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.
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.
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.
Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.
We all know audition season can be super nerve-wracking. How will you perform under pressure at that upcoming summer intensive/industry gig/college dance program tryout? Take our quiz below to find out—and learn how to deal. (And if you need even more audition tips and tricks, check out our upcoming January Summer Study Issue, available in a few weeks!)
Applying for a college dance program can feel like a guessing game. Should you highlight all your competition titles and awards? How important are your academic grades? And how should you act in the audition? Here's advice from admissions officers from some of the top dance programs in the country about how to make your application stronger.
It's crazy to think about what the dance world would be like without the high-quality digital video that's taken over the Internet. We wouldn't have inspiring class videos (like this one featuring Tate McRae), or mind-blowing music videos (like Parris Goebel's one-woman production), or live streams for all kinds of special events (hello, World Ballet Day).
Auditions are like vegetables: Are they the most delicious food? Probably not. Are they essential for your growth as a dancer? Definitely.
We love asking the pros for their advice, because we know the important role auditions play in every dancer's career. Whether we're breaking down the basics for first-time auditionees, giving you real talk on mistakes you don't know you're making or keeping it light with stories of pros' worst audition mistakes, we're always looking for tips to help you make it to the final round.
A Rockette audition (photo via New York Daily News)
With audition season almost upon us, who better to share advice than our favorite leggy ladies, the Radio City Rockettes? We love that they hold auditions every year and are always on the lookout for new performers. Here are some of their top tips for a solid audition experience:
- Review all of the audition requirements and guidelines...more than once. (You do NOT want to be that girl who brought black shoes when tan ones were required.)
- Use a folder or envelope to hold all your paperwork, like application forms, audition fees, headshots and resumes (and extra headshots and resumes).
- If you're asked a question or interviewed, listen carefully, take a breath and then speak. (It's not a great feeling to blurt out an answer, accidentally interrupt someone and then have literally no idea what you just said.)