How to Prepare for a Dance Audition
Auditions give dancers a platform to showcase their skills and technical knowledge to industry professionals. Dancers all over the globe go through dance auditions to further their careers. While the process can be nerve wracking, being sufficiently prepared will help the day go more smoothly.
Gathering Your Essentials
Review your audition application thoroughly.Most application forms will offer all of the important information on how the audition process will work. Look for any statements about dress codes, essential supplies, rules, and prerequisites. Be sure to follow every rule listed on your application to the best of your ability.
Ask the audition staff about their rules if you’re confused.Reach out to a choreographer or staff member if you’re unsure about anything listed on the application, or would like more clarification. There may occasionally be requirements that aren’t listed on the application.
- Ask if you will need to bring any extra documentation, such as a dance resume or photos. Some audition staff will require you to send your information as part of your initial application, especially if the audition is private. Others will want you to bring your own information directly to the audition.
Compose your dance resume.Some auditions will require a dance resume as part of your audition package. Write one out if you do not have one already. A dance resume should list your professional experience, education and credentials, and outstanding achievements. You should also include your email address, phone number, and name so the staff can reach out to you after the audition.
- You may also want to attach a dance photo. The staff may request a dance photo from all auditioners, especially if the audition is open to everyone. Most dance shots are of the dancer in action, posing in a way that best shows off their form and technique. The audition staff can refer to this photo as they decide on callbacks.
Pack a bag of supplies.Load up a backpack or tote bag with a few essentials, such as water bottles, a spare pair of dance shoes, elastic hair bands, and basic first aid supplies. These items will then be readily available to you on the off chance you need them.
Rehearsing for Your Audition
Select or construct your audition choreography.Many auditions will want to see you dance independently. Pick a pre-existing choreography or create your own well before the audition, depending on its rules, so you can rehearse it as much as possible.
- Pick or craft your solo choreography according to your own strengths and the audition’s requirements. Be sure to match the choreography to the style the staff is looking for. If there is a certain style or technique you excel with, you can showcase it through your choreography. If the audition is interested in someone comfortable with a wide range of styles, use your choreography to display your range as a dancer.
Schedule frequent rehearsals for your routine.Ideally, you’ll want to practice at least once a day. You will be able to memorize your routine more thoroughly by rehearsing often, letting you dance more confidently on audition day.
Record your rehearsal sessions.If you can, set up a tripod to capture your rehearsal session, or ask a friend to take a video of the piece you’re using for your audition. You can go back and watch the footage to see where you may need to revise your movements.
Practice your interview answers.Some auditions also feature an interview segment where you will be asked to talk more about yourself and your history as a dancer. Now is the time to think of how you’ll respond to any potential questions. Research some common interview questions for dance auditions and compose honest, concise answers for them. Practice saying them aloud in a natural and clear voice.
- You may be asked about your professional objectives as a dancer, or any major events within your career thus far. Great answers for this question could include “I would like to open my own studio to teach and inspire young dancers,” or “I was the first student at my school to dance in a major Broadway show.” Aim for specific answers about your hopes and achievements.
Preparing on Audition Day
Get at least eight hours of sleep the night before the audition.A full night’s rest will give you the energy and focus you need to dance your best. Set an alarm if your audition is in the morning so you have enough time to get ready and make it to the audition building on time.
Eat breakfast.A balanced breakfast, complete with protein and healthy fats and carbs, will supply you with further energy to use as you dance. Examples of an excellent breakfast for audition morning are cooked eggs, a glass of milk, and a bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit, or Greek yogurt mixed with nuts, granola, and berries. If you’re in a rush, you can stop at a fast food restaurant to pick up something quick. Eating anything is better than eating nothing at all.
Remind yourself to stay calm and focused.Audition jitters happen to everyone, but don’t let the feeling overwhelm you. Take a few deep breaths. Remind yourself to do your best and that everything will be fine. By emptying your head of any worries, you can respond more appropriately to every step of the audition and dance your best.
Arrive at the audition on time.The staff will be more interested in dancers who are punctual as well as skilled. Try leaving your home early if you can, so you can squeeze in extra warmup time and locate the building without rushing.
Wear the best possible attire for your audition.You want something that is both appropriate for your dance style and comfortable to move in. Match your attire to the audition’s rules as well, if necessary. Try to stick to something form-fitting as the judges will want to see your body and observe how you move.
- Put on tights and a leotard for classical auditions. Modern, jazz, and ballet styles require tights and a leotard. Ask the audition staff if there are any specific color choices they would prefer for these garments. Some auditions are stricter than others and will want their applicants to look uniform.
