Focus on Freelance: Audition Essentials

As a freelance dancer, I’ve learned that the contents of your dance bag can easily make or break an audition experience. Because every audition is different than the last, one can never be too prepared for the unexpected. Here are some audition essentials that I always aim to have in my bag.

Universal must-haves:

  • At least two current pictures and resumes, stapled together (Make sure your contact information and the work experience most relevant to the prospective job are at the top of your resume!)
  • Cosmetics for touch ups (arrive hair- and make-up-ready)
  • Hair accessories (be prepared to take your hair down if the choreographer requests it).
  • Safety pins (If my audition number falls off, I can pin it back on and avoid holding up the casting.)
  • Warm-ups
  • Kneepads
  • Food and water (Auditions may run longer than expected and the last thing you’ll want is to run out of energy)
  • A wide variety of shoes


Concert dance necessities:

  • Leotards in a variety of cuts and colors
  • Dance shorts or tights in multiple colors (I prefer tights with convertible feet because you never know if you’ll have to dance barefoot at a moment’s notice. This happened to me once at an audition at The Metropolitan Opera. We started with a ballet barre and went straight into a modern combination at the center. I was able to avoid slipping around, simply by rolling up the feet of my tights.
  • A skirt (In case the choreography calls for it.)
  • A needle and thread (In case you have a pointe shoe emergency!)


Commercial dance essentials:

  • Layers (I’ve often been told to expect "jazzy" or "girly" choreography, only to walk into a hip-hop audition. Luckily I pack pants to pull over leggings, and a vest to throw over a delicate shirt.)
  • Stretchy jeans (You need to be able to kick and bend with ease.)


OK, now that I’ve shared my checklist, I want to know what your audition essentials are. Share your packing advice via Twitter (@Dance_SpiritMag) or on Dance Spirit’s Facebook page.

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