Whether you’re just getting started in the world of dance auditions or you’re looking for new ways to master the process, Bloch’s ballet audition guide is packed with information to assist you in every element of your dance audition experience – from what to wear to how to prepare.
Auditions can be frightening and difficult to navigate, but as a world leader in dance shoes for nearly a century, we’re providing all the information you could need to prepare you for the process, allowing you to focus on dancing your absolute best.
What to Wear for a Dance Audition
It is important to dress appropriately for a dance audition so that you can feel confident and comfortable to perform exceptionally. Stand out to audition panels and directors because of your beautiful dancing, not because you’re wearing the wrong attire.
A good outfit for auditions should be clean, professional, comfortable, and subtle. It’s always a good idea to check the company’s website for any guidance on what to wear before showing up for auditions, as the audition may require you to wear certain colours or articles of clothing.
Here are some tips on your appearance that are applicable for any kind of dance audition.
Before dancing during the audition process, try practising in the outfit, shoes, and hairstyle you plan to have during the audition. By practising in your outfit beforehand, you can determine if it’s comfortable and flexible enough to dance in.
Leave jewellery at home
Jewellery can be distracting and dangerous, and some panels may find it unprofessional. Play it safe – leave your jewellery off of the dance floor!
Bring the right shoes
Bring the correct shoe for the dance style, whether that be ballet, jazz, tap, or ballroom. Avoid wearing taped, damaged, or dirty practice shoes to your audition. Make sure the pair you are bringing are your performance pair or the prettiest pair you own! If you need a new pair of shoes for your audition, shop Bloch handcrafted shoe offerings.
Keep makeup simple
Natural, light makeup can help exemplify your look. Incorporating a small amount of lip product, concealer, and mascara can go a long way. If you do choose to wear makeup, don’t go overboard – wear natural colours that will enhance your beauty, not change your appearance.
What to Wear for a Ballet Audition
When auditioning for a ballet company, there are certain items that you can wear that will help show off your technique and will benefit how the audition panel perceive your movements.
For example, clean, light tonal tights are recommended because they will show off your toned muscles. However, be sure to wear your tights under your ballet shoes. This is a formal audition – not practice!
Wearing tights, leotards, and accessories, like skirts and ribbons, that are a soft and delicate colour will benefit you as an applicant during ballet auditions. While it may be enticing to wear bright colours and stand out, a formal ballet audition is not the place to do so. Stick with neutral or subtle colours, like pink, white, black, or grey. If you’re not sure what looks best with your skin tone, ask a friend for help when selecting your outfit.
In addition, form-fitting clothes are typically best for dance auditions – especially ballet auditions. Leave your warmers at home, and if you want to bring a skirt, check if other dancers are wearing their skirts before approaching the dance floor. Form-fitting clothing allows panels and directors to see the entirety of your moves and technique.
When selecting your hairstyle, a slick, neat bun is a good option as it will elongate your neck, providing clean lines. Practice creating and dancing in your desired hairstyle ahead of time so that you’re comfortable when auditioning. Secure your hair with hair accessories to ensure your style won’t come undone throughout the day.
Keep in mind that the audition panels are often looking for a dancer who is mature, experienced, and able to manage the demands that company life may bring. Think carefully about how you want to present yourself to the panel and what appearance brings you the confidence to dance courageously.
How to get into a Ballet Company: Ballet Audition Tips
Ballet auditions for companies and schools can be lengthy and demanding. To ensure you’re prepared for any audition you apply for, here are some tips on how to tackle the process with grace and professionalism.
What should I bring to a ballet audition?
It is not uncommon for auditions to last for hours or take up the entirety of the day. You should expect to be waiting for lengthy periods of time before and after dancing. Here are five items we recommend bringing to auditions to keep you prepared.
- Dance bag: Keeping all your items in a versatile bag will make for a well-prepared and smooth audition process. Bloch offers a variety of dance bags
- Snacks: Be sure to keep snacks on hand in case auditions run over. You want to be fuelled in order to dance your absolute best!
- Toiletries and cosmetics: Essential hair products like hair gel, hair spray, and hair accessories, like bobby pins, will come in handy. To look your best, you may want to bring makeup for fixing or reapplying your look. Toiletries like feminine products, a nail file, mouthwash, deodorant, and wipes are smart to have as well.