- Wear an appropriate pair of shoes. If you’re auditioning in jazz dance, you’ll need jazz shoes. Pointe shoes are ideal for ballet auditions. Choose a pair of shoes that are as comfortable for you to dance in as possible, but are also in good condition. If you aren’t sure what type of shoe is appropriate, get in touch with a member of the audition staff.
Stretch once you get to the audition.You can’t dance as well with stiff, unprepared limbs and muscles. Most audition buildings will have open areas just for dancers to stretch and warm up. Take advantage of them and warm up as much as you can.
Observe the judges’ reactions to other dancers.If there are other people auditioning ahead of you, keep an eye on them and how the judges respond to them. Some judges may examine auditioners both as they dance and as they wait for their turn. Make note of their facial expressions and body language, as well as what behaviors trigger which reactions. Try to avoid making similar mistakes to the dancers before you, and tone down any behaviors the judges seem to dislike if you are also prone to those habits, such as staying too idle or exhibiting antisocial body language.
- If you find that observing the judges makes you anxious, stop observing and do something else. You could talk to the other auditioners or stretch more.
Keep to the front of the room.The audition staff will have an easier time noticing dancers who position themselves at the very front. Occupying a frontal spot will make it easier for you to display your skills and let the judges take notice of you.
QuestionHow can you keep calm during an audition?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe best and simplest way is to breathe. Take lots of deep breaths, and recite some positive mantras like "I can do this" or "I have what it takes". Remind yourself that even if you don't succeed, you're still a valuable and important person, and you can always try again.Thanks!
QuestionHow do you approach your first audition?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou just have to learn to stay calm and accept that whatever happens will happen. Stay positive and confident; don't be nervous, because it will show in your dancing.Thanks!
QuestionI'm trying out for my tap dance company and there are a lot of girls older than me. Should I consider not trying out?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDefinitely try out. If you don't get into the company, then you have the experience for next time. If you think you may be uncomfortable with all the older girls around you, just pretend that they are people your age.Thanks!
QuestionI'm trying out for my drill team but I don't know if I qualify. There are some things that are not good and my friend is trying out with me but she is much better. What should I do? I'm nervous.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerRemember to be calm and collected throughout. Emphasize your strengths and demonstrate clearly what you can do well. Make sure to breathe, believe in yourself, and do your best. Ensuring this will increase your confidence and happiness regardless of the outcome. Also, as something that doesn't require dancing skill, show that you're respectful, attentive, and enjoyable to work with. This is also something that's very important.Thanks!
QuestionIs it true that I can't be a ballerina if I'm tall?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt does not matter if you are tall or short. Tall ballerinas are often very graceful. Size is not so important. The important thing is that you work hard and try your best. Don't listen to what anyone else says, just pursue your dream.Thanks!
QuestionWhat songs would be good for a solo for college dance auditions?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFor ballet, try "Carol of the Bells"; for jazz, "Me Too" by Meghan Trainor; for hip-hop, "Pep Rally" by Missy Elliott; and for contemporary, try "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri.Thanks!
QuestionI'm trying out for a kid competitive team with all styles. If I'm doing a jazz solo what should I wear?Payton MaguireCommunity AnswerAsk your coach, they will most likely have some sort of plan and maybe even a costume for you.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I wear over my leotard and tights?WakiyaCommunity AnswerConsider wearing a plain skirt or, if you want to be more flamboyant, a tutu.Thanks!
QuestionWhat costumes could I wear if I am doing a lyrical/contemporary solo?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWear pastel colors, and barefoot or nude jazz shoes. Spaghetti-strap dresses are popular, and many are almost floor length, around mid-calf. Underneath are nude or baby-pink nylons.Thanks!
QuestionWould the teacher running the auditions be angry if I failed the audition and asked her how to improve?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, teachers and directors are always ready to tell you the best and worst parts of your audition. Finding out how to improve will make your next audition better because you will know what they are looking for. your teacher will likely be happy that you asked for tips and advice.Thanks!
- Be on your best behavior. Treat your judges and fellow applicants with kindness and grace. This will give a great first impression by showing how compatible you are with others.
- Keep an optimistic mindset. Judges are interested in applicants who can not only dance well, but love to dance and show it openly. Don’t let yourself be bogged down by doubts and negative thoughts. Trust your abilities, keep focused, and maintain a positive attitude.
- Avoid being late. This will present a poor impression to the audition judges and hurt your chances of being called back.
- Don’t take it personally if you aren’t called back. There are countless other auditions out there. While you aren’t the right match for this one, you will be a great fit for several others.
- Don’t overdo your routine. The audition judges are less interested in you showing off than they are observing your natural ability. Stick to the routine you’ve chosen and dance with precision.
Video: TIPS & TRICKS FOR DANCE AUDITIONS W/ SAM! Haley Pham
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