Utah dancers audition for spots with New York School

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Aspiring Utah ballerinas auditioned for a few spots with the School of American Ballet on Saturday afternoon.

Dancers between the ages of 10 and 18 auditioned to take part in the New York school’s five-week summer training program. Only 200 of the more than 2,000 dancers who auditioned during the 20-city tour will be chosen, according to a press release from the School of American Ballet.

Kahlan Feichtenbeiner-Franson is one hopeful who tried out today. The 11-year-old dancer said, “This is my first audition, but it’s kind of nervous because you don’t know who they are talking about, and you don’t know what they're writing down, and you don’t know what’s going through their minds, so it’s weird.”

Jock Soto is a member of the faculty at the School of American Ballet, and he said nervousness is not uncommon among the dancers.

“They are terrified, trust me,” he said. “They're like shaking. I mean we’ve had a few, not here in Utah, but we've had a few girls cry before.”

Those who auditioned won’t know whether or not they made it to New York until their number is called.

The School of American Ballet was founded 79 years ago by choreographer George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein. According to the press release, the school trains more students who become professional ballet dancers than any other American school.