Dance Audition season is here!
Although this is an exciting time, it can simultaneously be a nerve-wracking experience for both dance parents and dancers. No worries. This blog will assist all dance parents in preparing their child for a dance audition. Whether your dancer is auditioning to attend a performing arts school, a college dance program, or a summer dance intensive program, there are some tips that all dancers should implement before their audition day.
As a dance parent, you play a critical role in your dancer obtaining placement in the dance program that they are auditioning for. Follow these 10 simple tips to help your dancer have a successful dance audition.
1. Research-Know who you are auditioning for
Does your dancer know who they are auditioning for? It is important to know what the main focuses of the dance program is. What is the foundation of the dance program? Is the program solely focused on ballet, modern, or variety of dance styles?
You do not want your dancer auditioning for a dance program that is looking for dancers who have a strong background in ballet and modern dance, but your dancer has taken only jazz and tap classes. Regardless of the program’s focus, it is important that your child is a well-rounded dancer. Make sure that she/he is taking as many dance classes as they can in a variety of dance styles. The goal is to create a diverse portfolio while they are young and then to specialize in a specific style when they become older.
Know who your dancer is auditioning for. It is your job as a dance parent to make sure they are prepared. Set your dancer up for success.
2. Practice doing dance combinations
Practice, practice, practice. There is no such thing as practicing too much. In dance class, your dancer will have a lot of experience with learning dance combinations. Make sure your dancer is practicing dance combinations outside of their dance class. The goal is to be able to learn dance combinations quickly, without the instructor having to show the combinations several times. This is a skill that is developed with practice. If your dancer is taking dance classes, this skill is being developed. Thus, your dancer is already off to a great start.
If your dancer is not taking dance classes and she/he will be auditioning for a dance program, please enroll them in dance classes months in advance of their audition. The audition instructors are looking for dancers who can pick up on choreography quickly without making many mistakes.
3. Know what you are wearing days before your audition
Would you wait until the morning of a very important job interview to figure out what you’re going to wear to the interview? No! You would make sure you have your outfit chosen days prior to your interview.
This same practice is important for your dancer to implement days before their audition.
Ask your dancer if they know what leotard they want to wear for the audition. Is the leotard clean? Does he have a clean dance belt? Check to make sure that their dance tights are clean and free of holes, tears, rips, and runs. Make sure your male dancer’s t-shirt is cleaned and ironed. Take the time to make sure that their dance attire is fitting properly. You want to make sure that your dancer is standing out during the audition, but you do not want your dancer standing out because her leotard is too small or because his dance belt does not fit properly.
This is also the time to make sure that your child’s dance shoes are in good shape. It is also important to note that most dance programs will tell you which styles of dance your child will be performing for the audition.
Please make sure that your dancer has all the dance shoes needed for each style of dance they will be asked to do. Don’t allow your dancer to be “eliminated” because they do not have all of the proper dance shoes for their audition.
Lastly, I can’t stress enough the importance of having the correct undergarment (i.e., nude leotard) for female dancers who will be on their menstrual cycle during the audition. If your daughter wears a sanitary pad, the nude leotard replaces her underwear. The audition is already stressful enough. Please prepare your daughter if her menstrual cycle is present during the audition.
4. Create your solo dance routine
Majority of dance auditions are structured for the dancer to show the instructor that they can follow directions, pay attention, and learn dance combinations and choreography. However, most dance auditions grant dancers with the opportunity to showcase their uniqueness through a solo dance routine.
Let’s be honest. Dance auditions are very intense and adding a solo routine to the mix can make things more intense. But your dancer will be prepared for this opportunity because they understand that this moment is a time for them to standout and show the instructors a comprehensive glimpse of what they have to offer as a dancer. This is the time where your dancer can show who they truly are and why they should be selected to join the dance program.
If your dancer is someone who has not mastered the skill of improv (i.e., most young dancers), make sure they have created their solo routine prior to their audition. This dance routine does not need to be lengthy. Hence, your dancer should choreograph about 8-10 counts of 8. This will allow your dancer to have enough choreography to shorten the routine if needed. The audition process is already intense enough. Making sure your dancer has created their solo dance routine before they are asked to perform the routine at the audition, will help your dancer remain claim and focused throughout the entire audition.
Remember, this part of the audition is there to help your dancer showcase their unique talents. The goal is to standout. Encourage your dancer to infuse different styles of dance into their solo routine. Your dancer is a multifaceted dancer. This is the time to show that they study more than one style of dance. Let your dancer know that this is their last opportunity to shine in the audition. This is the last time to show out. So, do it big!
5. Know where you need improvement and ask for dance audition advice
Other than you, your child’s dance instructors are their number one fans. Their instructors have been tracking their dance progression and have firsthand knowledge of their areas of improvement. It is essential that your dancer takes the time to sit with their dance instructors months before the audition to discuss the areas they need to improve. This is a great opportunity for your dancer to work one-on-one with their dance instructors. Most dance instructors offer private dance lessons.
Take advantage of this opportunity. This is valuable, personal time that your dancer can receive to increase their chance of obtaining placement in the dance program they are auditioning for. This is a great time for your dancer to learn the art of improving. Also, remember that your child’s dance teacher has participated in several dance auditions. They have a wealth of knowledge about what is expected at a dance audition.
Make sure your dancer takes the time to ask their dance instructors about their experience with dance auditions. They have so many tips and secrets that they are dying to share with your dancer. All they need to do is ask and be prepared to implement what has been shared with them.
