Auditions are without a doubt, one of the most exciting, exhilarating, nerve wracking and rewarding experiences you go through as a dancer - they truly are a real rollercoaster of emotions. Auditions are an inevitable part of the journey and happen at so many stages of a dancer's career, whether it’s for a school dance group, a role in a ballet performance or even for a coveted position in a ballet company.
I still remember my very first audition and how nervous I was, but over the years I’ve done so many that I’ve actually lost count and they’re something that I learnt to actually look forward to! I’ve learnt so much about the process so I wanted to share 5 ways to prepare for a dance audition.
This is vital as there’s generally a lot of dancers in the room and you really want to stand out and make a long-lasting and unforgettable impression whilst also showing you care about your presentation. I always like to wear a bright and bold coloured leotard like the Odette Leotard in lemonade to catch people’s eyes and while I know it can be tempting, try to avoid wearing skirts and crossovers as they can hide and distract from your beautiful lines and extensions.
Knowing where to stand in the studio is crucial so make sure you position yourself where you can be easily seen and allow you to show off your good side first (we all have one). Most people try to position themselves in the middle of the front row, but my favourite place to stand is actually in the centre of the 2nd row, which is where their gaze will naturally fall as they look out into the studio.
Preparation is so important for any audition or interview so arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can about the company prior to the audition. This will give you the upper hand by being able so you can showcase and highlight things they value. For example, I knew that The Royal Ballet appreciates fact and precise footwork, so I made sure I strengthened and stretched my feet and practised my allegro like crazy before my audition (it’s the perfect opportunity to practise any of the exercises in the Claudia Dean World App).
Even if you don’t feel like it at the time! Nerves are a very common part of the audition process, and contrary to popular belief I think they’re actually a good thing because they show that you care! Even if you feel butterflies in your stomach, remind yourself to take a few deep breaths and maintain a calm demeanour and soft smile.
In the lead up to the audition, put your brain to the test by practising as many free enchainments as you can! The more familiar and confident you are with different styles of movement, you will be able to confidently master any combination that comes your way in an audition. Once you are in the studio - enjoy the dancing & show the directors why you love to dance.
Above all else, remember to enjoy the process and know that it’s an opportunity to learn and grow as a dancer through lived experience. I always like to remind myself that even the world’s best and most elite principal dancers were once in this stage of their audition careers too. I promise it will get easier and you will get much more confident along the way!
Love CD xxx