Audition Advice from J.R. Glover

by karen Krolak

After discussing the Samba workshop at Jacob's Pillow with J. R. Glover, I asked her for some general advice about how dancers can stand out in an intense application process. As the Director of Education at the Pillow, J.R. sifts through hundreds of applications/auditions each year. She immediately provided a really articulate answer worthy of an independent post: 

First of all, the Education Department staff is very friendly and helpful. Dancers should always call or email us with any questions they have; no question or concern is too small.  We worry that we miss out on talented dancers because they assume they are not ready for The School at Jacob’s Pillow. In reality, the Pillow might be just the experience they need to push their dancing to the next level! 

We know that some dancers hold back from submitting a video audition for a variety of reasons.  Some think it’s too hard to produce, others fear it won’t be reviewed as favorably as an in-person audition, and others feel that if they can’t make it perfect, they shouldn’t bother. Dancers tend to be perfectionists and very hard on themselves.

We’re really happy to talk to anyone about how to make the video so they are more comfortable about submitting one. They have to remember that dancers from all over the world, where in-person auditions are not held, are submitting video auditions. And, as with live auditions, dancers cannot predetermine what the panel of adjudicators is looking for.  If they want to be considered, they must be in the room.  So it is the same with a video audition, if they don’t apply then there is no way we can consider them.

We are looking for talent and dedication, not a perfectly produced video. Every applicant gets equal, serious, and respectful consideration for a place in The School.  It’s always worth auditioning if you want to train here. Even if not admitted the first time you audition, you will be better positioned for next time. We love to see dancers grow from year to year.


Anne said...

As my friend Lauren says about orchestral horn auditions, "If you don't play, you can't win." I'd like to add that you might just learn an awful lot about yourself and your playing/dancing in the process. And other people (like those at The Pillow) might learn a little about you.

k said...

That is a great point Anne. When I was in middle school, I went to auditions just for the experience and I learned so much in the process. Do you have any other audition tips from the music world that might be useful for dance?


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