It is that time of year again. Everywhere, dancers of all ages are busy preparing for auditions of different kinds, such as summer intensives, company auditions, and college auditions. Auditioning is simply a part of a dancer’s life. Here are some tips and guidelines to help make the audition process a little less scary and a little more fun!
1) Do your research. Look at the school or company’s website, and learn the names and faces of the people you are auditioning for. Not only will you know exactly who you are auditioning for, but it can also be impressive to thank the audition teacher by name.
2) Be prepared with the correct paperwork. Bring EXACTLY what is asked of you at the audition.
a. For a summer intensive audition, you might be asked to bring a headshot and/or a dance photo. If the school you are auditioning for asks for a photo in first arabesque, bring a photo in first arabesque. If you decide you want to submit a different photo than what is asked, it will reflect poorly on you before the audition class even starts.
b. For a company audition, it is always a smart idea to bring extra copies of your resumé. Sometimes the people at the front of the room are not just representing the company that is holding the audition. Maybe a director from another company happened to be in town, and they asked to observe the audition to see if there is any potential interest.
c. Both summer intensive and company auditions usually have an audition fee. If they ask for cash, be sure to bring the exact amount.
3) Wear your most flattering dance attire.
a. It is important that you wear something you feel comfortable in. Do not wear a brand new leotard that you have never worn before to an audition. Wear it at least once in a regular class, and be sure you like how it fits.
b. Tights, ballet shoes, and/or pointe shoes need to be clean and tidy. There should be absolutely no holes!
c. Make sure your hair is neat and presentable. For both gentlemen and ladies alike, your hair should not be in your face.
4) Arrive early.
a. Whether the audition is 15 minutes, an hour, or 4 hours away from home, it is very important that you leave early with plenty of extra time. You never know what might happen on the road: there could be road construction, an accident, or you might get lost.
b. Most likely there will be paperwork for you to fill out prior to the audition class, and you will also need time to warm up and stretch.
5) Be ready as soon as you walk in the door. First impressions are extremely important. The person you ignored when you walked up the stairs may be the company’s guest choreographer. It never hurts to always have a smile on your face.
6) Be on your best behavior.
a. Classroom etiquette is essential in an audition. Pay attention to the teacher giving combinations, and take note of any specific details they might ask for. If they ask for a double pirouette, do not try to execute a triple. If they ask for a 90 degree arabesque, do not try to lift your leg as high as you can.
b. DO NOT talk to other dancers during the audition session! If another dancer asks you a question, simply find another place to stand (discreetly).
c. Follow directions and pay attention.
7) Be confident, have fun, and relax. As hard as it might be, try not to let your nerves get the best of you. Show the people at the front of the room who you are as a dancer.
While preparing for upcoming auditions, just remember: do your research, be prepared, and have confidence. Be thankful for the successful auditions with a positive outcome, but do not be devastated if you get a rejection letter. There will always be another audition season next year, and sometimes a “no” is not a reflection of your talents as a dancer. On that particular day, you may not have been what the summer intensive or company was looking for. Use each audition as a learning experience. Good luck!