Written by Terry Finch
Preparation is important for dancers to succeed in auditions. Those who are well prepared will make an impact on the judges. Here are some tips to prepare for your next audition:
1. Research the show or company you are auditioning for. A quick internet search will usually yield good results.
2. Try to find out what they are looking for, if it’s not already spelled out on the audition materials. Contact the company or theater, talk to dancers who are or have already been involved with them, and go to any workshops they offer.
3. Know your music options before you go in. Find out whether you will have a piano accompanist (in which case you need sheet music that is easy to follow with pages taped together in order) or if you will need to bring your own CD. Ask lots of questions beforehand so you are not surprised on audition day.
4. Bring a resume, not more than a page in length, highlighting roles you have performed, when and where you performed, relevant skills that you have, and choreography or teaching experience. Make sure your name and contact information is easy to find and read. Contact the company or theater to confirm whether you should bring a headshot or full-body photograph, as they will most likely require one or both.
5. If you are asked to prepare a piece for the audition, have something that shows your best qualities and is no more than a minute long. Choose a song and movement that fits your style, your age, and your abilities. Never take choreography that was created by and for someone else, as this is stealing. If you are unsure of choreographing something for yourself, ask someone for help.
6. You should be able to perform your audition cleanly, so any tricks that are not spot-on should be left out. If you have one or two fancy tricks that are your specialty, and you know you can perform them cleanly, put them in the beginning of the piece. Don’t save something for the “big finish”, because you just might be cut off before you get to it.
7. Whatever you are wearing for the audition should be clean and neat. Don’t wear anything that has holes in it or is cut apart beyond recognition. The judges need to be able to see your body line, so oversized clothing should be taken off after you warm up.
8. Wear something that is easily recognizable throughout the auditions (for example, a bright purple leotard that will help you stand out), but don’t be flashy. T-shirts with words on them are distracting, as well as overly sparkled outfits.
9. Make sure your hair is pulled back so the judges can see your face, and that it is secure. You shouldn’t have to re-do your ponytail after every movement, so make sure it is in place before you enter the audition.
10. Contact the company or theater in advance about proper footwear, if it isn’t spelled out on the audition materials. Make sure your shoes are in good shape about a week before the audition. Worn in shoes full of holes do not necessarily make you look like a more seasoned dancer; they just make you look unprepared and uninterested.