Auditions are a fact of life for a dancer. They are your chance to show your skills and talent and whether you are auditioning for a dance company/studio, or an entertainment position, they can feel overwhelming to prepare for.
Part of preparing for your audition is to know the typical audition structure so you are prepared.
- “Cattle call” auditions are open to anyone vs. “agent only” auditions
- Height, weight, hair color, ethnicity are major factors and could “cut” you at the very beginning
- Material is usually taught to the entire group first and then auditioned in smaller groups.
- Depending on the adjudicators, dancers may be “cut” or asked to leave during the audition process
- Dancers may also be asked to return later for a “call-back”
- Know your limitations in advance.
PREPARING FOR YOUR AUDITION
1 Review your audition application thoroughly. Most forms will offer all of the information needed so look for any statements about dress codes, essential supplies, rules, and prerequisites. Be sure to follow every rule listed on your application to the best of your ability.
2 If you have any questions, ASK! Reach out to a choreographer or staff member if you’re unsure about anything listed on the application, or would like more clarification. There may occasionally be requirements that aren’t listed on the application. Ask if you will need to bring any extra documentation, such as a dance resume or photos. Some audition staff will require you to send your information as part of your initial application, especially if the audition is private. Others will want you to bring your own information directly to the audition.
3 Compose your dance resume. Some auditions will require a dance resume as part of your audition package. Write one out if you do not have one already. A dance resume should list your professional experience, education and credentials, and outstanding achievements. You should also include your email address, phone number, and name so the staff can reach out to you after the audition. You may also want to attach a dance photo. The staff may request a dance photo from all auditioners, especially if the audition is open to everyone. Most dance shots are of the dancer in action, posing in a way that best shows off their form and technique. The audition staff can refer to this photo as they decide on callbacks.
4 Schedule frequent rehearsals for your routine. Ideally, you’ll want to practice at least once a day. You will be able to memorize your routine more thoroughly by rehearsing often, letting you dance more confidently on audition day. If you can, set up a tripod to capture your rehearsal session, or ask a friend to take a video of the piece you’re using for your audition. You can go back and watch the footage to see where you may need to revise your movements. Pick a pre-existing choreography or create your own well before the audition, depending on its rules, so you can rehearse it as much as possible. Pick or craft your solo choreography according to your own strengths and the audition’s requirements. Be sure to match the choreography to the style the staff is looking for. If there is a certain style or technique you excel with, you can showcase it through your choreography. If the audition is interested in someone comfortable with a wide range of styles, use your choreography to display your range as a dancer.
5 Pack a bag of supplies. Load up a backpack or tote bag with a few essentials, such as water bottles, a spare pair of dance shoes, elastic hair bands, and basic first aid supplies. These items will then be readily available to you on the off chance you need them earlier.
DAY OF …
1. Start your day with a nutritous breakfast! It fuels your body, your mind, and won’t leave you feeling fatigued at your audition. Two or three hours before, with a small snack closer to your audition, is a good rule of thumb.
2. Look and feel confident. The first step to looking the part is wearing clothes that you feel comfortable in and are appropriate for the style you are dancing. Do not wear a leotard and tights to a hip hop audition – or baggy sweatpants to a jazz audition! Also, wear something you feel compliments your body, with the right shoes. If doing your hair and adding a little blush makes you feel more confident, go for it!
3. Arrive at the audition on time. The staff will be more interested in dancers who are punctual as well as skilled. Try leaving your home early if you can, so you can squeeze in extra warmup time and locate the building without rushing.
4. Don’t hide in the back.Although the back of the studio may seem like you are hiding from the judges, you aren’t! The best thing you can do for yourself and for your audition is step up to the front. You want to be able to soak in all the choreography, and being able to see the teacher is important. Audition choreography is usually taught fast with little pause time. Don’t miss a move!
5. Ask questions! The choreographer wants you to succeed as much as you do. Don’t be afraid to ask about a move or combination when you are feeling confused. The judges will appreciate your initiative to make sure you are learning the choreography correctly. Make sure you find proper times to ask politely, and never interrupt the teacher in the middle of instruction.
6. Breathe.Don’t forget to breathe. No matter what happens, you will live through this audition! Panicking will not help you succeed. While you are waiting for your group to practice the choreography, make sure to hydrate and maintain your calm attitude.
7. Recover with a smile. We all make mistakes. The best way to recover from a mistake is to smile through it and keep going. Often your judges won’t even notice if you don’t show it on your face. Perseverance and endurance are two skills that dance directors will be keeping an eye out for.
8. Respond graciously. Not all dance auditions are the same, but many go one of two ways: the judges let you know that there will be callbacks within a few days, or, cuts are made directly after your audition. This can be tough if you are a dancer that was not chosen for that particular company or performance. Take the shake the hands of your judges, and thank them for their time. If you are chosen, be wary of your celebration and remember that there are people in the room that did not receive the same results. Above all else, be proud of yourself!
9. Always try again. We all have ups and downs. If you are not selected don’defeat you ask the choreographer, teacher, or judges, what you can improve on. More often than not, they will be happy to recommend classes, trainers, or other ways to improve your technique and/or performance.
At EDA we offer our students the opportunity to dance competitively. We strongly believe in training all of our dancers to be well rounded dancers and encourage them to train in all styles. The intention for the Competitive Team is simple: to provide these dancers with opportunities beyond the four walls of their studio, to inspire, to motivate, to challenge, and to enrich each one of them. “Competition” is not just about winning, it is about inspiring and striving to be the best you can be, developing lasting friendships and about sharing your passion. It is our hope that our competitive students will realize that authentic success comes not only from reaching or exceeding their specific performance goals, but with the satisfaction of knowing they have done their best. We’re big on supporting each other and make that an important goal for all of our dancers and parents!
Questions? Contact us at
Élan Dance Arts
2466 Main St, Box 114
London, ON N6P 1A9