A Dancer’s Guide to Success in an Audition

A Dancer’s Guide to Success in an Audition

Published in Black Dance Magazine January 2013 Issue

It is safe to say that auditions are nerve-wrecking experiences that many wish to avoid; however, they are a crucial element to landing a job in the performing arts world. Auditions aid dancers in the process of landing a role in a show or a principal spot in a company. Since there is no way of escaping the audition process, dancers should take the time to learn how to be prepared and exude strength in an audition.

Auditions take practice; the more auditions a dancer attends, the more familiar he or she will be with the etiquette and proper behavior that impresses choreographers. 

Research: a Crucial Step in Audition Preparation

“Dancers must research the company, its history, and its styles of dance,” said Dyane Harvey, assistant director of Forces of Nature Dance Theater.

When preparing for an audition, it is crucial for dancers to be informed about choreographers and company owners expectations.  No one would walk into a test without studying beforehand, unless they plan to fail.  The same principle applies for auditions. A dancer who wants to ensure that he/she is well-prepared for an audition should research the companies online, watch their performance videos, and even attend a show if possible.  Becoming familiar with the company or choreographer’s dance style will help dancers understand what the choreographer is looking for during the auditions.

Getting a Choreographer’s Attention

“I look for the energy, the unspoken desire and the fire in a dancer’s eyes,” said Mickey Davidson, primary choreographer for her company Mickey D. & Friends.  “You have to want it.”

Having a strong sense of confidence in one’s self and the movement are the keys to success during an audition.  Be punctual, and pay attention while learning the choreography.  Passion for the job must be evident, and a dancer should give it all they have. A lack of interest will surely be a turn-off for a choreographer.

“The dancer that usually gets my attention, is the dancer that takes their craft seriously,” said Jessica St.Vil, artistic director and choreographer for Kanu Dance Theater.  “During the audition process, a dancer should take the movement given and own it.”

An audition is a fight for attention. Many dancers place too much emphasis on perfecting the choreography, and attempting to execute the movement exactly how it was taught. Although it is highly beneficial to be able to retain choreography quickly, that is not the only factor choreographers are interested in. Don’t be afraid to add personal flavor.   Choreographers want to see a dancer’s personality; choreographers notice when a dancer gives a little something extra.  However, too much confidence and personal style can hurt a dancer’s chances at landing the job, so dancers should maintain a healthy balance of each.

Rejection: It’s a Part of Life

“You must have a plan,” said St.Vil, “and know that rejection must be part of that plan.”

Although people hate to admit it, rejection is a part of life. Harvey suggests that no one should take rejection personally.  Instead find out the reason for the rejection and work on strengthening that area.  There are countless numbers of dance companies and choreographers around the world that there is something for every dancer.  Set goals, do research and seek to train as much as possible.  Be prepared to work hard in order to accomplish those goals.

Push Your Limits. Dance Outside of the Box

Some dancers believe that auditioning for roles outside of their “comfort zone” is a waste of time.  In fact, all three choreographers agreed that staying within a “comfort zone” is actually a waste of time.  They encourage dancers to step outside the box and not to limit themselves to only one style of dance.  Trying various styles pushes creativity and gives opportunities to learn new things.   As a dancer, one should always want to grow and challenge their limits.

Final Audition Tips

Have an audition coming up soon? Be prepared.  Research the company and understand what they are looking for.  The night before an audition, eat a good meal and make sure the body is relaxed.  Take a nice bath and try to stay calm, even though that may seem impossible.  Be sure wear dance attire that compliments the body and allows the choreographer to see body movement.  Be energetic, passionate, and personable.   Remember that auditions are an experience in which dancers learn and grow.  Try to enjoy it, and eventually, your hard work will pay off.

Live Wire Rising Star Concert Series

Tha L Spots gets you behind the scenes and on stage at the Live Wire Concert at Iguanas Lounge in NYC on December 22nd 2012.

The Live Wire Concert Series, started as an outlet for underground artists to expose themselves through performances. Tha L Spot speaks with Live Wire Concert Series hosts Joe Swagg and Raleena, as they explain the concert series’s success and their future endeavors.

Diomara Delvalle, a Pop/ R&B artisit from Long Island, gave the audience a sneak peak of what they should expect in her upcoming EP, Black Pearls, scheduled for release sometime this year.  Diomara gave Tha L Spot the scoop on Black Pearls, as well as her other projects and how she got started in the music industry.  Take a Look! 

Rapper DubWork, hailing from New Jersey, performed some of his latest work at the concert and spoke with Tha L Spot about the mixtape he is working on, entitled Dream ChasersCheck out the interview here, and to see Dubwork’s performance, .

The concert also included performances by Odiseas Georgiadis (as seen on the Voice), Lady J, Siaira Shawn, Nathaniel ‘FlyNate’, Fre$h the Be$t, and J. McFly.

For more interviews and performances from the Live Wire Rising Stars Concert Series, please visit Tha L Spot on Youtube! Also don’t forget to visit ThaLSpot website for your entertainment updates.

For inquires, feature suggestions, or to request to be featured on ThaLSpot.com, please email CamilleJ@thalspot.com.

2013 Means New Projects. #WatchOut

Happy New Year Bloggers!!!

I hope this new year brings nothing but blessings and positive energy to everyone.  So far this new year has been good to me and has allowed for great opportunities in which I can better myself on my path towards my career.

After hours of lectures, tracking/shadowing, and studying, I have officially passed the 88.7fm WRHU Radio Hofstra University Training Course.  I am currently a Local Traffic and News Reporter for the show Newline which airs Monday through Friday from 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm.  I am also a disk jockey for the R&B Serenade, airing Sundays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  I hope to get more involved with news production and music production at the station and hopefully I get my own music show before I graduate.

I advise any Hofstra broadcast student to join WRHU. Although a lot of work must be done in order to become a member, IT IS ALL WORTH IT! You get hands on experience with state of the art equipment, you learn the rules and regulations of the FCC, and you get to be a part of an exemplary college radio station which can compete with commercial stations across the country.

Tune into 88.7fm, download the WRHU app, or click here, to  listen to WRHU broadcasts.

I have also had the pleasure of joining Tha L Spot, a networking and public relations company, directed towards independent entertainment artists.  My first project with Tha L Spot included interviewing the artists performing in the Live Wire Rising Star Concert Series on December 22nd 2012.  I was nervous to do the interviews, being that they were my first recorded interviews, but I did my research on the artists and prepared as much as I could.

After watching the footage of the interviews, I was proud of my work, however I realized they were not perfect and I did have some growing to do as a journalist. I am a hard working and dedicated young woman, and I will put in the effort needed to perfect my skills.

My latest achievement has been accepting an internship with Black Dance Magazine.  I came across their facebook page and noticed they were taking suggestions for their premiere issue.  I emailed the editor with my ideas and she asked me to go ahead and write the story.  Within 24 hours, I emailed her the first draft of the article, including 3 interviews.  I guess she liked the article because it was accepted for publication in the premiere issue of Black Dance Magazine and they offered me an internship.  They also invited me to the International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference, where Black Dance Magazine will debut it’s first issue.

Although I will be very busy with my new projects, I am excited for the experiences I will gain from these endeavors.  I plan to learn from every experience and use it to better my craft.  With a positive attitude, dedication, and room for growth, I will reach and exceed my goals.

I appreciate all support, suggestions and criticisms.  Follow this Blog and Follow me on Twitter @CamilleJCruz