- Dance essentials: Dance training items such as cooling towels and stretching accessories will be useful during auditions and waiting periods.
- Clothing and shoe essentials: You never know what you could need during auditions, so it is always best to be prepared! We recommend packing extra dance clothing and dance shoe essentials, such as elastic, ribbons, cushions, gel tips and tubes, rosin spray, and tights.
Companies or dance schools may also require you to bring specific items to the audition, such as a headshot or CV. It is important to check what is required to bring before showing up to an audition.
Ballet audition video requirements: How to film a ballet video audition
Auditions are typically held in person; however, many dance companies and schools recently began accepting audition videos, partly due to the pandemic.
Video requirements vary by company and school, and you may end up needing to travel if you continue through the audition process. Be sure to understand all the specific requirements the company or school may request for your video audition.
Here are some general tips on how to film a ballet video audition video.
- Keep the video brief: Submit a video that encompasses all the required movements concisely, preferably under 10 minutes. A brief yet effective video should show off the quality of your dancing while being sensitive to directors’ time.
- Use good video quality: The way the camera is angled and the lighting of your dancing space can affect how your performance appears. If you are recording on a phone, video your performance horizontally or landscape. Position the camera between hip and shoulder level to best portray your proportions, and place the camera on a stand or sturdy base where it will not shake. Utilise good lighting so that your face and wonderful technique can be seen clearly.
- Don’t neglect your appearance: A video audition is still a formal audition. Be sure your appearance is professional with clean shoes and pulled-back hair, with no flashy jewellery or makeup.
- Show off your talent: A video audition is a perfect opportunity to show off your talent without the pressure of a standard audition. Don’t attempt any movements that you would not feel comfortable performing in an in-person setting and be sure to include all the requirements the company asks from you.
Where to Find Dance and Ballet Auditions
Auditions can be found through a variety of avenues.
- Company websites: Regularly review the official websites for companies and schools you are interested in auditioning for. Audition dates, requirements, and processes range by company, so keep track of which auditions you’d like to apply for.
- Social media groups: Social media groups, such as Facebook groups, are a great medium for finding auditions that are coming up. Joining these groups also open up an opportunity to network and connect with dancers.
- Dance opportunity websites: A variety of dance opportunity websites exist that announce popular auditions and application openings. Some websites even offer notification systems that you can sign up for to be alerted of new openings.
- Dance school websites: If you’re currently a member of a dance school, reaching out to instructors is a great way to learn about opportunities. In addition, many schools post opportunities on their website to alert dancers about upcoming auditions.
While there are many resources available for finding dance auditions, a great way to learn about auditions in your area is to network. Reaching out to instructors, dance friends, and studio members may help point you in the right direction.
The Audition Process
When auditioning for a ballet company or for full-time training courses at dance school, you can usually expect 2-3 rounds of auditions.
In the UK, applications and first-round ballet auditions usually take place from September through to February, with the re-call auditions happening after these months. However, this is dependent and changes with each school.
Auditions are mostly held in person and as they take up a whole day, most dancers who aren’t based locally will travel and stay overnight the night before. However, as we’ve already mentioned, some schools are now asking for videos before they offer an invitation to in-person auditions.
It is typical for the audition process to include a few hours of dancing where you will practice some exercises to show technique. You will then be taught a short routine to show musicality and performance. There is also a physical examination taken by the in-house physio. Here, they will have you carry out some exercises, moving your body into certain positions so they can analyse aspects like turn out and flexibility.
Do not neglect further research into the process of the auditions that you will be attending, as some auditions may also include an interview portion where you will be asked to speak to a director or teachers.
Advice from BLOCH
While you can bring all of your essentials and spend hours preparing for the auditions, do not forget to bring your passion and love for the craft. It is normal to feel nervous during the audition process, whether it is your very first audition or 50th audition.
Giving yourself plenty of time and ensuring you’re ready to give it your all is key. Pack everything you need the night before to make sure you’re not rushing the morning of your audition, and get to your location with plenty of time to spare. You’ll want to make sure you’ve completed a full warm up. This won’t only keep you safe from injury but will ensure you’re fully flexible and dancing at your absolute best.
However, your dancing will ultimately secure your spot on the stage, not how you’ve acted beforehand or the colour of the leotard you wear. Giving yourself plenty of time, preparation and practice will just help you on the way to success. Remember to stay true to yourself and have pride in your presentation – and keep dancing!