Sleep soothes. When it comes to being ready and at her best, Hairspray dancer Michelle Kittrell makes it a rule to get a good nightâ€™s rest: â€œI personally like to have at least eight hours of sleep no matter what, but I definitely enforce that if I have an audition,â€ she says.
Eat smart. For Adam Pelty, who has danced in such shows as Cyranoâ€”the Musical and The Scarlet Pimpernel, the most important part of prepping is eating, which not only fuels his body, but also helps him maintain concentration. â€œYour mind works a lot harder than your body in a dance auditionâ€”you have to be able to focus and learn the combination quickly,â€ he explains. He eats yogurt or cottage cheese in the morning, then has a protein shake and a chicken salad sandwich about an hour before the audition. He packs his dance bag with Power Bars, an apple, a banana and extra water to make sure heâ€™s stocked in case an audition runs long. Itâ€™s also vital not to skip breakfast: Whether an audition is in the morning or afternoon, Tsetsilas jump-starts her system with a morning meal that typically includes yogurt, fruit and granola.
Hit the gym. Trying to warm up during an audition distracts from learning choreography quickly and performing it well. Furthermore, it may take longer than usual for you to feel warm and ready to dance full out, says Pelty. â€œYour body gets more tense [in auditions], and youâ€™re not as fluid as you might be under normal circumstances,â€ he says. For this reason, Pelty heads to the gym two hours prior to an audition for 45 minutes of cycling or running.
Hop in the tub. To ensure her muscles are warmâ€”especially during winterâ€”Tsetsilas treats herself to a 15-minute bath or soak in a Jacuzzi about 90 minutes before every audition.
Water does wonders. As a dancer, you know the importance of drinking plenty of water. When it comes to musical theater auditions, at which dancers are usually required to sing, H2O is also important for keeping vocal cords hydrated, says Kittrell, who always carries a large bottle of water in her bag.
Appease anxieties. Some dancers prefer to arrive at auditions with time to spare. Kittrell, for instance, follows a morning regimen that ensures she arrives at least 30 minutes early, so there is time to stretch and sign in. Tsetsilas, on the other hand, is happy arriving only 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time: â€œI thrive on running around and getting there in the nick of time,â€ she explains. â€œItâ€™s best for my nerves.â€
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)
It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)
All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.