Auditioning skills

For performers, auditions can be the hardest part of the industry and their work. Once the dancer has the job, the hardest parts is over, but first they must get through that competing stage. However, auditions can be largely prepared for – bar the taught content of the audition – and dancers can practice handling how they respond to stress in group situations.

The skills of auditioning can therefore be taught in everyday class where the dancer is training, enabling them to respond to open work, manage the stress of being watched and maintaining their focus on the task in hand. Many teachers have a regular ‘audition technique’ class, to help prepare the dancers for all kinds of life scenarios, even if they aren’t going to become a professional. The majority of the time, dance teachers have experienced many auditions before, so can teach their students how to manage themselves in a studio audition setting, how to manage new material, and not to stand at the back of the classes all the time!

Audition preparation is most certainly part of the learning process of all dance classes; some teachers even hold real auditions to cast parts in upcoming shows, meaning students get used to the elements that are being looked for in an audition. Some teachers lean towards this process as it means even the most talented children have to climb up the ladder of success, striving for parts rather than achieving overnight success.

For many young dancers, instilling the notion that enduring careers are about hard work and perseverance can be a challenge. However, holding mock auditions or similar can help to reinforce the fact they have to strive for success, not just perform multiple pirouettes and other tricks. Competition, in both the studio and in real life, can be very healthy, and valuable in finding ways to support that in a dance school. As a result, aspiring dancers can watch their peers achieve and learn from each other.