You know the feeling. You line up at the registration table and the nerves start to creep in. You smile for the headshot, safety pin your number to your leotard and head to the barre.
You look around at all of the other hopefuls stretching and listening to their pump-up playlists. To you, they all look ready to take center stage and blow the competition out of the water. In reality, they are all just as nervous as you are.
Auditioning is a vital part of being a dancer. Although they can be stressful, each audition helps us gain confidence and improve our technique.
Each team looks for something different when they audition potential new members, but here are some tips from the experts to help even the most seasoned dancer take on audition season.
- Do your research
Similar to job interviews, preparation for auditions is key. Find the team or company’s website and watch videos from past performances to see what their style is like. “I research everything from the time period to the creative team,” Cassie Silva, an ensemble dancer with Rock of Ages told Dance Spirit.
2. Prepare your body
As a dancer, your body is your instrument. Before an audition, make sure to get a good night sleep and eat a healthy meal that will give you lasting energy without making you feel too full. Dance Factory suggests eating a meal two or three hours before an audition and a small snack right before.
3. Dress to impress
Wear something that flatters your body and allows the panel to see your technique. Be mindful of the type of audition you are attending – sweatpants and a crop top are not the best look for a Radio City Rockettes audition, though that might be perfect for a gig dancing for a hip-hop music video.
4. Get in the zone
Tune out the competition (respectfully) and listen to some of your favorite pump-up music while you stretch. Arrive early so that you’ll have plenty of time to warm up, get familiar with the environment and get excited to give it your all.
5. Stay positive
Remember that at an audition, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. “Take deep breaths, relax and remind yourself that this is what you work so hard for. This is what you love to do,” Sean Rozanski, a dancer with Giordano Dance Company told Dance Spirit. Think of your audition as just one more opportunity to perform.
6. Pick it up
In the fast-paced world of dance, time is money. The ability to learn choreography quickly and execute it well is crucial to getting a job or a spot on a dance team. Dance Advantage recommends marking the routine on the side while the other groups are auditioning.
7. Put on a show
Every dancer in the room has had the same amount of time to learn the combination, but when your number is called, it is your time to show the panel what you can bring to the table. Don’t let your face show that you are thinking about the choreography, just pretend you are on stage and entertaining your audience.
8. Be gracious
Whether you were offered the job or you were cut, always remember to thank the panel for their time. If you really want to succeed in the dance world, take every audition as a chance to learn something and become a better dancer. “A positive attitude, great work ethic, confidence and a big helping of graciousness should be among your daily audition vitamins,” Cassie Silva told Dance Spirit.