Just the musings of a small-town professional ballerina, business owner, wife, and beagle mama as she attempts to make it through this thing called life.

Sep 7, 2015

labor day wishes and audition tips and tricks

Wishing everyone a happy Labor Day! It's a beautiful Monday here in Maine and I am soaking up every moment of this glorious day off.

Chicken on the barbeque, warm lake water, hot sun, and cold beverages... Life is good!
But after the splendor of the long weekend concludes, Nutcracker auditions follow soon thereafter for many. At my home, Maine State Ballet, even the Sugar Plum Fairy needs to pin on an audition number. As I mentioned on Friday, I don't mind the formality in the least because it's a humbling reminder of where we all started.

But for those wringing their fingers as they approach the barre and more uncertain of what their casting may be this year, it's nice to have a few tips in mind to ensure a smooth audition.

1. Don't panic.

One small mistake will not jeopardize your entire dancing career and likely not change the panel's view of you as a dancer, so get that out of your head. This will make tip number two much easier.

2. Relax.

Oftentimes, the smile on a dancer's face can make the difference between a yes and a no in casting. I know in my own choreography for recital numbers and such, I oftentimes look for the dancer with good technique, but not necessarily the cleanest, and an outstanding acting ability or presence. That is what the director is looking for, the magic in a dancer's eye, the charisma, the je ne sais quoi that makes an audience member's gaze drawn to the dancer.

3. Go for it and push.

Sure, sometimes we don't want to be "that girl" in class that's always pushing things as hard as possible, darting to the front of the room, and aggressively fighting for the instructor's attention. But sometimes it's necessary to move forward and be noticed and this is one of those times. So give it all you've got!

4. Stand out with your dancing.

So now that you're really pushing your dancing, leave it at that. You don't need to show up wearing a pound of glitter eyeshadow, cherry red lipstick, a giant bow in your hair, and a neon leotard. Those are the wrong reasons to stand out and it's not fooling anybody. Many auditions require a black leotard to be worn so choose one that you feel comfortable in and that flatters you, put your hair in a slick bun, and look nice. That's a word often used for audition appearance. Don't touch the nightclub eyeshadow palette, stick with neutral tones and a clean look.

5. Breathe, and get comfortable.

A big part of the "presence" people are always talking about, is just referring to comfort. Directors will feel more confident about casting someone who is comfortable under pressure and in front of crowds. This is your first opportunity to show them that you can handle it.

Merde, everyone!

For comments and questions please post a comment below or contact me at any of the resources listed below. Much love!

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