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Auditioning Tips for Dancers

“There are no auditions, there are only performances.”
—Janet Bookspan

Preperation

  • Read audition notices carefully. Come prepared to audition – bring pointe shoes, etc. as requested.
  • Do homework – research the organization, find out who you are replacing and if they are looking for a specific type.
  • Be aware of the fact that AGMA companies are required to hold “open” auditions even if they know whom they want. 
  • Audition as much as you can to gain experience. 
  • Be neat – do not have holes in your dance clothes – and wear clothes that are flattering and comfortable.
  • Most companies want to see dancers at scheduled auditions, but dancers can be invited to take company classes. 
  • Private auditions improve your chance of landing the job.
  • If there are no positions available, ask when they will know if a contract is opening up.
  • Do not call too often - perhaps once every two weeks.
  • Keep fit – directors usually view you as you are – they assume you look the best you will ever look.
  • Be prepared to pay a fee. Some companies charge for auditions.

Types

  • Ballet Auditions –Usually in the form of a class (barre, center combinations, en diagonale).
  • Modern Auditions – usually warm-up exercises and combinations across the floor – perhaps improvisation.
  • Musical Theater Auditions – versatility translates into employability.

During

  • Never be late! Arrive early to warm up and settle.
  • Always be polite – watch your attitude.
  • Approach each audition as a learning experience; turn your fear into excitement. 
  • Treat auditions like a performance – give it your best shot, do it in full out style, dance with clarity and conviction.
  • Mix with other dancers. Ask questions – you may learn something valuable.
  • Be aware that choreographers and directors look for personal qualities.
  • Watch the directors – look at whom they are watching. You can learn about the quality of the dancer they are seeking.
  • Concentrate and maintain your composure.
  • Do not wear braces, wrapped badges, etc. – lest you look injury-prone.
  • Try to go in the middle so that you can watch dancers before you go.
  • Dance the combinations exactly as given – do not interpret or improvise unless asked to do so.
  • Watch for quality of movements. Access the style of the company and listen to directives.
  • Always maintain eye contact.
  • Be mindful of your behavior when not dancing. You are probably being watched.
  • You may be required to return two or three times for line up.
  • Be prepared to sing and read a scene.

After

  • Evaluate how you did so you will know what your weaknesses are – turns, jumps, fast foot work, etc.
  • Wear the same dance clothes and hairstyle each time you are called back so that you can become easily identifiable.
  • Interviews may be a deciding factor.
  • And remember, do not take rejection as failure – you may be the wrong height, type, etc.

*Thanks to Yasuko Tokunaga for her assistance in creating this page.

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