Last week, J's Aunt was in town from Connecticut, as part of her annual audition tour. She is a choreographer for Nutmeg Conservatory, a ballet school and for the past 3 years has stopped in Rochester to hold auditions at Hochstein and teach at Rochester City Ballet. And for the past 3 years, J and I have been guest judges at the Hochstein auditions.
I've worked for years to understand people, what they want, how they want to hear about it, what makes them happy, frustrated, etc. Observation, as many of the leading edge thinkers point out, is a great way to build up this understanding. I take what I see at the auditions, toss out the fact that I really don't know what a "soda shop" or a "pa de buerre" is (and no, those aren't intended to be the right spellings), and try to get a feel for the students, as students, as dancers. To paint a picture of where they are now and where they might be a few years down the road.
J looked on with a designer's eye, noting the form and line in certain positions.
J's Aunt (Joan) is always thrilled with our input and I'm thrilled to contribute. To have some time to sit, watch, note and have that input valued.
While the auditions can tend to make me feel large and very clunky, as well as slow and clueless about ballet, the up side is definitely worth it.