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| || || | Auditioning is probably the scariest part of being a professional dancer in ballet, modern, or other areas of the dance world. It will probably always be a little nerve wracking, but the more auditions you attend, the more comfortable and confident you will feel at each one.
- First, be confident in yourself. If you do not believe you are the best person for the job when you walk into an audition, no one else will either. Other dancers will probably try to intimidate you, but don't play that game yourself, just enjoy the audition class, and do your best.
- You need to keep an updated resume at all times. A resume, or CV is necessary at all auditions, and keeping a record going will help you be prepared when it comes time to audition. When making your resume, put your most recent accomplishments at the top, and be discerning. Professional directors will not care if you studied pre-ballet at Happy Times dance studio. It makes you look unprofessional to give outdated information. Your resume should be one page only and should include college and professional work. Include high school or earlier ONLY if you attended a performing arts school or conservatory.
- A head shot is also usually a requirement, so make sure you have a flattering head shot that LOOKS LIKE YOU. If you have dramatically changed your hair, you need a head shot that matches it. Also, don't do your makeup for the head shot very differently from what you expect to do for an audition. Usually black and white looks more professional and flattering than color, so if you can't afford two types of head shots, go for black and white. Also check to see if the company your auditioning for requires a "dance photo." Be prepared for anything.
- Before you show up at an audition, do your homework concerning the prospective company. Check out their website to see what their dancers look like, what their mission statement and philosophy are. Know as much about their style of dance as possible so that you'll be prepared for the audition class and/or choreography/ improvisation. Make all possible arrangements to take company classes before you audition. If you live in the same city where you are auditioning, the director will see it as laziness not to try out a class before presuming to audition.
- Dress appropriately for your audition. You can get a feel for this be doing your homework from the previous step. For most auditions you should just try to look nice and mostly natural. Put on a little make up, and wear form fitting clothing. DO NOT wear all black to any audition. At colleges and conservatories, this is considered the norm, but if you go to a professional audition in all black or black and pink you will fade into the background and also look like a student, rather than a professional. Wear a color and style leotard/unitard that flatters you. Although many modern dancers like to perform and practice in biker shorts, this is generally considered too informal for the audition setting. If wearing pants, go for at least knee-length.
- Be the best person and dancer you know how to be. Pay careful attention at all times so that you will pick up combinations quickly. Directors will notice who is struggling through the learning process, and they don't want some one who is high maintenance and asks a lot of questions. Avoid blank stares at all costs. Even if you are confused, maintain a look of confidence. Have an awareness of space, and be polite to your fellow dancers. Even if some one in front of you is not traveling enough, do not step on their heals because this will be perceived as rude.
- Finally, it is a truth of the dance world that you must be prepared for rejection. At any given audition, the company will be rejecting far more dancers than they accept. Some companies even hold auditions where they don't hire any dancers. Don't let rejection sway your confidence. If you made it through a lot of cuts it is acceptable to ask the director for pointers and advice on how to improve. Other than that, just gather your efforts for the next try. Every dance company is looking for something slightly different, and you are likely to find one that works for you. Remember that it is worth multiple tries if a company you like rejects you the first and even second or third time.