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If you participated in last year's program and were selected to be a Semifinalist or Honorable Mention in January 2019, you will bypass the Preliminary 1 video audition and advance to Preliminary 2 to schedule your live audition.

Ballet students who will be attending a dance program away from home and outside of Southern California during the Spotlight year and whose parent(s) still live in Southern California may participate in Spotlight as long as they attend auditions, rehearsal and final performance if advancing to the Grand Finale Performance.   Proof of study will be required from dance program outside of Southern California. You may not be an apprentice or member of a professional ballet company and participate in Spotlight.

What’s required of me for my Ballet Preliminary 1 video audition?

All students begin with a Preliminary 1 video audition. Those scoring highest will advance to Preliminary 2 live auditions in January or February, 2020. Those scoring highest after Preliminary 2 will advance to the Semifinals.

Please record yourself performing one solo from the required list below.
(If selected to advance to Preliminary 2, you will perform two contrasting solos for your live audition, one which will show your adagio/strength abilities and another which will show your petit/grand allegro abilities. You may change your variation if you advance to Preliminary 2. The goal is balance; the judges are looking for well-rounded dancers.)

In choosing a variation for your video recording, we encourage you to choose a solo that best reflects your current stage of technical and artistic abilities. It is not necessary to perform an Etoile or Principal variation if you are not quite ready to tackle it. Choose a solo variation that best fits where you are in your studies and allows you to shine! Some examples of soloist variations that might be good choices are: Princess Florine from The Sleeping Beauty Act lll or any of The Sleeping Beauty fairies, the Peasant pas de deux from Giselle (Act I) or Cupid from Paquita, Friends of Kitri from Don Quixote (Act I), Fairy Doll, Harlequinade, Odalisques from Le Corsaire (Act I), Flames of Paris or the pas de trois from Swan Lake (Act I).

For the Preliminary 1 round of Spotlight, we ask that you submit one prepared solo from the required list below: 

  • Chopiniana   |   all variations
  • Coppelia   |   all variations
  • Diana & Acteon   |   all variations
  • Don Quixote   |   all variations
  • Fairy Doll   |   all variations
  • Flames of Paris   |    all variations
  • Flower Festival   |   all variations
  • Giselle   |   Giselle, Albrecht, Act I Peasant Pas de Deux; Pas de Deux, Act II 
  • Graduation Ball    |   all variation
  • Grand Pas Classique   |   all variations
  • Harlequinade   |   all variations
  • La Bayadere   |   Gamzatti, Shade, Solor, Bronze Idol (see exclusion below)*
  • Laurencia   |   all variations
  • La Esmeralda   |    all variations
  • La Fille Mal Gardee   |   all variations
  • La Sylphide   |   all variations
  • Le Corsaire   |   all variations
  • Napoli   |   all variations
  • Nutcracker   |   all variations
  • Paquita   |   all variations
  • Pharaoh’s Daughter   |   all variations
  • Pas de Quatre   |    all variations
  • Raymonda   |   all variations
  • Satanella   |   all variations
  • Sleeping Beauty   |   Aurora (under 2:30 min), Prince Desire, Blue Bird, Fairies, Princess Florine
  • Swan Lake   |   Pas de Trois, Odette, Odile, Seigfried
  • The Awakening of Flora |   all variations
  • The Cavalary Halt   |    all variations
  • Walpurgis Nacht    |   all variations
  • The Talisman   |   all variations

*La Bayadere Gamzatti Temple variation (Choreography by Makarova) is not allowed in Spotlight

Audition Apparel

All dancers must wear a color that is in contrast to the background. Costumes, rehearsal tutus, long skirts, jewelry and warm-up clothes are not permitted.

Pink or skin-toned tights
Short skirts are permitted
Pointe shoes
Hair must be picked up and out of your face (e.g. bun)

Leotard or unitard
Soft ballet shoes

Guidelines for Recording Your Audition

  • Your recording device can be a cell phone, tablet, camera, etc. You do NOT have to rent fancy recording equipment. We will refer to the recording devices as "cameras"
  • Record your audition in a clearly defined interior space with a neutral background that is free of creases and breaks
  • Shoot straight on. You may either place the camera in a fixed spot, or it may follow your movements. The camera should be placed sufficiently close to you so that all parts of the body are clearly visible
  • Record with the camera framing your entire body to capture movement in place as well as movement in and through space
  • Ensure recording captures good quality sound and image
  • Do not do any editing within the video
  • Do not use special effects, dissolves, fades or wipes
  • Do not submit pre-recorded live performances, such as recitals or concerts
  • When recording with a tablet or cellphone, use the landscape/horizontal mode for best results

How To Submit Your Audition Video

  • After you have recorded your solo, watch it in playback to make sure you can be seen and the music heard
  • When uploading, verify that image is upright (not sideways) and plays smoothly
  • Save and name your file and upload into application
  • Please do not do any of the following as it may disqualify you:
    • Do not edit within the solo
    • Do not use special effects, dissolves, fades or wipes
    • Do not submit pre-recorded live performances, such as recitals, concerts, or competitions

What Judges are Looking For

You should approach your video filming as though you are performing for an audience. Do not look at the camera, but instead look out as though you are performing on stage, beyond the camera.  

  • Technique - the skill to execute the demands of the choreography with proficiency and apparent ease
  • Presentation - the presentation of one’s self, physically, at a standard recognized in this dance form
  • Musicality and phrasing - the ability to physically express the rhythm, melody, nuance, and character of the music through the choreography
  • Artistry - the creativity and sincerity of the performance, which arouses a response within the viewer. The connection and expression of the dancer to the story of the solo

Please be sure you follow all requirements related to your application. Failure to comply with any of the requirements listed below may result in disqualification during the review process and/or make your application ineligible for an award.


Click here to open the Guidelines in another tab where a printable version is available.


If your application is already open, simply click on the Acceptd tab on your computer to return to it.  

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