how saturated I am right now with everything I was exposed to. ADF was one of the very best decisions I ever made, and I can’t believe all of the connections I made, experiences I had, and dances I danced.

There were too many great moments to pick a favorite! But let me just say the community ADF creates cannot be found anywhere else. Everyone is free to be 100% themselves, everyone is encouraging, and everyone is there to connect with each other through dance. Durham, North Carolina is the perfect city for the festival to be located in too. This is because Durham is filled with so many artists, dancers, and musicians, and everyone is so open to collaborating to make something beautiful.

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Photography by: Tim Lytvinenko

Some of my favorite performances I watched included the ADF Alumni concert, Rosie Herrara Dance Theater, Kyle Abraham A.I.M., and Michelle Dorrance’s tap solo in the Wondrous Women Concert. In addition to dancing full time, I was working in the Performances office of the festival assisting the staff with picking up and taking care of visiting dance company needs! I met so many amazing performers and choreographers, and even was invited to some exclusive invite-only events by some of the choreographers (I can’t share information on these things now, but in the fall when they happen I will be able to post about them! So exciting!).

While I was there, I also collaborated with a Raleigh-based artist named Tim Lytvinenko. He needed a model for a project series he is working on (his work is in the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh BY THE WAY), and I needed dance photos. So we exchanged photo shoots which was super fun! He is going to turn one of the photos he made of me into a piece of art which can hopefully be in his museum installation one day. Here is one of his favorites.

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Photography by: Tim Lytvinenko

Side note: This photo reminds me a lot of the movie DVD cover of Across the Universe. Do you all know that movie? It is a movie musical telling a story through the songs of the Beatles. It’s amazing, and if you haven’t seen it, after you’re done reading please go watch it.

Anyway, I was able to perform in student choreography concerts, visit the Nasher Museum of Art, watch dance films, take masterclasses, and push my body to new limits. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been fortunate because this week the company I dance for is performing in a summer arts festival in New York, and we have been rehearsing and creating all week 🙂 It is nice to keep moving and not be stuck home sedentary after 6 weeks of nonstop movement at ADF. I have some auditions and fun adventures in NYC coming up next week and in August too! There is no time rest it seems, but I don’t mind pushing my body this much if it means I can dance!

There is so much going on, and all of it is amazing! I can’t wait to share more with you!

Thank you for reading – it’s so nice to be back!

Xoxo

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Halfway Through ADF – I’m SO Inspired!

Hello everyone!

I am officially three weeks into the American Dance Festival, and I am SO grateful to be here! I am having the time of my life! This experience is helping me find myself, work through obstacles I have not been dealing with effectively, and is bettering my technique. All of this is happening while I am training, growing stronger mentally and physically, and being inspired left and right!

I’ve met some amazing people/dancers, and this environment is incredibly supportive, safe, and creative. I love how immersed I am in dance and art, and I cannot express enough how truly thankful I am for the opportunity to be here this summer.

I wanted to share with you all some photos I took within the last three weeks! It is amazing how quickly time is passing, and I really want it to slow down! The first week I was here, I was able to take some fun photos at the Duke University Chapel!

Today, I went to the Nasher Museum of Art of Duke’s West Campus for their presentation of “Movies by Movers“, which is a series of dance films they present throughout the weekends of the summer intensive. Today was the first day, and the films I viewed were stunning. I left the museum theater feeling introspective and thoughtful.

You can view the list of  “Movies by Movers” at this link: ADF Dance Film Festival Line Up

At the Nasher, I visited their gift shop and found some beautiful post cards with prints of artwork featured in the museum on them! I am in love with the one on the top left of my picture (your left!). It is called “Places to Love For”, and I was immediately drawn to it. She looks like a dancer, but even if the woman depicted is not, I feel like the painting has a lot of movement to it, even though she is portrayed standing still. I wish the museum sold a full-size replica print or poster because I would have bought one for my room! Instead, I bought four different post cards that I am going to frame and hang on my bedroom walls when I go home!

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I am also collaborating with a visual artist while I am down here! He is based out of Raleigh, NC and I am modeling for him for a project he is working on, and in exchange, he photographed some headshots and dance photos for free for me to use for auditions and dance projects when I am back home in NJ/NY. I CANNOT wait for those photos to be released so I can share them with you all! They came out so great, and we worked for a while on them! We have another photo shoot scheduled for his projects too, which will be super awesome to see the final result when he is done manipulating the images.

Living down here on my own and navigating this festival is changing my life, and I have a feeling when I return home I will be a better version of myself.  Dance has ALWAYS been the one constant in my life, and the American Dance Festival is confirming my belief that dance is my path to journey down in this lifetime. I am forever grateful for this art form and the community surrounding it.

I will update you all soon! I can’t wait to share my other adventures and projects with you all!

xoxo

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