This week I completed something that I started entirely on a whim.
I had seen an advert for a job in Southampton that looked interesting. So in a fit of stepping outside my comfort zone I decided to apply!
What was the job I hear you ask!?
Rehearsal assistant for the Birmingham Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Dreams project.
Anyway, I applied, sending a detailed CV, a comprehensive covering letter and video footage of my teaching. Then I waited until suddenly my email went ping and I had been astoundingly offered an interview/audition. Further details followed and I was set!
So on Wednesday morning I got up early, picked out my nicest leotard, packed my ballet shoes and headed off for central Birmingham. I arrived at the Stage door in ample time and was taken to the dressing rooms of the Birmingham Royal Ballet where I had ten minutes to prep and get into the right mindset.
The lovely manager took me on a trot through the BRB buildings and into the adjoining Birmingham Hippodrome to a beautifully light and area studio. The door opened and in I went!
A head of me was a chap seated at a grand piano, and 4 women! Two were the artistic directors of the project and two were the teachers for it I believe, though it was such an overwhelming moment I'm not too sure! After brief introductions we then waited for the pupils to arrive, cue 9 young dancers aged between 8 and 12, at varying points of their training - the eldest at Elmhurst and the youngest a part of the out reach program that BRB run.
Then it was straight to the task at hand, I'd been told to teach a basic warm up, plie and tendu exercises, a jump warm up and a travelling exercise. I did this then had a further task which was to polish a short piece of choreography. I did these tasks with the added benefit of a wonderful musician.
Then it was onto the interview part with a panel of the loveliest ladies who made me feel like I wasn't out of place! I'm just a regional dance teacher who only wanted to teach!! After 10 minutes of chatter it was done!
While I walked back to the dressing room the project manager told me the girls had enjoyed my class so I had a smile on my face as I left the building!
I didn't get the post. But actually that's ok.
My rejection letter is as follows;
Thank you for attending the auditions yesterday for the Swan Lake Dreams Rehearsal Assistant position. We really enjoyed meeting you and appreciate the efforts you made with your application and audition.
We saw quite a few candidates for the positions and unfortunately on this occasion you were unsuccessful. Your approach to the class was excellent and the attention you gave to L and S really didn't go unnoticed! Your students are very lucky to have such a caring teacher, but please have confidence in your abilities!
We could really see your passion and commitment to ballet and hope that you will still continue to find some professional development opportunities and apply for further roles in the future.
We still hope that you would encourage your students to apply for this and attend the teachers day in January. We would really like to remain in contact as it is really nice to meet such passionate and committed teachers. Going forwards there may be other opportunities that we could offer, so please do stay in touch.
Thank you for your interest in Birmingham Royal Ballet and Swan Lake Dreams, we wish you all the best.
With kind Regards,
I've been able to take so much away from the opportunity, and who am I to argue if the BRB say my approach is excellent!
I think most importantly I would say that I've learned from this that you might be scared to change focus, or be worried you'll look silly, or that being rejected would make you believe you aren't good enough, but go for it anyway! As Miss Gem and I say - Eat the frog! I took a leap into the unknown and while I didn't get the result I want I feel inspired to keep working and progressing to be the best that I can be for the kids I teach.
Inspirational, 'ey kids???