Hannah Fischer in  Giselle ; Canada's National Ballet School. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Hannah Fischer in Giselle; Canada's National Ballet School. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

The History of the Guidelines

In response to concerns over varied and conflicting audition requirements requested of students auditioning upon graduation, the artistic directors of the twenty-one professional schools participating in Assemblée Internationale 2017 formed a committee to explore the possibility of creating standard pre-selection guidelines for auditions. This committee examined the wide range of practices in the dance community and, after careful deliberation, created and proposed specific guidelines to serve as a first step in pre-screening applicants for prospective company auditions. The committee was of the opinion that the adoption of these guidelines would enable schools and their students to channel their resources in an efficient manner without compromising the interests of dance companies.

Having created these guidelines, which they named the International Audition Pre-Selection Guidelines (IAP Guidelines), the committee sought and secured endorsements from a select group of artistic directors of ballet companies. By endorsing the IAP Guidelines, each artistic director agreed to limit the demands made of applicants for pre-selection for audition to the elements listed in the guidelines and to indicate on the company website that it subscribes to the International Audition Pre-Selection Guidelines. To date, the IAP Guidelines have been endorsed by over twenty international professional ballet companies, as well as a growing number of professional ballet schools. The committee’s next step is to encourage other schools and companies across the dance community to join with it in implementing the International Audition Pre-Selection Guidelines.

Committee members

Jason Beechey, Rector, Palucca University of Dance, Dresden, Germany; Mavis Staines, Artistic Director and CEO, Canada’s National Ballet School, Toronto, Canada; Cheryl Belkin Epstein, Developer of Creative Resources and Ballet Historian, Canada’s National Ballet School, Toronto, Canada; Margaret Tracey, Director, Boston Ballet School, Boston, U.S.A.; Garry Trinder, Director, New Zealand School of Dance, Wellington, New Zealand