A lot of opportunities await aspiring dancers, but just like any other job in the entertainment industry, one doesn’t land a gig just by sending their application. Everyone goes through a long and tough process of showing up to every audition and performing before a panel of judges. This is only fair; casting directors want to find the perfect person for the job. They want the project they’re working on to be outstanding, and hiring the best is the only way to make that happen.
While experience adds extra charm, that’s not what will get you the job—it is your professionalism. Even if you are just starting out a career in dancing, you still have a shot at the role you want—only if you know how to stand out and leave a good impression.
10 Dance Audition Tips to Help You Ace Your Next Tryout
It doesn’t matter if you are new or old in the industry, going to an audition will still make you nervous. But if you come prepared and know what to expect, you’ll feel a little less tense. To help you, here are some dance audition tips you can use.
1. Prepare your résumé.
Before you even think of gracing auditions, prepare your résumé first. It should contain your experience as a dancer, workshops you’ve had, and arts institution you attended. You can also include a list of notable people you’ve worked with in the past. But if you are an amateur who has not had any professional involvement in the industry, you can add the competitions and dance groups you joined instead.
2. Condition your body.
As a dancer, you know very well that dancing is physically demanding, so take care of your body. You need to regularly practice dancing. Also, be sure to do some stretching exercise to help you develop a good breathing pattern and avoid muscle cramps after. Most importantly, eat energy-boosting foods and take some vitamins; do so at least an hour before the big day.
3. Come early on set.
This tip is no secret: If you want to succeed in any profession, be punctual. It not only shows your dedication but also your admirable courtesy toward the people organizing the auditions.
4. Dress appropriately.
If you are auditioning for Swan Lake, you don’t have to show up in a tutu and prepare props, especially if you are not told to do so. One of the most important dance audition tips is to dress casually so you can comfortably execute the routines. Also make sure it suits the type of dance you are auditioning for, such as leotards and tights for ballet or baggy clothes for hip-hop auditions. You can put some makeup on, but don’t overdo it.
5. Quickly pick up routines.
In most auditions, you will be asked to prepare your own piece, and judges will use that performance to critique you. In some cases, especially if you made it to the next level, veteran dancers will execute dance combinations, which you need to master under time pressure. Judges usually eliminate those who can’t keep up. Therefore, if you want to make it, watch some dance videos and learn the steps as fast as you can. Capture their styles, facial expressions, and technique and learn to imitate them.
6. Focus on yourself.
The number of dancers in the room can be overwhelming. But comparing yourself to them will only make you insecure, which may result in lousy performance. Don’t mind the people around you and focus on yourself instead. Watch your every move, make sure you’re executing the routines right, and portray the necessary expressions as you groove.
7. Know the point system.
It may not be important, but it pays to know how judges score the dancers. Once you know the criteria (e.g., timing and coordination, projection, creativity, etc.) and the relative weight given to each category, you will know where you should focus more.
8. Show etiquette.
Everyone will get their time to dance. If it isn’t your time yet, stand on the side, stay still, and be quiet so you don’t distract or disrespect anyone. Don’t walk around the studio during a performance or even tell other dancers how they should execute their moves when your opinion is not solicited. Treat other dancers the way you want to be treated.
9. Exude confidence.
Walk in wearing a beautiful smile and stay at the center. It’s normal to be nervous, but you don’t have to make it too obvious that you are. Fake it till you make it, they say. Don’t bite your nails or fidget your hands and exude confidence as you dance. If you make a mistake, pick it up and get back in the rhythm. Remember, the show must go on!
10. Learn the process.
Yes, no one ever gets used to auditions, it’s a different excitement and fear every time. But you can get better at it if you learn from the entire audition experience—that is your obligation to your art. You also need to know what goes after the audition and accept the decision of the judges. Even if you don’t make it, know that your career doesn’t end there; if anything, it has only begun.
There are still a lot of auditions you can participate in, and while you wait for the next one, review this list of useful dance audition tips to help you succeed in your next try.10 Tips for a Successful Dance Audition by Holly Bissonnette