6. Eat a nutritious meal before the audition
Eating nutritious meals daily is a very vital part of keeping your dancer’s body healthy. Just as it is important to eat a nutritious meal before a test, it is especially important that your dancer eats a nutritious meal before their audition. Feeding your body, a nutritious meal allows your anxiety level to lower, it brings clarity, and allows your body and mind to be alert. These are all the benefits that you want your dancer to possess. Aim to feed your dancer this nutritious meal at least two hours before the audition.
For many reasons, it is not wise to eat right before an audition. Your dancer’s body needs time to digest the food properly. Can you imagine what would happen to a dancer who is dancing on a full stomach while dealing with high anxiety levels? A disaster is what’s going to happen. The last thing you want is for your dancer to throw up in the middle of their audition! You also want to allow time for your dancer to use the bathroom if needed. Eating healthy moves our bowels. Allow them time to empty their stomach.
Some great foods to eat before a dance audition includes eggs, blueberries, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, whole grain bread, walnuts, quinoa, lentils, beets, spinach, fish, broccoli, asparagus, salmon, and chicken breast.
Drink plenty of water and green tea to stay hydrated and energized. Feed your dancer foods that are high in protein and low in fat.
Don’t feed them too much. You don’t want your dancer too full and sluggish during the audition. You also don’t want them starving and focusing on quieting their growling stomach rather than paying attention to the instructor.
7. Arrive to the audition early
Have you ever heard the saying, “Arriving on time is late?” This is true in the dance world.
Prior to the day of the audition, take time to plan out the big day. Make a schedule and write down what you need to do to get your dancer to the audition early. Are you picking your dancer up early from school? Are you cooking that nutritious meal the night before or the day of the audition?
Plan everything out. Arrive to the audition early, but not too early. Arrive at least 30 minutes before the audition starts. Take this time to mentally prepare your dancer for the audition. Remind them that they have been practicing for this moment.
Tell them to breathe, do their best, and to have fun! Make sure your dancer is also using this time to start warming up for their audition.
8. Your first impression is the most memorable impression
Dance auditions are often very nerve-wracking. However, you never want to show emotions of nervousness or defeat during an audition. Although it is normal and okay for your dancer to feel nervous and anxious, the goal is to not let these emotions show on their face. This is show-biz. Let your dancer know that this is their moment. To own this moment. To take up space. Remind them to walk into that audition confident with their head held high and to maintain this confidence throughout the entire audition.
Tell your dancer to smile. The power of smiling is real. Even when you are not feeling your best, smiling helps to boost your mood. Everyone is going to appear nervous and will be dancing without a smile on their face. But your dancer will be smiling and will have a joyful arura and energy which helps them to standout.
The positive energy that your dancer will emit will show the instructors that they are prepared to have a successful audition.
9. Pay attention and remain focused
It is so important to pay attention the entire time the audition is in session. In auditions, dancers will often audition alongside other dancers that they know. It will be very tempting for your dancer to want to talk to their friends. Remind them that they will have plenty of time to talk with their friends after the audition.
Your dancer must block out everything that is going on around them and solely focus on what the instructors are teaching them. During an audition, there is no talking, laughing, or playing around. Your dancer should treat their audition as if they are interviewing for a job.
Discuss proper dance etiquette with your dancer. Poor dance etiquette (e.g., leaning on the barre, talking, and dancing while the instructor is talking or demonstrating a dance step) is a sign of a dancer not paying attention. Your dancer wants to show the instructors that they are taking this opportunity seriously. Although it is so easy for them to get distracted, their main goal is to remain focused and on task, blocking out everything around them.
Tell them to keep their eyes on the prize…..a spot in the dance program.
10. Stay positive and have fun
Where your focus goes, your energy flows. It is vital that you instill in your dancer to keep positive thoughts throughout the entire audition, even when they make mistakes. Many times, the instructors are not paying the most attention to the dancers who are perfecting the choreography. They are often watching and looking for dancers who are giving their all, trying their best, and applying the corrections that are given to them. People are more willing to appreciate someone who is giving their all. Even if their all is not the best in the room.
They are looking to see who is willing to continue after they have made a mistake. No one is expecting the dancers to be perfect.
Instill in your dancer the power of keeping positive thoughts. It is very hard to remain focused and to do your best when negative thoughts are running rampant in your mind. Before the audition, have your dancer listen to positive affirmations on YouTube to plant positive thoughts in their subconscious and conscious mind. Make this a daily practice. It’s amazing how our minds have the ability to shift when we feed it positive words. It is your job to show your dancer how to remain positive despite something not going correctly. This is a daily practice and is very important for their audition.
Overall, the number one thing to remember about dance auditions is to have fun. Yes, Have fun. A dance audition is an important event, but all of your dancer’s hard work is not worth it if they’re not having a great time.
Maybe you have never participated in a dance audition, but you have done a job interview. The process is no different. The more prepared a dancer is for their audition, the better the outcome. There will be hundreds of other dancers who are auditioning for the same placement that your dancer is auditioning for. Work with your dancer to prepare them for the audition. Everyone will not take the time to properly prepare for an audition or they may not know how to prepare. But you do! Take advantage of these tips.
If your dancer is auditioning for a dance program this year, start implementing these tips immediately! Remember, as a dance parent, you play a critical role in your dancer securing placement in the dance program that they are auditioning for. Remain calm and positive.
Your thoughts, words, and beliefs have the power to shape the thoughts, words, and beliefs of your dancer.
Create a checklist to make sure your dancer has all their dance supply needs. If you need assistance with finding dance attire to help your dancer standout among the other dancers in the audition, come in to see us.
For the dance parents who have been through a dance audition with your dancer, we want to hear from you. What dance audition tips do you have to share with other dance parents? Share with us below.
If your dancer is auditioning for a dance program, share below which dance program they are auditioning for.
Break a leg dancers!