Auditions. Does anyone really like them? Who knows, but they are a huge part of being a dancer. As more live auditions get back on the calendar, let’s review some tips for navigating the room, and styles to make you feel your best.
One of the most important things about auditioning is being prepared. Research the company, its history, and try to find a repertory video if you can. Having an idea about what to expect will lessen any anxiety and keep your focus on executing the work given.
Preparation also starts in the kitchen. You want to fuel your body to perform at its best. As Registered Dietician Emily Cook Harrison MS, RD, LD advises, “Eat a healthy dinner with complex carbs the night before. Try low-fat pasta, a sandwich or a bean and rice burrito.” This will give you the energy you need the next day.
On audition day, Harrison advises to limit caffeine, as it can give you jitters, and also to “eat an hour before your audition so you have time to digest. Focus on complex carbs with only a little protein and fat. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains will give you sustained energy but won’t sit on your stomach and make you feel bloated or heavy. Save protein for after you dance. Protein and fat take longer to digest, and if you are nervous this might lead to an upset stomach.”
Be on time. For auditions, being on time means being early. You don’t often know how much class or warm-up will be given, so it’s key to be prepared for any scenario. Só Dança Ambassador Josué Gomez shares his thoughts on preparing for an audition once you’re in the room.
“Warm up to the point that you feel 100 percent ready, but not too tired, so you’re ready to do any type of class, because every single teacher is different and you should be prepared mentally and physically for a very quick and light class, or for a very slow and heavy class,” he says.
When you’re prepared, you can relax a bit. Bringing a calm energy into any room, but especially an audition room, goes a long way. Remember, directors are also looking for people who will be pleasant to work with and kind to others. Behaving that way in the audition is part of the audition.
So you’ve researched the company, arrived early, warmed up, and have a positive and open attitude…what’s left?
Your outfit, of course! Even though directors mostly look at your dancing and your demeanor, what you decide to wear elevates both of those key elements. You want to try out several looks before the day, so you’re not rushed in the morning, trying to find the perfect outfit. Make sure to wear something that you feel is flattering, yet comfortable.
Kenzie Thomas, Só Dança ambassador and recent apprentice to the Orlando Ballet, chooses between two looks for auditions: classy and clean, or bubbly and bright. Check out the Desiree Half Sleeve Leotard with Lace and the Contessa Shimmer Leotard for that classic look, and the Bijou High Neck Halter Leotard and the Maryse Camisole Leotard with Detailed Mesh Cutouts for more of a bubbly or contemporary vibe.
Gomez never auditions in something brand new. You want your clothes to be free of holes, stains and whatever else happens while you work hard in them, but fresh items on the day of an audition can backfire because you don’t know how they’ll perform. He particularly likes to wear broken-in ballet shoes to keep your mind on the choreography. Head here to check out all the options for men with tons of colors, fabrics and styles.
With all the pieces in place, the last thing to do is just be you. Directors always want to see what uniqueness you bring to the room — so relax, have fun, and dance with joy.
By Emily Sarkissian of Dance Informa.