How to Conquer a Dance Audition

Like the actor and cold reads, dancers have auditions full of learning demandingly fast-paced sequences in the span of around 30 minutes (and sometimes less). As with all arts, though, so long as you know the basics, stringing them together in different orders is easy.

Lessons and Practice

If you’re not already enrolled in a class and practicing regularly, don’t wait any longer. Teachers run drills and push you to your limits while practice helps you memorize the moves. If you’re auditioning for a role in a ballet, it’s much easier to pull off a sequence asking for a grand jeté and pirouette when you know both what those are and how to perform them.

Take Directions

Dancing is a visual medium. This means your directors want a specific look. If they say they want the battement at 90 degrees, don’t go higher than that. If they tell you to fix something, know how to fix it immediately. This all ties back in to your practice and physical upkeep. A great performer understands his or her body enough to know how to make those adjustments quickly and precisely.

Listen, Don’t Talk

Your fellow dancers are no doubt gifted with gab. Use this to your advantage. Listen in to what they say about their auditions. Do they mention anything about the floor? Do they mention anything about the role or what the director is looking for? Do they hint at things that will be asked of you that you could practice before you head in? Knowledge is power. Use it.

Be Okay With Mistakes

You are auditioning for other people. They know full well about mistakes. They’ve made plenty. They’re not here to see you perform your audition flawlessly, they’re here to see you react to any number of unexpected things that can happen in a live performance. Show them you know how to cover those and you’ll earn a lot more respect that the dancer that danced perfectly but froze when they were told to fix something.

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