Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive

Hello wonderful readers of the internet!

I have been on a whirlwind. 2019 began and I hit the ground running. I’ve been working *7* jobs, taking dance classes, and auditioning like crazy. I’ve been going to casting calls for jobs, but also for summer training programs. I wanted to share a fun story about my audition for the Joffrey Ballet School summer intensive.

Last week, I decided at the very last minute I was going to attend an audition for Joffrey Ballet School. The audition was on Saturday, and I decided Friday evening I was going to go. This was a bit stressful because for the audition I needed a picture of me in first arabesque in pointe shoes, and I needed a headshot with my hair in a “ballet hairstyle”. I didn’t have either on hand. So after a full day of ballet class for me, and teaching tap in the evening, one of my student’s moms’ helped me take a photo in arabesque, I drove an hour home, and my little brother helped me take a headshot with my hair in a ballet bun! Both didn’t turn out too shabby! I ended up running to a CVS at 11:30pm to print them out! When I said last minute, I literally meant the very last minute (the CVS closed at 12am).

This was the headshot my brother took on his iPhone

The audition was in Putnam county NY. I taught barre and TRX Saturday morning, and then I drove myself to the audition site. I felt really good about how I performed. We took a ballet class and then performed combinations en pointe across the floor and in the center. When it was over, I thanked the instructor and the owner of the studio, and was informed I would know my results by the following Friday.

Two days later, I received my acceptance letter! I was accepted into 11 of their programs!! I was actually floored because I almost didn’t go to the audition, and now I have so many options and opportunities available to me!


I’m intrigued by so many of their programs, it’s all a tad overwhelming! I am definitely leaning towards the NYC Ballet Intensive (that is the bread and butter of the Joffrey Ballet School for the summer), and the intensive in Genoa, Italy!! If I attend any of these programs, I don’t think I could make a wrong choice. However, I’ve never been to Italy, and studying ballet and contemporary in Italy sounds like a dream come true!

Even more exciting – my best friend who lives in Chicago told me if I attend the Italy location, she will come at the end of the two week intensive to see our dance showcase, and then her and I could take a week and explore Italy and/or Europe together! Uhm, what!!! Can you say dream summer?!? I am so beyond excited at the thought of the possibility.

I still have a few more summer training programs I am auditioning for this winter, and as you can imagine, none of these programs are cheap. Before I put deposits down for anything, I am going to keep spreading my seeds far and see what grows in time. If this wasn’t already a lot to choose from, hopefully there will be even more to choose from in a few weeks!

It’s encouraging to receive an acceptance letter throughout all of this hustling back and forth between NJ and NYC. And it’s also reassuring that I am good at what I do and all of my effort is not for nothing. I will definitely be updating my blog with news throughout audition season. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Until next time

xoxo

Advertisements

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 most 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. 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 resumé 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 misshapen, 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.

062718_tl_shoot-645

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. There is always a possibility the people you are competing for the same job with are not very friendly. However, 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 wore a specific 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 your best effort every time. Eventually your hard work will pay off.

062718_tl_shoot-169

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! You should still treat yourself! You are worth it, and you should always try to make yourself feel positive even after a rejection. You can learn so much from each audition process you go to. Plus, you are worthy of feeling good whether or not you were hired by this one specific person. Self-care builds confidence and resilience, which can only help you when you are working hard throughout audition season.

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

2017 signature

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!

20180806_235836.jpg

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

2017 signature

 

 

My First NYC Dance Job Starts this Fall!! (2018)

Hi everyone!

I am SO excited to announce I will be joining the Vanessa Long Dance Company’s Long2 Dance company starting in October 2018! Here is a blurb taken from her company’s webpage about her work!

“Vanessa Long Dance Company, a NYC based dance company, creates and performs original work by Artistic Director and Founder Vanessa Long. Since it’s founding in October 2014, VLDC quickly captured the attention of fellow artists, presenters, and audience members with its award winning work, ensemble of dancers, and fearless work tackling social and political issues we face in everyday life.” – vanessalongdancecompany.com

Long2 is the Vanessa Long second company! I will training and performing with Vanessa Long and her core company members starting in the fall, in addition to training with other guest choreographers who come in to set work on the Long2 dance ensemble. I am so excited I cannot contain it!!

_MG_4280

I auditioned for her on April 17 for the main company and was cut, so I did not expect her to reach out to me the next day and offer me a spot in her second company! ❤ I’ve been wanting to work with her for a few years now, and a dance professor of mine actually told me I should look into working with her during my senior year of college back in 2017.

This opportunity could not have come at a more significant time in my life, and I think it validates that I am on the right path. All of my auditioning, training, and hard work is starting to pay off! And the beautiful part is that this is only the beginning! I can’t wait to see where this road leads me, and I am thankful to participate in any way that I can.

Have a great day everybody!

2017 signature

How to Self-Remedy for Auditions When You’re Feeling Under the Weather

Happy Sunday everybody!

I have not felt well the last few days, and I had an audition this morning so I had to take some affirmative action to try to make myself feel better beforehand. Today I want to share some home remedies I follow to help myself feel audition-ready, even when I don’t feel like I can be. Here are some ways to take care of yourself and your health before an important audition or even an important performance.
1. Vitamin C

giphy

Vitamin c is essential for your immune system! Because it is a water-soluble vitamin, it takes a large dose of vitamin c to have too much. However, always follow the instructions when taking vitamins! Anyway, when I’m not feeling great, I blast my body with vitamin c to try to give my immune system a boost to kick the under-the-weather feelings. Vitamin c tablets, orange juice, grapefruit juice, and citrus fruits are great ways to get your daily intake of vitamin c.
2. Zinc

zicam

Dissolvable zinc tablets like Zicam are great for blasting your body with zinc. Zicam is supposed to be taken right when you start feeling lousy, and a lot of the time, they help kick a cold before it starts. Just be careful with the dissolvable tablets – they stain your teeth!
3. Kombucha teakombucha green tea

I was introduced to Yogi Kombucha Green Tea by a manager when I worked at the mall and came in sick one day, and she went to the store to buy me some tea bags. The healing and active ingredients in kombucha are great for your immune system, and for providing your body with antioxidants it needs to fight illnesses. I’ve had this Yogi brand hot tea, other brands of bottled “iced” kombucha tea, and homemade kombucha tea my uncle has made. It is a great way to remedy yourself at home! Plus, it’s pretty yummy!
4. Quality Sleep

giphy1

When I’m not feeling well, I sleep a lot! And I’m not usually a napper, so when I feel the need to nap I know something is off. Quality, uninterrupted sleep is essential for your body to heal and repair itself. Try to sleep for 7 hours or more the night before an important audition or performance day so you’re awake, refreshed, and at least a little more energized than you otherwise would be if you were up late watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram.
5. Hydration

giphy2

WATER WATER WATER! I know drinking enough water throughout the day is annoying and surprisingly hard to do for many people (including myself), but staying hydrated will make you feel so much better! Most headaches and muscle aches are caused or exacerbated by dehydration, so staying hydrated will not only keep your body hydration at a healthy level, but also relieve muscular tension caused by dehydration.

I am by no means a doctor, nor do I know much about herbal medicine, and I am not claiming to know anything! However, those are my top 5 home remedies that I know work for me to help me kick the signs of a cold before it has the chance to start. These remedies are helpful during audition and performance season if you are in a pinch for time and need to feel better quick.

Let me know your favorite home remedies below! I’d love to read about your favorite self-care tips!

xoxo

2017 signature