EVERY season there are many dancers moving to different companies or retiring, getting pregnant, injured, etc… The directors have to hold an annual audition. It’s the way to find new dancers for the company and replace his older dancers.
There are few contracts if any to give so the director has a lot of choices of dancers to choose from. This makes it possible for him or her to look for specific types of dancers. It can be a specific look, a tall or a short dancer, someone who can make tricks, etc…
To audition you have TWO options: you can do an open audition or a private audition. In this article I’m going to explain to you what is the difference is between these two options.
To audition, the first step is to send your CV with pictures and sometimes a video to the company. The director looks at the applications and decides whether to invite you for an audition.. If you are selected he will send you the date, place and time for the open audition.
As you can imagine, many dancers apply every season.
Open auditions are usually separated in the two groups: female and male which are divided in many small groups to be able to see everyone.
The open audition consists of two to three rounds in which you can be
- The ballet class with pointe work at the center for female dancers.
- Next you’ll have to learn a piece of repertoire to see how fast you can learn a choreography and if you can dance their type of repertoire they do in their company
- To end the audition you might be asked to perform a solo to show your personality and charisma.
As you might have guessed these tests are physically and mentally demanding. Anyway, this helps the director to see what you are capable of and see if you’ll fit in with other dancers.
Now there is an other option for auditions: it’s the private audition.
If you are selected by CV to do the audition but CANNOT attend, you can ask for a private audition which means you can select a different day of your choosing. In this case you’ll be asked to take class with the company where you’ll be judged with the dancers of the company. The director will watch the class and will decide if he would like to OFFER you a contract.
I personally find private auditions to be more stressful because you are the only ONE auditioning and all eyes are on you.
On the other hand, it’s a good way to find out if you fit in, meet the ballet masters, the pianist, and the other artists, plus, it only lasts 1h30: the time of a class so it’s less tiring.
Auditioning is the annoying part of our job, you kind of have to sell yourself. On top of your talent, a lot of luck is involved to get a job, there are so many talented dancers competing for a FEW contracts. There could be a contract availability one day and gone the next. It took me a long time to understand this, as I used to underestimate myself. BUT that’s the only way you can get a job so I just had to learn how to deal with the stress.
So on my next article, I ll give 5 advices on how to get ready for an audition 🙂
Hope it helped you to understand how an audition works!
Alex Inside Motion.