We discussed finding out if your dancer’s teachers and studio owner think he/she is ready to audition, in Part 1 of Is My Dancer Ready for Company?. If they say yes, we would like for her to audition, there are still a few things you may want to consider.
While, the teachers see great potential in your dancer, what do you see?
1. Is she happy and excited to come to dance each week?
If she is already complaining or dreading going to dance once a week, this may be an indication she is not ready to commit to increasing her dance schedule. Remember, this is supposed to be fun. Having to rush a child out the door that would rather stay home or be doing something else, is not fun for anyone.
2. Does she still want to be involved in other things?
Will she need to give up something and is she willing to do that?
Are there still some activities she wants to try and will the increased schedule allow for that?
With my own dancer, we tried lots of different things – gymnastics, cheerleading, ice skating, tennis, soccer and a very brief, but fun t-ball experience. She had expressed a desire to audition when she was both old enough and we thought she was ready. At the time, she was playing soccer on a team with the most wonderful coach and a great group of girls with enjoyable parents. It was like we had landed in soccer eutopia. We could not have asked for a better experience with this team and everyone involved in it. My dancer knew she really wanted to spend more time dancing and performing, but it was really hard for her to say goodbye to that group of people and the wonderful experience we were having and would continue to have as the team was staying together. I knew for her to walk away from that experience, her heart was really devoted to dance.
3. Can he/she balance the increased schedule and their schoolwork?
Some students perform better when they have less free time and are on more of a schedule. Others, may need more time. Try to ensure the increased dance schedule will not be at the expense of completing schoolwork.
4. Does she suddenly want to be more involved because she was asked to audition?
It is normal to feel flattered and excited when someone says you have potential and they would like you to be a part of something. Make sure your dancer knows that it is not something they have to say yes to or try right now. You want them to audition only if it is something they really want to do, not something Mom and Dad or their teachers think they should do.
Dance company is a lot of fun for dancers and their families. If your dancer has the desire to be a part of it and you feel he/she is ready, go for it. If you feel like he/she is not quite ready for the increased dance schedule or she is still figuring out where she wants to spend most of her time, it is okay to wait to audition until she is ready. Although it can be hard, try not to be swayed by others decisions for what is right for their child. Avoid asking other parents their opinion about if your child is ready. This is a determination that can only be made by you, your dancer’s teacher(s) and your studio owner.
Next: What is the audition process?
Just joining us? Our series started with: 10 Questions You Should Ask Before Commiting to Your Studio Dance Company