Confessions of a Ninja Ballerina: Placement Classes

I recently went to Mississippi for a summer dance intensive at Ballet Magnificat. In order to get put in a level you have to take a placement class. I went last year, so I kind of knew what to expect from placement class that first day. But that doesn’t make it any easier.

For any of you who have done a placement class or audition of any sort, you know what it’s like. You know what to expect, yet nerves course through your body every second, your mind buzzes with the combination, trying desperately to perfect it before the judges glance at you. The fear of messing up can be almost crippling sometimes.

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Yet, we push through. Here’s a couple things to keep in mind in placement classes/auditions:

  • Do your best. I know, it’s cliché and overused, but if you honestly give your all into everything, you’re going to feel pretty good about yourself. Holding back, whether consciously or subconsciously will cause regret and a lot of ‘what if…?’.
  • Breathe. Sure, this seems pretty easy, but dancers tend to hold their breath a lot during fast combinations, or even just hard ones. When you don’t breathe, you get tense. Tense muscles don’t move in a nice, flowing way. So just remember; in. Out. In. Out.
  • Smile. A lot of times, the judges are not only looking for technique, but also a nice performance quality. So smiling a little doesn’t hurt. Or just any emotion at all. No robots.
  • Enjoy yourself. You’ll never be happy with a placement class if you see it as just another things you could possibly fail at. Look at it like a normal class, with all sorts of new things to learn. Remember how much you love dance and just be happy that you get to do what you love.

 

So what kind of placement class experiences have you had? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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