The next Steps alumna in our “Scholarly Advice” series is Bianca Trocino! A Steps scholar in 2000, Bianca is now a principal dancer with the Philippine Ballet Theatre.
Can you give some helpful tips for a successful scholarship audition?
Get a good rest before the day of the audition. Make sure you have everything prepared for the big day. Bring water, a towel, a change of dance attire, and some snacks to help replenish your energy throughout the day.
Come to the audition with a positive, can-do attitude and an open mind.
Dress to impress the ballet way. That means keeping your hair neat and tidy; and wearing the appropriate attire and shoes for each class– whether it’s for Classical Ballet, Modern or Jazz.
It’s natural to feel a bit nervous before going into an audition but just remember that is all about enjoying dance. It is a chance for you to learn from new teachers and make new friends.
Be in the moment! Be focused on the given instructions and combination. When doing the given choreography make good use of the given space. Even if a step may seem tricky, have a go at it and never tell yourself that it is too difficult. The last thing you would want is to miss your chance by hiding yourself at the back, away from the view of the teachers.
Your willingness to learn and your motivation to perform are crucial factors in helping you do well in the audition. Be confident and do perform with expression and intention.
Be yourself and enjoy! I guarantee that the Steps scholarship audition will be great fun and will be a memorable start to an amazing summer! I wish all the participants the very best in their upcoming audition this March 5th.
What were the biggest lessons and challenges you faced as a scholar at Steps? What were the positive learnings?
One of the biggest challenges I had to face was to be able to multi-task my academics and my Steps scholarship responsibilities. It was most evident during 2004 when I was part of the first batch of dancers to join the NAMCYA National Ballet Competition. Every day right after school, I had to proceed immediately to Steps for class and rehearsals. There was great pressure to constantly give a good performance in both my competition pieces and my studies as well as having to endure short hours of sleep. There were days when you felt “on top of the world” after having shown great improvement in practice and yet, there were also moments when you felt depressed after making several mistakes.
However, it was because of such challenges that I was able to develop the tenacity that I needed to let my passion for dance grow. It helped me develop that persistent mind set of just being able to pick myself up again every time something did not go well. It made me realize how there is so much courage hidden within us and when properly channeled, can help us rise to the occasion and overcome adversity.
Overall, the entire experience pushed me to go beyond my expectations and my preconceived capabilities. Although such moments felt like the toughest challenges I had to face, they were also some of the most worthwhile, rewarding and educational experiences I have had. It imparted many valuable life skills and lessons that till now, bring much meaning to my everyday life.
How did your scholarship at Steps prepare you for professional life as a dancer?
Steps is probably the only dance school that offers their scholars pre-professional training and performance experience that are akin to any professional dance company in the Philippines. I have to say that thanks to my ballet instruction under the RAD syllabus and the guidance of Teacher Sofia and Teacher Raul, I had an easier transition adjusting to a professional dance company.
The wonderful thing about the Steps scholarship program is that as a dancer you are able to develop a solid foundation of the basic technique and artistry as well as the endurance that you need to go further in dance training. Because I had been accustomed to taking several classes from morning till night, I have become used to doing more than 1 class and rehearsing longer than other dancers. This was a big help for me when I entered the Philippine Ballet Theatre dance company as I was able to invest in more hours of rehearsals and practice as well as use my time wisely in doing warm-ups and cool downs.
I think what also really helped my transition from scholar to professional dancer were my abilities to dance well in a group and learn choreography quickly. Steps is very much known for training a strong, capable and united corps de ballet which is why I was able to succeed in that aspect. Apart from learning how to be a team player, Steps has also trained me to perform in a pas de deux/ partnering work as well as dance solos/ variations.
I think what I admire most about this scholarship program is that it really brings out the best in each dancer. The program continues to evolve and adapt with the times as it offers a wide range of dance classes that provide creative, well-rounded and bespoke training to their scholars.