You’ve found the perfect summer program. You audition, and wait
weeks for the fated acceptance or rejection letter. An envelope with
your dream school’s logo arrives. You excitedly rip it open to ;nd that
you’ve been…wait-listed. Your ideal intensive, that just seconds ago
seemed within reach, has now slipped away. Or has it?
Few feelings are more frustrating than being placed on the waitlist.
What exactly went wrong? Should you follow up or ask for another
chance? Or should you make a commitment to your second choice?
Ultimately, how you handle yourself while in limbo can make a lasting
A NUMBERS GAME
Most summer programs accept more dancers than they have spots
for, knowing that some students will go elsewhere. Waitlists ensure
they’re not left with empty barre space. Some programs never touch the
waitlist, while others may extend an offer to nearly everyone, and most
schools’ dependence on the list changes each year. Lack of space is the
number-one reason a quali;ed dancer is wait-listed. It’s also a spot for
dancers that the audition panel feels may not be as strong technically,
but they see something special in.
Patel Conservatory in Tampa, Florida, aims to have 300 students attend
INCREASE YOUR CHANCES
its Next Generation Ballet Summer Intensive each year. After seeing
more than 600 dancers on a 25-city audition tour (plus year-round Patel
students), around 500 dancers are admitted. Seventy to 80 end up on
the waitlist. Instead of ;rst come, ;rst served, dancers on Patel’s list are
divided by level, then carefully ranked. “We want to make sure each of
our levels have relatively even numbers,” says Patel’s dance department
manager Claire Florio, who adds that dancers in later audition cities are
more likely to be wait-listed if their level is already full. “Auditioning
as early as possible certainly can’t hurt.”
Springboard Danse Montréal, a three-week program that connects
advanced dancers with choreographers, has to be even more speci;c
when letting dancers off the waitlist—they’re not just ;lling class levels,
but casting performances, too. The program typically has 110 available
spots. When one is given up, it needs to be ;lled with a dancer similar
to the original. “If I lose a guy who’s amazing at partnering, I’m not
going to replace him with a guy who can’t lift,” says artistic direc-
tor Alexandra Wells, who pulled 45 dancers, of about 60 total, off the
waitlist last year.
Your ;rst instinct when wait-listed may be to ask for another shot. But
Alexei Kremnev, artistic director of The Joffrey Academy of Dance in
Chicago, says this can only sometimes help sway your odds. “Dancers
can contact our staff and we’ll decide if a reevaluation should be allowed,”
says Kremnev. (Joffrey accepts 6 to 12 dancers from a waitlist of about
wait-listed to the
of your dreams.
BY RACHEL ZAR
The Waiting Game
Springboard Danse Montréal accepted
45 dancers from its waitlist last year.