December is that time of year when dancers start to think about one of the most important things in their dance calendar. No, not The Nutcracker, although I am sure the dance of the sugar plum fairy is, by now, repeating over and over in the recesses of your mind like overly worn out elevator music. It’s the start of summer intensive audition season. Dance magazines will be pulling together the list of venues and audition dates. Dance companies will start booking flights and arranging key venues for the audition tour. If you are a seasoned dancer you will already have a list of your top three or four places you would like to audition for. Now is the time to start preparing.
- Step One, visit the websites and see what photos they require for the audition process. Most will require one or two. A head shot, an arabesque, or a tendu in second. Others like the Royal Ballet in the UK will require a few more. If you are in doubt how it should look search on the web. There are lots or resources for illustrating the perfect pose.
- Step two, plan where you would like to have you pictures take. A studio is probably best as long as it has good light and not too many distractions on the back wall. As you get older and stronger you may decide to have professional pictures taken. This is a good investment if you want to get into the more professional companies, although it is not necessary.
- Step three, practice your poses. Ask your teachers for critique to make sure you have the most perfect lines possible.
- Step four, workout what you’ll wear. Remember that this will be used for review after the audition so make sure that everything is clean and free of rips or tears. For more info check out my post on ‘What to Wear to an Audition’.
- Step Five, if you are going to use a studio make sure to book with enough time to do retakes and sort through all of the pictures. Deleting and editing pictures can be a lengthy process.
- Step Six, be organized. Work out how many copies of your photos you will need for all of your auditions. If it helps, create a file for each audition, include a map, information on public transport if needed, completed application form, a list of any questions you may have, a check for the application fee, and any local restaurants. Auditions can be long and it would be nice to be able to tell your doting parent where they can go for the next few hours for refreshment.
A final thought. Unless you are applying through only your photos, don’t fret if they are not as perfect as you want them to be. The audition will be your opportunity to shine. The adjudicators are going to use the pictures as a reminder of who you are in addition to the notes they made about you.
Hope this help. Good luck!