So you’re dreaming of entering a full-time dance program? Read on for some tips on how to ace that audition!
#1. Get conditioned.
Put the dates of your auditions in your calendar, and work toward them like you would an exam or competition. You want to be in peak physical shape, so stay on top of any injuries or niggles as soon they appear. Keep up the Pilates or other core work to support your body when you’re placing extra demands on it
#2. Be prepared.
If you have access to classes with other teachers, it’s worth taking some. We can get used to one teacher’s style of choreography, so suddenly having to learn a whole new way of moving can throw you. Challenge yourself throughout the year by taking classes and workshops with as many different choreographers as you can, to learn the art of picking up new movement fast. Can’t afford it? We hear you. YouTube is your friend! Get online and look for routine tutorials — they’re everywhere! If at all possible, try to take class with whoever wil be teaching the class in the audition, so you at least have some idea of what you might be asked to do.
Don’t under-estimate the power of the mind! Practice visualising yourself in the audition, doing the best you’ve ever done. If you practice this enough, your brain will start to accept it as truth, and you have a better chance of smashing success on the day.
#4. Look the goods.
On audition day, it’s essential that you present yourself well. Find out if there are any required items of clothing, and then dress the part. Avoid all black – you want to stand out! Wear what makes you feel comfortable, but don’t hide under baggy clothing. Tidy hair, no jewellery, clean shoes – look like you mean business.
#5. Play nice.
Now, obviously you’re going to be polite to the people auditioning you, but make sure this extends to your fellow dancers, too! It’s very easy to spot when niceties aren’t genuine, and nobody wants to work with a hater or a bully. Remember that all the other dancers are just like you — they love dancing and are hoping to do their best. Even if everyone else is being standoffish, it doesn’t mean you have to be. Be the one to break the mold! The atmosphere will be so much more relaxed if everyone is friendly.
#6. Act like a pro.
Teachers and studio directors aren’t necessarily looking for the best dancers in the room. They are looking for those with potential and those who are great to work with. Be polite, try to pick up choreography quickly, ask questions if you need to, listen to instructions, and be respectful. All these things are expected of a professional dancer, and it’s in your best interest if you present yourself as a pro from the beginning.
#7. Be seen, but don’t be pushy.
Don’t hide up the back – make sure you are somewhere you can be seen. This doesn’t always mean front and centre; in fact, it’s often easier to see those who are a little further back. There will usually be opportunities to change places in the room, so don’t worry if you do start off in the back row. Remember again: play nice, and respect your fellow auditionees!
#8. Have fun (be yourself).
Although you may be nervous, try not to let your nerves get the better of you. Teachers will want to see something of your personality, as well as how you dance. So try to relax, have fun, and show them why you love to dance. An individual stands out much more than a clone, and a smile goes a long, long way.
#9. Remember the golden rule.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever had about auditioning is this: The first three letters of confidence are CON. Even if you’re scared out of your wits, pretend you’re not. Aim to make everyone else believe you’re confident, and you’ll trick your own brain into believing it at the same time.
#10. Rest up, fuel up, warm up.
The night before your audition, do some positive visualisations, and then try to get a good night’s sleep. On the day, make sure you eat a good breakfast, including protein to keep you fuller longer, and take some snacks and plenty of water to keep you going. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the audition venue and warm up gently and safely. There may be a warm-up included in the audition, but you should always make sure you’re ready to go anyway.
By Rain Francis of Dance Informa.
Photo (top): Photo courtesy of Kelly Aykers Full-Time dance.