Would You Audition for The Nutcracker?
By Bill Piner, Director of Schools

Would you be willing to line up to get measured, put on a number, and then file into a room with dozens of other excited dancers, knowing that you would then be scrutinized by Artistic Director, Stephen Mills? Most people would rather endure anything but, but that is exactly the audition process for the young dancers of Ballet Austin Academy every fall, from the time they enter Level 1 (age 8) until they graduate from the program at the end of high school.

There are lots of nerves and excitement in that room…on both sides of the audition table! The dancers want to perform their best and those of us who are charged with making the selections and coordinating the casts want this for them as well. Our hope is that each dancer auditioning has the chance to experience the sense of accomplishment that performing with a professional ballet company can bring. Getting the opportunity to learn what it feels like to attain something for which he or she has worked long and hard is one of the most important components that training in the Academy provides.

During this year's audition, a young boy tripped while trying to learn his steps and fell flat. He hopped up, laughed at himself and carried on as if nothing had happened. When the audition was over and the dancers were released, he turned to us and smiled and said, “that was fun”! This will be his first year to perform in The Nutcracker.
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