Picture Perfect

Taking a great audition photo is crucial in the ballet world. Whether you’re auditioning in person or not, company and school directors use your photo to remember you and your dancing, and to immediately assess your abilities and savvy. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer—just follow this checklist and you’ll get a stellar shot.

Exceptional technique: No matter what pose you’re in, your technique should be flawless: Legs turned out, feet pointed, etc. You can take as many shots as you need to, so there’s no reason to stop clicking until everything is perfect.

Clean hair and makeup: Your hair should be pulled back in a neat bun and your makeup should be clean and natural. Look like yourself—not a stage-ready, unrecognizable version of yourself.

 

Solid-colored leotard: The style of the leotard should be simple and flattering.

Professional-looking background: You want people to look at you, not what’s behind you, so make sure the background isn’t distracting. A solid color is best, and a plain white wall is ideal. Don’t take your photo in front of a mirror or in your living room!

Normal lighting: Make sure the space you’re in is well-lit. Now’s not the time for your photographer to get artsy. No spotlights or extra effects necessary, and no photo editing.

Accurate perspective: Whoever is taking your picture should do so from a few feet away, standing at your level.

*Note: If the school or company you’re auditioning for doesn’t specify a position for your audition photo, include photos in first arabesque and tendu croisé devant as well as a headshot.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it!

If you’re confident going beyond a standard first arabesque position, go ahead and try something a little different (in addition to the arabesque photo). Just make sure what you do is still clean and technically flawless.

“Madison’s line, physicality and ability stand out in this photo,” says Shelly Power, associate director of Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. “She’s showing extension, flexibility and her facility. The shape isn’t static, so I can see movement rather than a posed position. This photo is clean and thoughtful. It gets right to the point.”

 

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti


Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search