8 Tips for a Successful Dance Audition

Posted on Feb 16, 2016 in Auditions, Tips

8 Tips for a Successful Dance Audition

Auditions can be scary and intimidating. Dance auditions, especially, can be very stressful. In most auditions, you are required to learn and embody dance choreography in a short time span and perform it confidently in front of a panel of strangers. Yikes!

Think of your dance audition like a test you take at school. You spend weeks preparing and sharpening your knowledge of the subject. When the test day comes, you may do well regardless – but you perform better on your test when you prepare, right?

Here are our tips for preparing for your dance audition. We know you’ll do great, but these tips will ease your nerves and help you feel ready to take the floor and do what you do best.

1. Start your day with breakfast!
It’s true! Just like with a big test, you need to start your day with a nutritious breakfast. It fuels your body, your mind, and won’t leave you feeling fatigued at your audition; however, don’t eat a late breakfast. Eating a big meal before your audition might be a bad call, as it could give you a stomach ache or make you feel sluggish. Two or three hours before, with a small snack closer to your audition, is a good rule of thumb.

2. Look and feel confident.
The first step to looking the part is wearing clothes that you feel comfortable in and are appropriate for the style you are dancing. Do not wear a leotard and tights to a hip hop audition – or baggy sweatpants to a jazz audition! Also, wear something you feel compliments your body, with the right shoes. If doing your hair and adding a little blush makes you feel more confident, go for it!

3. Don’t hide in the back.
Although the back of the studio may seem like you are hiding from the judges, you aren’t! The best thing you can do for yourself and for your audition is step up to the front. You want to be able to soak in all the choreography, and being able to see the teacher is important. Audition choreography is usually taught fast with little pause time. Don’t miss a move! For more tips on learning choreography faster, read this.

4. Ask questions!
The choreographer wants you to succeed as much as you do. Don’t be afraid to ask about a move or combination when you are feeling confused. The judges will appreciate your initiative to make sure you are learning the choreography correctly. Make sure you find proper times to ask politely, and never interrupt the teacher in the middle of instruction.

5. Breathe.
A common practice in dance auditions is to teach the choreography to the entire group, then divide the group into smaller sections for the actual judgment process. Ugh…the phrase itself is scary: judgment process. Don’t forget to breathe. No matter what happens, you will live through this audition! Panicking will not help you succeed. While you are waiting for your group to practice the choreography, make sure to hydrate and maintain your calm attitude. You got this!

6. Recover with a smile.
We all make mistakes – especially in a dance audition when you have critical eyes on you. The best way to recover from a mistake is to smile through it and keep going. Often your judges won’t even notice if you don’t show it on your face. Perseverance and endurance are two skills that dance directors will be keeping an eye out for.

7. Respond graciously.
Not all dance auditions are the same, but many go one of two ways: the judges let you know that there will be callbacks within a few days, or, cuts are made directly after your audition. This can be tough if you are a dancer that was not chosen for that particular company or performance. Take a deep breath, shake the hands of your judges, and thank them for their time. If you are chosen, be wary of your celebration and remember that there are people in the room that did not receive the same results. Above all else, be proud of yourself!

8. Always try again.
We all have ups and downs. Don’t let one audition defeat you. If you don’t receive the results you want, ask the choreographer, teacher, or judges, what you can improve on. More often than not, they will be happy to recommend classes, trainers, or other ways to improve your technique and/or performance.

Interested in joining one of The Dance Factory’s performance companies? Our auditions are in June. Stay tuned for more information!