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Tips to Ace that Dance Audition!

Posted Mar 25 2008 10:28am

Why do some people seem to breeze through auditions, while other struggle with nerves? What do they know that you don't? No matter how confident those dancers seem, they are probably just as nervous as you are. Everyone is a little tense at audition time. The secret of appearing calm is to prepare yourself as well as you can, try to do your best, and then accept the results for what they are: just another learning experience, another step in your career. During your years as a performer, you will attend many auditions; it is certain that you won't be chosen in all of them, so don't fret. It happens to everyone.

What to Wear

Just like a job interview, at an audition you must look your very best. Neatness definitely counts. Be sure your outfit is attractive, clean, and in excellent repair. This means no tights with holes or sweats you've cut into your favorite neckline shape. Dancewear is designed to show the line of the body, and that is certainly one of the things the people running the audition are interested in.

Be sure you are equipped with appropriate footwear as well. For a ballet audition be certain to have soft technique slippers, and, for the ladies, pointe shoes. For other auditions sneakers, jazz or tap shoes, or bare feet may be expected. Inform yourself in advance and come prepared.

What to Bring

Come to an audition prepared with a concise resume highlighting the best (or in some cases the only) things you have done thus far. The resume should never exceed one page and should be certain to list your name, address, telephone, fax number if you have one, the roles you have danced, and where you danced them. It might also include your principal teachers and any choreography or teaching you have done. If at all possible you should have an 8 x 10 glossy photograph of yourself. Most people prefer a full-body shot in dance clothes, although some require a head shot. Black-and-white is fine. For a summer program, do have a resume with you just in case; probably no photograph will be required.

Before the Audition

  • Learn as much as you can about your kind of dance.
  • Get a good night's sleep before the audition.
  • Get a good breakfast so you'll have energy.
  • Get psyched up to perform, don't panic.
  • Go over steps in your head and work on building up your confidence.
  • All you can do is your best, so there is no point in worrying too much.
  • Wearing a distinctive leotard will help your chances. That will single you out and you will appear to be more distinct.
  • Try to avoid "cattle-calls"...the best way to go is to get a private audition.

At the Audition

  • It is good to not be the first or last person along the barre.
  • Why? If you're last, no one to follow if you forget the steps! The person who goes first may be given conservative scores or be forgotten by the end.
  • When they teach you a combination to perform try to do it exactly the way the choreographer moves. Don't "plus" it with your own interpretation. If they see you doing something different, they will assume that you can't remember the steps.
  • Judges want to see people who look like they are enjoying dancing....smile!

Remember, you don't necessarily have to be the best, but if you look like you're having a blast, you are going to look a lot better then the girl next to you who is doing the steps perfectly but is frowning so hard with concentration. Treat all your auditions like performances. Concentrate on presentation, energy level and making every combination clean from start to finish. Just show how much you love to dance and you’ll be sure to be noticed!

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