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Preparing for a Dance Audition? Here’s a List of Do’s and Don’ts

Man In Motion just finished auditions for our upcoming dance video/short film scheduled to be realeased this Halloween 2023. With that in mind, there are certain tricks and strategies that every young dancer should take into account when auditioning.


Check this out! We posted this article several years ago but the advice will last a lifetime...

Follow These DO’s for Better Results


DO be on time and prepare yourself with proper sleep and nourishment. These simple steps are the foundation of a good audition, says George Warren, artistic director of Center Stage Dance & Theatre School in New Jersey


DO dress the part! So says Jason Warley, CEO of Man in Motion. If it is an audition for a ballet conservatory, for example, have your hair in a bun along with the appropriate ballet attire, including shoes. Conversely, that attire would not work if auditioning for a hip-hop video. In that case, you might wear your hair down and your attire would be a bit trendier or show more personality.


DO feel free to ask a question of the choreographer when learning the combination, according to Adam Cates, associate choreographer of the Tony-winning Broadway musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. However, asking more than one question can become obnoxious - and asking the same question that was already asked just proves to us that you weren't paying attention. More importantly, if you do ask a question, be sure to apply the answer to your audition. We certainly will notice if you fail to do so.


DO know the beginning of the choreography - and make it strong, advises Warley. who was featured in the cover story of the August 2014 issue of Dance Teacher magazine Of course, the entire combination should be strong, but rest assured the choreographer's eye will most often gravitate toward what is being done right. If the beginning of the combination is not solid, you run the risk of immediately losing their focus.

DO show us the details of the choreography as we have delivered it to you, Cates added - whether it applies to counts, style, intent, or otherwise. We want to see what you bring to the movement - but we really want to see what our choreography looks like on your body. Making it your own doesn't mean changing the steps to something else we don't recognize - unless the choreographer asks you to.

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DO put adhesive tape or safety pins in your dance bag, Warley recommends. Why? If you’re given an audition number tag, it is guaranteed to fall off during full-out movement. In a time-sensitive situation such as this, you do not have time to search around for these items. Reattach the number tag yourself and the problem is solved.


DO feel free to "act at all times" when you dance, said Cates - meaning, perform it! Find the character, the story, the interpretation - and find it right away. There is no time to get comfortable with the movement first, especially during a short audition process. Dancers who aren't afraid to make bold acting choices are dancers that people like to create with. 


DO believe in your talent and your uniqueness - and show it. Good advice from George Warren.

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Whatever You Do, Avoid These DON’Ts!


DON’T be discourteous to anyone you come in contact with, advises Warren, who performed in the national tour of the Broadway musical Whoopee. Show that you are easy to work with and adaptable


DON'T ever turn your back to what is going on in the room, suggests Warley, . I always say, "You can learn from those doing it right, and you can learn from those doing it wrong.” In general, turning your back can come off as rude and can make it appear as though you are not interested.


DON'T stop! If you make a mistake in the choreography, says Warley, continue moving until you can find your way back to it. At auditions, the stakes are high and the pressure is on, but most choreographers will be forgiving, as long as you keep going. Stopping dead in the middle of a combination has never gotten anyone a job - but pushing through can show your professionalism and get you to the next round.


DON’T balk at any corrections you are given, Warren said. And show that you can incorporate these corrections immediately into your combination.

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