Nutcracker FAQ

Q: How much does it cost to audition?
The audition fee is $25 which will be applied to your participation fee if you are cast in the show.  This is to cover expenses for the audition day.

Q: What can a dancer expect during the audition?
Dancers can expect to participate in a true audition format. They should look their best, try their best, and be on their best behavior. As part of the check-in process, dancers will be given an audition number and asked to line up in number order.  They will then be escorted to the stage of the theater where the audition will take place in front of our directors and choreographers.  Choreography or steps will be taught and then the dancers will be asked to show them in smaller groups. Older dancers may also be asked to show technique required for certain roles.   

Q: What should a dancer prepare ahead of the audition?
Working on general skills and technique for their age/level is highly recommended.  We are very age appropriate to what we look for in the dancers. 

Q: How long can a dancer expect to be at the audition?
The audition times are listed on the audition notice as well as when you register.  We do our best to run auditions as close to those times as possible. In specific cases, we may ask a dancer to stay or come back for another audition time. 

Q: Does the headshot need to be professional?
No they do not need to be professional but we do need a current headshot (from the chest up) showing the dancer in dance attire, preferably a leotard, and hair in a ballet bun or neatly pulled back out of their face.  Basically, we need a picture correlating to how the dancer will look on audition day.  Our preference is for audition headshots to show the dancer’s face and body according to how they currently look.  

Q: Can parents watch the auditions?
No. Our live, open auditions are closed to parents, dancers and the public.  We ask that parents check their dancer in and then wait outside until auditions have concluded. 

Q: What is the dress code for auditions and rehearsal?
The dress code for auditions is ballet attire (solid color leotard, pink tights and ballet shoes for girls (no skirts) and white t-shirt, black shorts/pants, and black ballet shoes for boys.  Hair should be neatly pulled back in a bun for female dancers. For rehearsals, the requirements are the same. During rehearsals for some roles more contemporary attire may be allowed.  This will be noted to those dancers specifically. 

Q: What if we can’t be at in-person auditions?
For those who cannot attend our live, in-person auditions, a video audition will be accepted.  Video submissions are due no later than July 29. Once you register for your specific audition age group & level, more details on what to provide for a video audition will be provided.  Auditioning live and in person is ideal but we understand there are circumstances that prevent a dancer from auditioning in person. 

Q: When will we know the results?
We take our casting decisions very seriously and try to cast dancers in a part/role that accommodates their skills/abilities that were seen during auditions. However, we also take into consideration height and sizes based on costuming.  Typically results are released 1-2 weeks after the video audition submission deadline (July 31) and any call-backs we may have.

Q: How many dances will my dancer be cast in?
Dancers selected will be cast in anywhere from 1-4 roles depending on their age, measurements and skills/abilities.  Typically our youngest performers will only get cast in 1-2 roles their first couple of years.  Some of our intermediate/advanced dancers may get 3-4 parts. It really depends on what we see at the auditions and which roles would be the best for them based on their abilities. 

Q: If my dancer is cast in a role, how long do we have to accept or confirm participation?
It takes countless hours to determine our casting and if you audition we assume you are willing to participate and accept any of the roles your dancer is cast. Some dancers may not be cast into a role or may only be cast in 1 part so should your dancer’s be unable to commit to the production, directors should be notified within 1 week of the cast list being posted.

Q: If my dancer is cast into the show, when is the participation fee due? Do you have payment plans? 
If you are cast, the participation fee is due by the first rehearsal.  For those in financial need, we do offer the option to split up payments but that arrangement does need to be made in advance and not after the first day of rehearsal.  We also offer financial assistance for those in need.

Q: When and where are rehearsals?
Rehearsals are held on Sunday’s and will take place at one of two locations. Rehearsals from Aug. 25 – Oct. 13th will be held at Soleunique Dance Complex in North Aurora. Rehearsals from Oct. 20th – Nov. 17th will be held at The Academy of Dance Arts in Warrenville.  Our tech week rehearsals will all be held at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre in Batavia.

Q: Will we be there all day on rehearsals?
Dancers should expect to have an hour rehearsal weekly per role.  Sometimes the time frame may be more or less.  If a dancer is in several parts, your rehearsals may be scheduled throughout the day on a Sunday. There will be some days where given roles will not be scheduled to rehearse.  It all depends on how the rehearsals are going and how much choreography gets set the previous weeks.  Dancers can expect to have longer rehearsals as we get closer to the show especially when we are running the full acts later in Oct/early Nov.

Q: Does my dancer need to have ballet experience? What requirements for ballet do you have?
A dancer should have some ballet experience.  We require dancers to be enrolled in a ballet class during the entirety of the production time (Sept-Nov) and this is simply due to the fact that we are an outside organization that does not train the dancers weekly. In order for us to put on our show with the level of choreography we have, we need dancers to commit to weekly training at their dance studios to keep up with skills and technique needed for the performance. We allow some flexibility with taking other style classes but that must be discussed with the Artistic Director in advance and will only be available for specific roles. Dancers will be asked to verify this requirement between their home studios and the Fox Valley Ballet by September 1st by providing proof of enrollment.

Q: What are the requirements for dancers that are cast into pointe roles? 
Safety is our top priority and that means dancers need to be training weekly en pointe if cast in a pointe role including both soloists and corp de ballet. Dancers that get cast for pointe roles MUST be enrolled in 3 ballet technique classes and a minimum of 2 pointe classes per week to be eligible to perform in pointe roles (this includes all corp roles as well). Dancers will be asked to verify this requirement between their home studios and the Fox Valley Ballet by September 1st. Dancers unable to verify this, will be removed from their cast roles that require pointe work.

Q: What if I have a conflict for a Sunday rehearsal? 
Our schedule is extremely tight. Absences are only approved by our directors and must be discussed prior to auditioning. Recurring absences will not be approved (ex: older dancers taking Drivers Education classes on Sundays, sports games, outside dance company rehearsals/performances). If you anticipate a potential conflict, it must be listed on the audition form or emailed to the Artistic Director by August 1st to be considered. Please know that listing a potential conflict does not mean the absence is approved. Absence requests related to travel (including Columbus Day Weekend), outside dance company requirements, or conventions will not be considered.

Q: What if I have other questions? 
If you have other questions related to the audition process or the show, please direct them to our general e-mail at [email protected].