In Dance Spirit's February issue, we highlight 45 companies looking to hire in our annual Audition Guide. But that's not all. We also asked 5 industry insiders to offer tips for making the most of each audition you attend. We printed our favorites in the magazine, but there's so much more great advice where that came from, so we couldn't resist posting the rest here.
Before the Audition:
"Taking various styles of dance will help you be physically prepared. Then, studying videos and taking workshops, if available, will help give you a good idea of what type of movement to expect." —Nile H. Russell, co-dance captain for Pilobolus
"My audition starts from the moment I hear about it. I research everything from the time period to the creative team. In general, preparing should be fun! Enjoy practicing an open mind and learning any and everything." —Cassie Silva, ensemble, Rock of Ages
"Eat a good, healthy meal and get a good night’s rest the day before." —Adé Chike Torbert, commercial dancer, “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 7
What to Wear:
"Wear what you feel comfortable in, because that will shine more than any stand-out leotard. Consider the kind of company you’re auditioning for. Is it classical or contemporary? You want to look like you’ll fit in with the other dancers. And don't hide your body!" —Jacquelyn Long, Houston Ballet corps de ballet
"Check the audition call sheet for the 'suggested attire' and research the show, company or gig to make sure you're dressed appropriately. If I were auditioning for concert dance I'd stick with the industry standard of all black attire." —Sean Rozanski, dancer, Giordano Dance Chicago
"I've been known to wear some wacky outfits to auditions. I try to give whoever I'm auditioning for an appropriately clear view of who I'm portraying. It can be simple and timeless, or a pair of big glasses for a character role. This is where preparation comes in handy. If all else fails, look and feel comfortable in your skin." —Cassie Silva
Calming Your Nerves:
"On audition day, try to arrive at least 30 minutes early. This will give you time to stretch, calm your nerves and get acquainted with the space." —Nile H. Russell
"I like to channel my energy by doing push ups. It's a win win situation, because by the time I’m finished, I'm relaxed and I look great. Also, I bring music to listen to before the audition begins. I have two audition-day playlists on my iPhone: one that calms my nerves and another that pumps me up." —Adé Chike Torbert
"Try to translate any audition-day jitters into excitement and adrenaline. Focus on yourself, and avoid checking out the competition." —Jacquelyn Long
"Take deep breaths, relax and remind yourself that this is what you work so hard for. This is what you love to do. Also know that if the audition doesn't go well there will always be another opportunity. Learn to take rejection and strive to work even harder the next time." —Sean Rozanski
During the Audition:
"Think of auditions as a free class. It’s not about being better than everyone else in the room; it’s about doing the best you can, learning something new and growing as a dancer and an artist. Let yourself enjoy the experience and be present in the process. Show them that you’re not there just to get a job, but because you’re passionate about what you do." —Nile H. Russell
"Be eager and remember, a smile is worth a thousand words. A director can see if you look like you really want the job and factor that into your audition. Sometimes we don’t even realize what emotion we’re portraying in class. Take a step back to think not only about your technique, but about what message you’re projecting." —Jacquelyn Long
"A positive attitude, great work ethic, confidence and a big helping of graciousness should be among your daily audition vitamins. Having an opportunity to audition is already a great accomplishment and a wonderful gift, so put your best foot forward!" —Cassie Silva
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?