Josh Assor teaching at Broadway Dance Center (Jenna Maslechko, courtesy Broadway Dance Center)

The pressure of attending your first musical theater audition in the Big Apple can throw even the strongest dancer off her game. We asked industry pros to reflect on their audition experiences, so that you can set yourself up for success.

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Musical Theater
After a string of ballet-company rejections, Jennifer Sydor (here in Laura Peterson's "Failure") found success in other areas of the dance world. (Stephen Delas Heras, courtesy Jennifer Sydor)

In her senior year at Butler University, Jennifer Sydor auditioned for more than a dozen regional ballet companies—and got a string of "no, thank you" responses. "I have an athletic build, and my movement quality isn't the typical ballet aesthetic," Sydor says. "But I'd been laser-focused on ballet. When I didn't get a ballet contract, I was heartbroken."

Her one job offer came from Kim Robards Dance, a small modern company based in Aurora, CO. After attending KRD's summer intensive, Sydor ended up accepting a yearlong position with the troupe. "I was relieved and happy to begin my career," she says. She's been working as a contemporary dancer ever since.

In the dance world, rejection is part of the package. That doesn't make it any more pleasant. But whether you didn't get the Nutcracker role of your dreams or you weren't picked for a job despite feeling like you aced the audition, you can emerge from even the most gut-wrenching "no" smarter and stronger.

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Mind
Courtesy Madison Square Garden

The Rockettes are officially looking for some fresh faces. For the first time in almost a decade, the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall is expanding its yearly open call in New York City to add audition locations in Chicago and Atlanta. The creative team wants to widen the pool and reach even more dancers.

So how can you get chosen out of hundreds of hopefuls?

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Dance News
Photo by Erin Baiano

4 hiring powers-that-be told DS their "do's" for dressing to audition.

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Dance and Fashion
Darius Hickman and Magda Fialek performing on "So You Think You Can Dance" (Adam Rose/FOX)

With every audition comes its fair share of nerves. The stakes are high, and dancers strive for perfection. But even pros with super-successful careers make mistakes. These five dancers tell us all about their biggest audition mishaps—and how they pushed through.

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Dancer to Dancer
Courtesy NBC

Avery Gay and Marcus Sarjeant are the contemporary ballet bosses everyone's talking about. Their daring performance on "World of Dance" last week made for a surprising turn of events, knocking previous Junior Champion Eva Igo out of the competition. Not only are Avery & Marcus the only ballet act on the show to feature pointe work, but they're also hoping their crowd-pleasing approach to the art will change the way ballet is perceived by the public, making it more mainstream than ever before. Find out how these two got ready for their run on one of America's hottest dance shows—while living in different states.

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Dancer to Dancer
The Rock Company of Las Vegas, NV, received the evening's top score for their heartbreaking tribute to victims of gun violence (screenshot via YouTube)

What with the insanely high overall level of talent and technique on a televised dance competition like "World of Dance," it's often easy to forget that these dancers, too, have areas to improve upon and goals still left to reach. TV dance stars: They're just like US! On last night's episode of "World of Dance," the top three scorers proved that even once you reach the top of your game, there's still room for even more beautiful growth.

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Dance News
Madison Brown shows off her gorgeous extension in "World of Dance" (screenshot via YouTube)

Just when you think the dance routines can't get any better on "World of Dance," someone lights up the stage and sets the bar a little higher. This week was no exception. There were moves upon moves, with dancers performing tricks we didn't even think were humanly possible. Leave it to "World of Dance" contestants to rewrite the anatomy of the dancer.

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Dance News
Safe to say that flexibility is still not an issue for the talented Ms. Igo. (screenshot via YouTube)
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Dance Videos
You're looking swell, Taylor Hatala and Josh Beauchamp. (screenshot via YouTube)

In the wonderful world of reality-TV dance competitions, there's perhaps nothing so wonderful as a comeback kid—the artist who, having danced their way to an elimination on a past season, is brave and passionate enough to return to that very same stage and prove their skill once again. And last night, we got the chance to see two past "World of Dance" fan favorites return to fight (or, um, dance) it out one more time and earn their chance at redemption.

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Dance News

Whether it's your first time jumping into the audition scene or you have hundreds of crinkled numbers to prove you're a seasoned pro, having a panel of judges eyeing your every move makes everyone's mind race a little.

Here are eight thoughts you're bound to have when you step into the studio for an audition.

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Just for Fun

Whether it's your first time jumping into the audition scene or you have hundreds of crinkled numbers to prove you're a seasoned pro, having a panel of judges eyeing your every move makes everyone's mind race a little.

Here are eight thoughts you're bound to have when you step into the studio for an audition.

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Just for Fun
Debbie Blunden-Diggs (far right) prepping for dancer interviews after an audition (photo by Audrey Ingram, courtesy Dayton Contemporary Dance Company)

Picture this: You've made it to the final round of an audition. All your hard work has paid off, and you're feeling good. Then the artistic director stands up and asks you to join her in another room for a one-on-one interview. Wait, what?

Many dance companies include interviews as part of their audition process. "I need to know more about people than what I see on the floor," says Debbie Blunden-Diggs, the artistic director of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. It's normal to be nervous when you're faced with an interview—especially when you're used to letting your dancing do the talking. To help you prepare, Dance Spirit asked Blunden-Diggs and two other artistic directors for their tips to help you put your best (interview) foot forward.

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Dancer to Dancer
Sofia Wylie (photo by Dave Brewer, courtesy Corina Galdamez)

Sofia Wylie might be best-known for playing Buffy in the hit Disney Channel show "Andi Mack," but it's her dancing that originally propelled her into the spotlight. Even before her breakout role, the Arizona native had an enviable resumé that ranged from dancing on tour with Justin Bieber to performing at Radio City Music Hall. Stints on TV shows like "America's Got Talent" and "So You Think You Can Dance" gave her way more visibility in the industry, which in turn brought more opportunities her way.

Now Wylie's an up-and-coming celeb hoping to use her platform to boost the careers of other dancers. Her new YouTube dance series is one of her attempts to give back to the dance community. "My goal is to help dancers get that look that might help them book their next big break," Wylie says. One of the most popular videos from her series is a dance tribute to the hit film The Greatest Showman, featuring dancers from Utah to California, which has already garnered over 150,000 views. Wylie's videos seem to be producing the outcome she's been hoping for because a number of dancers have obtained dance gigs as a result of the exposure her videos brought them. "There are so many amazing dancers and sometimes all they need is a chance to be seen," she says.

And even though Wylie's acting career keeps her busy, she remains committed to her dance roots. We caught up with Wylie to find out how her dancing has influenced her acting and get her audition advice.

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Dancer to Dancer
Marko Germar auditioned for 'So You Think You Can Dance' three times before making the cut (courtesy Adam Rose/FOX)

Every dancer knows the audition process is full of rejection. But hearing "no" again and again, from the same casting team, and then coming back for more? That takes some serious motivation. These dancers were all cut multiple times from auditions for their dream jobs, took it in stride, and ended up getting the gig.

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Dancer to Dancer

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