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In the Audition Room: How to Prepare at the Studio

It is universally acknowledged that any situation in which you are putting yourself out there and showing any amount of vulnerability can be difficult. The audition room is no exception. Your palms might start to sweat, your heart rate might increase, your mind could start racing, the list goes on and on. Any dancer can attest to this and it isn’t just exclusive to the performing arts. Replace the word “audition” with job interview, public speaking or any type meeting with an authority figure (teacher, principal, boss, etc.) We all can relate.

Auditioning is an art of its own. This could easily be a twelve page essay on the different types of auditions in the world of the performing arts - musicals, plays, concerts, etc... Today we will focus on a hypothetical audition for a dance company. Here are my five tips and tricks that I’ve learned from taking class and from going on auditions. The best part about them is that you can already work on them while taking your regularly scheduled classes at the dance studio.

1. Pay close attention to detail.

  • Once you get the major movements down, take a closer look at the specifics of everything. Which way is the instructor's head tilting on the ending pose? Is their hand facing inward or outward on count 8? Are they doing a sharp pivot turn or a smooth pivot turn? Pay attention to these things! The people running the audition will notice when it’s your turn to perform.

2. Listen and ask questions.

  • In my experience, most auditions will welcome questions that come from the dancers while learning the routine. It shows that you’re paying attention and want to execute the choreography correctly. However, make sure that you are listening when other dancers are asking questions. It doesn’t give off the greatest impression if you ask a question that somebody else has asked.

3. Practice when not performing.

  • When the time comes to break off into smaller groups that you will perform in, be sure to practice and mark the combo off to the side. This will give you more time to review the choreography and it shows that you are continuously working, even when it isn’t your turn in the spotlight. If you’re in a ballet audition, make sure you also mark the choreography on both sides for center work.

4. Be respectful.

  • It should go without saying, but make sure you are being respectful to everyone. You shouldn’t be chatting with your friends in the corner when instruction is happening, not only will you miss out on valuable information, but it can be interpreted as showing that you don’t care about the job. Be nice to everyone and thank the instructors for their time.

5. Have fun.

  • Yes, you should take the audition seriously. However, if you’re at a dance audition, then it can be assumed that you enjoy dancing - show it! A smile goes a long way and you deserve to enjoy yourself while doing the thing that you love. Even if you don’t end up booking the job, you should be proud that you put yourself out there and worked hard on something that you’re passionate about.

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