Dance is definitely a world where esthetic counts a lot, so first impressions are important. Looking good, in shape and confident are a must for dancers.
Directors assume that you are in the best of your shape when you apply for their company so you have to be prepared to be able to give it ALL during the audition.
Here are a few tips that could help you prepare and handle the stress of an audition.
1. Your resume and photos: to be selected to the audition you need to have a clear CV (1 page is best) and good photos. Unfortunately photos are always a struggle to take. Either you need to know a photographer with a studio or use stage pictures. When I was in school, we had a photographer who took pictures for us (Virginie Khan, if you are looking for a photographer in Paris) but after a few years I couldn’t use them anymore because they were outdated so that’s when I started using stage photos. Go for the basics: I like to send an arabesque, a jump and a portrait.
2.Do your homework: research the companies you are applying for. Get to know the director, whether he is a choreographer or used to be dancer, know the repertoire, if they dance a lot of big productions or creations for the company, etc… Once I didn’t know the director was a choreographer so at the interview I just felt so stupid and embarrassed when he asked me what was my favorite piece of his… PLEASE avoid these kinds of awkward moments.
3.Be prepared: train your memory by learning the combinations quickly during class. If you can’t remember the steps, you won’t be able to show off your skills at the audition so pay attention. Be physically ready by warming up properly, doing some extra workouts, eat healthy, sleep well, etc… prepare yourself as an ATHLETE and do what you need to do to be fit and healthy.
4.The outfit: it is important to understand the company you are auditioning for, whether it is a modern company or a classical one. Prepare a couple of outfits that flatter your silhouette, avoid baggy clothes and try to stand out from the others by wearing bright colors (not too bright though). Try them out before the big day.
5.Be confident and polite: Know the combinations, stand at the front if you can and don’t forget to sell yourself. The jury is there to choose the best dancer they find for their company so don’t be shy and just give it your all.
6.Show your passion: I used to pressure myself a lot when I was doing my 1st auditions so from my experience don’t make a big deal out of it. Enjoy the day as if it was a workshop. Under a lot of stress you can end up panicking and that’s not pretty to watch. Don’t forget that directors are looking for happy and passionate dancers with who they can have a good relationship to be able to collaborate with everyday.
All of these tips are easier to say than to apply but I hope they will help you. I know auditioning is stressful but it’s how it is so make the best of it. You get to visit new cities, take classes with other ballet masters, and most importantly, it makes you grow as a person. If you don’t hear your number when the jury calls the candidates who get the job, don’t take it personally just move forward, there are plenty of companies around the world 🙂
Best of luck for the auditions!