Whether you have been dancing for many years or only a few months, attending a dance audition can still be pretty terrifying. If ballet is your chosen dance style, you have many different avenues for which you might be auditioning for, for instance, to get into a new dance school, a major dance company, a nation wide performance or even just an audition for a local ballet recital.
Auditions are always going to be intimidating, no matter how prepared you are, however, being nervous and having butterflies is no bad thing, since this means our adrenalin is pumping and humans always work harder when their adrenalin’s going. There is, however, no harm in taking on as much advice as possible, no matter how experienced you are, in order to ensure your audition goes off without a hitch.
Obviously you should never go unprepared to an audition but this point is not merely about making sure you know all your moves. This is about making sure you are fully aware of what is required on the day, i.e. that you have read through the application form thoroughly and filled it out correctly too.
Some auditions may also require a payment to be made, so make sure you have this and be sure to check if there is a dress code. Of course, you also need to ensure that you have all the goodies you’d normally have to help you get through a ballet practice, such as plasters, pins for your hair and something to drink to keep you hydrated.
2. Make sure you arrive early
A ballet audition should be treated exactly like a job interview and as such, you should make sure you leave home with plenty of time to allow you to arrive early. If you have not yet been to the location where auditions are taking place, make sure you know what all of the best routes are in order to get you there on time.
You should aim to give yourself approximately 30 minutes between when you arrive at your audition to when it actually starts. This gives you enough time to settle in, stretch and prepare yourself mentally for the task at hand.
3. Grab a place near the front so you can be easily seen
Many auditions will involve you making set moves within a group of others who are also auditioning, which allows the judges to compare you against others and make their decisions. If there are others auditioning alongside you, make sure you don’t hide away in the back.
You don’t want to be too forceful and come across as mean spirited and arrogant but you should always try to get yourself as close to the front as possible. Judges will want to see confidence, as much as they want to see skill, since confidence will mean you try hard and are willing to push yourself.
4. Don’t be scared to ask the dance instructors questions
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, so if you are unsure about what is being asked of you, make sure that you clarify it. There is no point being unsure and then doing something wrong, since this does not present you in the best light. First of all, make sure you listen properly to the instructions you are given and then, if still unsure, ask for clarification politely and in a professional manner.
5. Positive mental attitude
Ballet is very competitive and in some respects you may just have to accept that you’re not going to become the next super star. There are many reasons people are turned down after auditioning and it doesn’t always hinge on their dancing. For instance many judges will be after someone who has a specific hair colour or is a certain height, so even if you are the best dancer in the room, you still might not be chosen.
It’s important to stay positive throughout the audition, even if you go wrong. You need to keep your head held high since judges will be able to see if your head goes down and then they’ll fault you for lack of confidence. If you enjoy dancing, make sure you show it. Smile and relax into your movements throughout the audition and it will stand out.
Keep the following in mind at all times, ‘If I don’t get selected this time, there is always next time.”
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Laura writes for Dance Force. When not writing, she can often be found helping others who are stressing over auditions.