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I want to remind dancers and parents alike that the role you are cast in has absolutely no bearing on your future as a dancer. When Ms Suzanne and I cast our large ballets, there are many factors we consider. Much of it has to do with technique as well as maturity, consistency and artistry. We also have to consider the amount of the performances and the logistics of every role in the Ballet in relation to costume changes etc. Once a role is cast, any changes or additions can cause the rest of the cast list to fall like dominoes. Very few people have an idea of the challenges we face each year. This is why we cringe when we think of audition day and the hours of work we have ahead of us just to cast the roles.
Then… we have the ensuing drama of disappointed dancers and sometimes worse yet, disappointed parents. Please understand that we have always and will always look at each and every dancer as an individual. We give anyone that has the proper technique, age and size a chance to audition for the appropriate roles. Sometimes what we see in class vs what we see in auditions can surprise us either way. Even though we may anticipate a dancer will be perfect for a role, in audition they fall apart. This tells us they are not ready for the pressure. Sometimes a dancer who struggles in class shines in auditions. This tells us they are ready to be challenged on stage.
Our motto from day one here at BVI has been “It’s all about the dancers.” Our main concern is their growth and their development as confidant individuals with a strong work ethic and coping skills; especially in the face of disappointment. We are certain that once their rehearsal starts next week, the hurt feelings will fade as they jump into their role in the ballet. Give them a chance to process and encourage them to show us how much they can grow. Next year is a different year and one never knows what will happen then.
Not everyone is Ginger Snap material or Clara material, or Sugar Plum material. The ballet as a whole is what makes it magical, and there are not many dancers in this area who have a chance to be part of the process. We want this to be a positive experience from today on. You as parents can be the most instrumental in your dancers growth and maturity.
Thank you in advance for your help and understanding. Always remember that if you or your dancer is not happy with their role to the point of distress, we can remove them from the ballet with no hard feelings and will not take that into consideration beyond that point. Sometimes a dancer just needs a break and a chance to re group.
Good luck to all, and Happy Nutcracking!