Home > Performing Tips > Audition Tips >
Dance auditions, whether alone or part of an audition for a musical, usually consist of a dance routine. This routine is demonstrated by the choreographer or dance captain and then you are asked to perform it on your own or in small groups. With this type of dance audition, it is very important that you are able to learn a dance routine quickly. However, there are some auditions (particularly those that require you to send in an audition video) where you will be required to perform a prepared solo piece.
Dance auditions are usually judged on the following criteria:
Body Alignment: Does the dancer display correct alignment at barre and at center?
Poor posture will ruin an otherwise beautiful performance. If you do not have good posture, studying pilates may help.
Dance Technique: Does the dancer exhibit excellent turnout, pointed feet, high extensions, and flexibility?
If you are hoping to become part of a dance troup there is nothing more important than technique. If you are auditioning for a main role in a musical (unless a dancing role) your dance technique will be often be secondary to your singing and acting, depending on the musical, of course.
A very little training can go a very long way in a basic dance audition for a musical. A single year of weekly dance classes will help you achieve better posture, positioning, and coordination. If taking classes at a dance school are not an option, consider a home DVD (we have links to some very good ones in the "learn to dance" links in the menu to your left). If following a DVD isn't for you, even doing some pilates will help a great deal with posture and flexibility.
Skill & Potential: Does the dancer perform turns, jumps and combinations with ease and quality?
Musicality: Does the dancer demonstrate an excellent sense of rhythm and phrasing?
Recall of Movement Sequences: Does the dancer recreate combinations quickly, easily, and accurately?
Your ability to learn a routine in a short amount of time can vary in importance, depending on the type of show and how long you have to rehearse. If you are auditioning for a dance troup that focuses only on dance (think Riverdance), this becomes exceptionally important. It may be less important if you wish to be a chorus member in a musical, but if you are looking at a main role it is important that you learn quickly since you will also have songs and scenes to work on.
Most musical auditions will send you as a group to a different room either before or after you do your individual audition to learn a dance combination. Once you have learned the combination, you will be taken to the audition panel to perform it. The time you spend learning the combination is very important. You need to take control of your own learning in this situation. If you hide in the back, fake your way through the steps and keep going even though you don't understand the last step, you're not going to do well. However, if you make sure you can see the teacher at all times, stop and ask for clarification, and put your full effort into learning, you will stand a good chance of catching most of the steps. Asking for help when you are learning something is NOT a sign of weakness. To the contrary, it shows that you are genuinely interested in doing your best.
Remember to do your best to perform the steps exactly as they are shown - do not "improve" them. The audition panel can't tell the difference between changing on purpose and not being able to remember. Besides, choreography is not your job. You can prepare for the routines you may learn ahead of time by listening to the cast recording of the show you are auditioning for. Learning routines is easier when the music is already familiar to you. Click here for tips on learning combinations.
Stage Prescence: Does the dancer demonstrate appropriate energy, focus, facial expressions, emotion, and confidence?
This becomes terribly important if you are auditioning for a musical. All the technique in the world won't get you anywhere if you can't connect with the audience. If it takes you a while to learn the steps but you've got this dynamite personality and stage presence, you'll still be much more impressive than a wall-flower with perfect turn-out. Always smile and look like you are enjoying yourself. The audition panel likes to work with people who look like they are having a good time.
Dance Audition Links
Dance Audition Tips @ Answers4Dancers
Dance Auditions : Preparation, Presentation, Career Planning
The Dancer's Audition Book
Your Dance Resume : A Preparatory Guide to the Audition