Auditioning. All dancers must do it. Some love it. Some hate it. It gets your adrenaline pumping, hands sweating, and nerves jumping. It’s the audition!
Whether you are auditioning for a summer intensive, your dream company, a hit TV show, or a part in your studio concert, the skills required to ace an audition can be learned and practiced just like any dance step you perfect in the studio.
I’ve been on both sides of the auditioning table, both as an aspiring young dancer and as a choreographer seeking new company dancers.
I’d like to share some super easy tips that will help you keep your cool and perform your best on the big day.
1. Be Yourself
The most important thing you can bring to an audition is your unique personality. Let that personality shine through in every move you make from the moment you step through the audition doors. Sure, technically advanced dancers will catch the eyes of the judges. However, the dancers who let their personality and emotion show through in their dancing are sure to be among the most memorable. As Martha Graham said, “Great dancers are not great because of their technique. They are great because of their passion.”
2. Don’t Be Shy
Auditions give you the opportunity to show off everything you’ve been working hard to achieve. Be confident and step out to the front of the room. Don’t be afraid to dance in an early group or stand in the front line. Judges will notice dancers who are prepared to go out there early and take a risk, even if the choreography isn’t perfect on the first try.
3. Make Your Mistakes Big
Mistakes happen. You might be jammed into a room with 150 other dancers and have to peek through the cracks to learn the choreography in three minutes flat. Maybe you had the moves down and your mind goes blank when you step out onto the floor. Don’t fret! If you make a mistake or forget a step, do it big and do it well. How you recover from a little bumble or a big fall makes even more of an impact on the judges than the mistake itself. Judges expect mistakes will happen. They are watching to see how you deal with the overall situation and how you let your dancing shine through in the end.
4. Arrive Prepared
Preparation begins many days before the actual day of the audition. Research the organization and know what is expected from you in advance. Sometimes a quick phone call will help you prepare. The day before your audition, make sure to pack your bag with all the shoes and supplies you will need, plus extras. You never know when you might be asked to show off the tapping, singing, or juggling skills you listed on your resume. Don’t forget an updated resume and headshot that is as clean and professional as possible. The more that you know before you arrive at the audition, the more time you will have on that day to warm-up, relax, and be ready to perform your best.
5. Be Happy with Your Best
You perfected your technique, put on your best dance attire, and made it through the big audition. It may be days or weeks before you find out if you’ve been selected for a call back or accepted to the program. Now is the time to be proud of what you have achieved. Feel confident that you have given your best effort. Even if things didn’t go quite as expected, remember that auditioning becomes easier with practice, and congratulate yourself for having another one under your belt.