The highs and lows of the audition process. Follow Leia’s progress as she applies to Dance and Performing Arts schools.

The Audition Process…………….

My first audition (KS Dance) was for my “younger self’s dream school”; it is an amazing ballet school however it’s not the right school for me.

For my second audition (Laine), I went in confident as a result of my last audition going well however, I feel that the standard was a lot higher and there was more pressure because I wanted to go to this school, I was a lot more nervous. This audition day was very long; like most it consisted of a ballet class, jazz class and we had to perform one solo song and a monologue. This was the first time I had to sing in an audition and it went okay considering but there were still some problems throughout the day which I have worked on. The main problem I had was my singing but with some extra practice I have now become more confident with singing to strangers. I also had to work on performing in a class setting and smiling under pressure.

In my next audition (Masters) I felt ready and excited for the day. However it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. It started off with singing and I had trouble with the pianist, I carried on and did my best under the circumstances. Next was jazz and commercial, the class started off really well and I was confident with the steps. Then the worst part, I fell over as we kicked down the room in pairs. The teacher was quick to help me up and check I was okay (which I wasn’t) but I carried on trying to forget what happened. After the “incident” the class didn’t get much better, I was so embarrassed I couldn’t remember the steps and concentrated more on not falling than performing. It wasn’t much of a shock when I found out I didn’t achieve a place.

With my audition after (Urdang) I decided that I wasn’t going to let the last one keep me back, I fought even harder, changed my song and pushed myself more. This school is one the hardest to get into so my chances weren’t great but I felt even if I didn’t get in I had accomplished something. I had got back up and proved to myself I had the same chances as everyone else.

Over the years we have had many pupils whose desire to dance is so strong it drives them to pursue a career in dance. We currently have some students starting this process and we thought it would be good to follow their progress. Over the next few months we will be posting diary updates from three pupils as they work to achieve their dreams. Follow one student’s journey from the beginning………

A career in dance – Leia Thomas

I started dance when I was two and like most pupils I began with ballet. At the age of 5 I did my first exam and I achieved a merit. I started tap when I was seven and jazz at 8 after watching my mum’s classes. It was at this age I realised I never wanted to stop dancing, however, I didn’t know then what this would entail. I always wanted to dance but when I turned 10 my passion grew. First, I started joining in the older pupil’s jazz classes in the back, then I began doing extra ballet classes and participating in the higher grades, so I would be able to do my exams quicker with better results. Currently I dance 5-7 days a week, up to 19 hours in total to improve my stamina, technique and experience.

I considered different dance schools and at the time I wanted to do ballet and I didn’t care what anyone said as in my head I was going to be a ballerina. This has now changed, and I’ve broadened my options by attending as many workshops, classes and summer schools as I can. I have found a love for new genres and my love for performance has grown as a result.

One of my biggest achievements to date was taking part in the English Youth Ballet production of ‘Sleeping beauty’ in Cardiff’s New Theatre. Finding out I had a place after the audition was my first realisation that I could do this. Being on stage with some incredible dancers and new friends, I started to picture what the rest of my life could be.

The next stage is to audition for schools across England and hope to get a place to train as a professional dancer. I am taking the next steps into my future and I hope that my hard work pays off.