5 Tips for a Successful Dance Audition

by frank-stuart

For professional dancers, auditioning is an art in itself. No matter the role or the type of show, auditions are often general and you will need to display various styles, techniques and professional qualities in order to stand out from the competition.

So, what can you do to increase your ability to succeed at auditions?

1. Preparation and training

No matter your preferred style, training and preparation across different styles of dance makes auditioning easier and your chances of success greater. Studying a dance degree, such as a Bachelor of Applied Dance, can put you ahead of the pack by increasing your versatility.

For example, if you audition for a hip-hop themed show, chances are the director will still require you to step outside of the genre while performing. Gaining skills in different genres gives you a great foundation, plus the confidence to walk into any audition knowing you’ve got it all covered, so you can let your passion shine through.

2. Resumes and photos

In most cases, you will be required to apply for an audition with a resume, either online or by bringing one with you on the day. Make sure the resume highlights all your dance experience first, with other work taking second place. Choreographers receiving high volumes of resumes may only look at the first few lines, so make them count. Professional photos are a must, especially if you’re applying online first.

3. Learning audition etiquette

Audition etiquette can be compared to attending an important dance workshop or having a ballet exam. Most of the dancers will be nervous and the panel of judges understands this, however they are looking for certain behaviour that professionals will always display.

If there’s no structured warmup, you’re expected to do so yourself. As soon as you arrive at an audition and are in the appropriate space waiting for it to start, commence your own warmup and by all means take the opportunity to show off your flexibility and knowledge of correct technique.

If you make a mistake, bump into someone or forget choreography, always smile, excuse yourself and ask questions. Most choreographers welcome questions, as it’s a sign of eagerness and willingness to get the steps just right. If you are corrected, take it as a good sign and immediately strive to improve as it could mean you’ve been noticed for the right reasons and the choreographer wants to see more from you.

4. Let your personality shine

One of the hardest things about auditioning is remembering to let your personality shine over and beyond your ability to learn choreography quickly. Yes, it’s important to be able to retain steps and perform them as taught, but just doing that will rarely land you a dream gig.

Your facial expressions are of prime importance in conveying personality. Smiling is obviously a skill all performers need to acquire. However, it’s not about pasting a fixed, cheesy grin on your face. Your expressions must move with your body, in a natural, fluid way. Watch yourself in the mirror while you’re rehearsing or in class, and practice facial expressions until it feels natural for you to dance and express emotion at the same time.

5. Make a connection

When you walk into an audition, connect with the panel and choreographers by making eye contact and smiling. If you get the chance, it’s fine to introduce yourself, as long as you’re not interrupting somebody to do so. Most of all, try to gauge what type of audition it is, and behave accordingly. Some are fun, casual and full of laughter, others are very strict, quiet and demanding.

Dress appropriately, behave in a professional manner, smile and remain cool and calm under pressure, do your best with the choreography while performing at the same time, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful dance audition.

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