It’s that time of year when dancers prepare themselves to audition for summer intensive programs, trainee programs, and company positions.  It can be a stressful time both physically and emotionally as these dancers put themselves in the running for life changing experiences; the potential for repeated rejection is present. What can be done to increase chances of success? I’ve got a couple of ideas.

#1: Present yourself professionally

Having high quality photos to include in your portfolio is key.  These are the photos that academies and companies will associate you with.  These are the photos that will be looked at to jolt their memory of your performance.

#2: Know the who you’re auditioning for

I wish I had known this a little more when I was a student. Academies and companies are unique in what type of dancer they want and are looking for. We all have strengths and weaknesses, we are diverse, complex and multifaceted. We are ballerinas, modern dancers, jazz dancers, contemporary dancers.  We can be any one thing or all of them together. With a little research you can easily figure out what type of dancer the academy or company wants. When you know what they want, if you have “it”, then that’s what you should be showing them. If you’re auditioning for Lines they want strong beautiful movers with gorgeous lines. Auditioning for Complexions? Better bring out your inner contemporary diva. ABT? Show off your strength and ballet technique.

#3: Take care of your body

Audition season can wreck your body.  You’re doing your normal training, classes, and preparing for performances. Add on top of that traveling and more time in the studio auditioning.  Make sure you’re staying hydrated, eat your bananas, and keep healthy high protein snacks with you at all times.  Use your down time to decompress and relax your body.  There are endless ways to decompress, find what works for you and honor your body by treating it well.

#4: Take care of your mental health

Rejection sucks, but it doesn’t stop you from achieving success or happiness.  Life takes you on a journey that can’t be perfectly planned or crafted.  We can try, and should have goals and plans on how to get there, but staying flexible means that no matter what we get we will be able to progress and take something good from the experiences with us.