Saturday, February 6, 2010

audition fever

for most young women, the months of january and february are spent easing into the new year.  for young ballerinas however, that is not the case.  i am definitely guilty of succumbing to audition fever.  ever since the first, all i can think about is how every day i'm one day closer to dealing with the auditions that will shape my future.  its the most stressful and tiring thing i've ever experience, especially since i should be concerned with the plethora of midterms i have.  

so to help get me through this trying time, i've compiled a list of some helpful tips.

-arrive early!  there's much to be done on the morning of an audition.  registration can take a while, especially when theres a large group auditioning.  give yourself ample time to register and warm up.  arriving late causes unnecessary anxiety, which could translate into your dancing.

-make sure to fuel up!  don't eat too much, but definitely give your body some sort of energy through a small amount of protein and carbohydrates.  i often have protein infused yogurt or oatmeal; it's light yet keeps you full and energized.

-always come fully prepared with all the necessary information, specifically an up-to-date dance resume.  a dance resume is a great way to quickly sum up your dance education, familiar styles, special or outstanding roles you've participated in, and any choreographing you've done.  keep your resume short and to the point and be sure to include all contact info (name, address, telephone, email, etc.).  along with a resume, its a good idea to have an 8x10 head shot and dance body shot just in case.  they are great ways for casting directors to remember your face afterwards.   

-dress for the occasion.  keep a very clean appearance and wear something fairly plain yet unique.  i know, that seems like an oxymoron, but its possible.  most classical auditions will require a black leotard and pink tights, but if you have a little more room with the dress-code, take advantage.  i once wore a neon green leotard and black bike shorts.  needless to say, they definitely didn't forget me! 

-always warm up.  this goes for class too, but especially in auditions, make sure to fully stretch and prepare your body for what is ahead.  you don't want to risk injury at such a crucial time.  also, you're always being watched; stretching before hand shows you're professional and taking the audition seriously.

-follow the leader.  this is definitely not the time to put your own spin on the combinations (unless specifically asked to do so) so try and keep to the combinations given.  let your technical dancing speak for itself.  

-remember your placement.  good posture, ribs in, keep over your hips, strong core...basic ballet foundations that will be apparent to those watching

-be polite to your other dancers.  even though it is a sort of competition to gain the attention of your casting directors, it is also important to not seem rude and to respect every one else in the room.  remember good class etiquette and give those around you the space to dance.  also, always remember you can learn from the dancers around you.  

-never, ever, ever compare yourself to the other dancers.  the powers of the mind are astounding.  if you pay too much attention the other girls around you, you may lose focus on whats important.  just because one girl can lift her leg over her head doesn't mean she's an amazing dancer.  and just because one girl has the perfect body doesn't mean she knows how to use it.  you're there for you; how they dance/look/behave will not affect you!

-if you get a correction don't freak out.  often times it means you caught there eye; they were watching you and any attention is usually good attention.  don't let it throw you off!

-remember to have fun with it.  even though there is a lot of pressure surrounding the audition process, don't forget why you're doing it.  ballet is something we do because we'd go crazy without it; this is something we love and we cannot forget that.  often times, when you're less paranoid about perfecting the combination, you become more invested in the actual movements.  the movements can achieve a rich and unique quality.  when you loosen up and remember to dance for the love of dancing, its very obvious and often times catches the eye of the company.  they like to see that you love it and that you have confidence in yourself and your ability to dance.  

and always remember that if you don't get in, it doesn't mean you're a terrible dancer by any means.  everything happens for a reason; just because you may not fit the profile for one company doesn't mean theres not another fantastic company out there that you're perfect for. good luck to everyone!

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