How To Prepare for a Dance Audition

Dance auditions can be one the the most nerve-wracking experiences there is, but these pointers should help keep you cool and confident.


  1. Research, research, research. Know exactly what you're walking into. Most auditions are posted with a phone number so don't be afraid to call and ask questions. The more you know ahead of time, the more prepared you will be. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
    • Exactly where and what time are the auditions being held?
    • Is this an open audition (meaning anyone can show up and audition) or do I need to go through an agent or make an appointment?
    • What are you auditioning for? (What dance style, and for what kind of performance - TV, movie, stage shows, concerts, etc.)
    • Who will be judging your audition? (This info is not always available to dancers but it's worth a shot trying to find out because the more you know about who is judging you, the more you can adjust your audition piece to seem more appealing to them. Most dancers and choreographers that judge have some kind of bio on the Internet where you can find out their preferences.
    • Before you hang up, ask the person on the other end if there is anything else you should know. I recommend this because that person might be feeling generous that day and could offer you some inside info or tips about the audition, so always ask!


  2. Prepare your audition piece. Choosing what you are going to audition with is obviously the most important step. Depending on the audition, this process can vary. If you are doing a general audition, meaning they are looking for dancers in all styles, choose your personal best style. For instance, if you are a phenomenal contemporary dancer, stick with that. Don't audition with a hip hop piece just because you think they might like it more. You're going to show your greatest potential when you're doing what you excel at. If you are are auditioning for a certain style of dance, for example as a dancer in the Broadway production of "A Chorus Line," you should prepare a piece in Broadway jazz style. Or if you're auditioning to be a back-up dancer for a pop star, have a piece prepared in that type of pop style.
    • Choosing music. Once you know what style piece you are auditioning with, now it is time to choose your music. Here are some things to think about before you pick your music. Choose something that is a tempo that you are comfortable with. When dancing to the beat of the music, it is very important to make sure it's not too fast or slow for you. Don't choose a song that is a huge hit right now or was a huge hit the past 1-2 years. I say this because the judges sit through so many auditions and so many people choose songs like that. So by the time your audition comes around, they will probably have heard that song 15 times already and they're sick of it. Choose a song that you like, of course, but that is also not as well known, and something that stands out. It will a breath of fresh air for the judges and bonus points for you!
    • Choreography. When is comes to the choreography of your piece, DO NOT SETTLE. If you aren't the greatest choreographer in the world (and not all dancers are), have someone else choreograph it for you and make sure it's someone whose work is in a style that you've seen and liked. There is nothing wrong with this! You are auditioning as a dancer, not a choreographer. You want your piece to be the best it can be and the choreography needs to reflect that.
    • Clothing. What to wear? Keep one thing in mind: Less is more. And I don't mean to dress skimpy. I just mean that simple appropriate dance clothes are always the way to go!
  3. Technique!!!! The #1 thing the judges are going to look for is your technique! So work on it everyday up to the audition, especially if it's a style that's not your "thing." The best way to do this is to take classes. Most major cities have studios that offer technique classes everyday, and that's where you need to be, working your butt off!
  4. Practice, practice, practice! In addition to your technique, you need to practice your piece every possible minute you can! The more you do it, the deeper it gets embedded into your brain. You do not want to go on stage at an audition and think about the steps. If you practice enough, the steps will just come to you without you even having to think about them. Go over every step and movement (preferably in front of a large mirror) and make sure all your lines, extensions, and transitions are where they should be.
  5. The day before. Have your music ready (most likely they take CDs) and if your song needed editing, make sure it is a clean edit. Judges hate nothing more than sloppy edited music. AND HAVE AT LEAST 1 BACK-UP CD. Get your audition clothes ready, practice a few more times and get a good night's sleep!
  6. The day of. Get there early! The lines will start to get very long especially if it's an open audition, and you want to be sure you get your turn. Eat something before you go, no matter how nervous you are. The last thing you want to do is pass out on stage from low blood sugar. Also, be sure to DRINK WATER! Dehydration will do you no good! Warm up while you are waiting and go over your piece in your head
  7. Leave it at the door. Before you walk on stage to audition, clear your mind. Leave everything, all the stress, practice, and preparation at the door (you needed it to get this far but in this moment, you can let it go) and just dance! Perform and be you! Be confident and powerful and passionate and let it show!


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A very thorough checklist of tips for anyone who wishes to audition for a dancing part. Good work!

By Laura Spencer