Auditions

There are many misunderstandings about auditions that lead to unnecessary anxiety. Although the audition process can be challenging and disappointing, it can also be exciting and fun. Auditions are possibilities and an opportunity to show what you have but feeling comfortable in the process takes practice. Here are some things to think about as you start auditioning this season.

You are demonstrating the artistry and technique you have developed over years of training. This is a very freeing concept. Your training will not abandon you. Trust in what you have and just enjoy dancing. If you are enjoying yourself, others will enjoy watching you. That engagement is very compelling.

Wear something that makes you feel great and looks flattering. Don’t cover up, auditioners need to see you and your body. Neatness counts. You want to present a professional appearance. The better you feel, the more comfortable you will be. The more comfortable you are, the better you will dance.

Take time to prepare. Do whatever you usually do to prepare for class at the start of the day. Your mind and focus are just as important to warm up as your body.

Be friendly with other dancers but not talkative. Remember, there is a job you are trying to do and you need to focus to do it.

Use your eyes. What you show in an audition is an indication of the way you are on stage. Don’t look down and don’t let your eyes glaze over. Keep your eyes up, really “see”, and use your focus. It will make your dancing look much more finished.

Don’t hide in the back. Be confident but not pushy. When it’s your turn to go in front, take the floor with confidence. If you have already been in front, hang back to let others have opportunity.

Learn material quickly and be attentive to details given. If there is something you don’t understand, ask. The sooner you know what it is the more attention you can dedicate to how you are dancing.

Show you have the ability and the discipline to do the exercises as they are given. These are qualities that save loads of rehearsal time and are very telling about the way a dancer works. The ballet staff will not want to spend time reminding a dancer of what the material is. They will want to spend time coaching how the material should be performed.

Allow who you are to come through in your dancing. This is important. No one wants a dancing robot no matter how impressive their technique may be. Remember that you are an artist, allow that to be on display. Our jobs are to bring something to the work so let your light shine.

If asked to do something you have never done before, take a deep breath and dive in. It’s alright not to know. We often ask dancers to improvise and it is clear that many have not done that before. I am always impressed with the dancers who give their best effort despite lack of experience or confidence. You may surprise yourself. Choreographers and Directors want to work with people who are unafraid. Be brave. It reveals a lot to see how a dancer deals with new concepts.

The important thing to remember is that the staff is on your side. They want you to succeed. In fact, they need you to succeed. They have positions to fill and needs to meet. 

Take something away. You should always be learning and auditions teach us a lot about ourselves. Think about the audition afterwards. What could you have done better, what went really well? What did you feel comfortable with, what did you find challenging? Auditioning is a skill and like any skill it takes time to master. Don’t get discouraged. Congratulate yourself for being there. Learn from every experience and use that information to improve your performance the next time.

For tips on virtual auditions, check out this great article in Dance Magazine.

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