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How to Prepare for a Dance Audition

Whether you’re auditioning for a high school dance team, studio competition team or a professional company, there’s no denying that auditions can be nerve-wracking. Chances are you’ll be jittery at the audition, but that doesn’t have to affect your performance! With the right attitude and plenty of preparation, you can channel your nervous energy into a powerhouse performance at audition time. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a dance audition.

Fine Tune Your Skills

Many studios and schools have auditions at the end of the season, but some wait until the beginning of the season, after summer break. Whether you’ve been on hiatus of not, make sure that your skills are up to snuff. It’s sometimes too easy to let dance and fitness slip your mind during a long break, and this can hurt your performance.

It may be helpful to videotape your audition piece, so that you can see for yourself the areas that need work. A basic video will do. Grab a smartphone, a volunteer, or a tripod (or even prop your phone up at a suitable height) and get a recording of your full routine from multiple angles so you can see what you may be missing. Work on any skills or techniques you’re not confident with or haven’t yet mastered.

Outside of rehearsal, use our tips to stay in shape during a break to balance fun with training. You don’t have to hit the gym every single day, but try to make healthier food choices and fit in some exercise. This will help your stamina when it comes time for your audition.

What to Wear

Once your skills are where they need to be, you can start thinking about other details, like what to wear and bring to your audition. Tiler Peck, a ballerina with the NYC Ballet, offers some great tips in the video below.

As Peck explained, it’s important that you wear something you’re comfortable in and that will show off your body. Do some run-throughs of your audition piece in your chosen ensemble. After all, you don’t want to risk a wardrobe malfunction or have the judges unable to see your clean lines.

When you’re packing your dance bag for the big day, make sure to include anything listed on the audition info sheet, like paperwork or particular shoes. If you are supplying your own music, make sure you bring it in whatever form is required, plus some form of backup in case something goes wrong. You’ll also want to stash a few emergency supplies, such as extra hair elastics, a spare pair of tights, hairspray, bandages and knee pads. Anything that you would bring to a dance competition will probably help you out at an audition.

Attitude is Everything

Your mindset the day of the audition is crucial not only to performing well, but also to making a good impression on the judges or directors. If you’re jittery, standoffish or rude – even unintentionally – it may hurt your chances of making the team or company.

“Sometimes we don’t even realize what emotion we’re portraying in class,” Jacquelyn Long of the Houston Ballet corps de ballet explained to Dance Spirit magazine. “Take a step back to think not only about your technique, but about what message you’re projecting.”

With this in mind, remember to always keep a smile on your face, even if you’re freaking out on the inside. Be polite and friendly to the other dancers, as they could be your teammates soon. You should also be gracious and take any criticism with an open mind.

Keep smiling, regardless of what happens.
Keep smiling, regardless of what happens.

Tips to Stay Confident
Need a little confidence boost on the big day? Use one of these tactics to pump yourself up:

  • Arrive early so you can scope out the audition room and do a few calming stretches.
  • Put in your headphones and listen to your favorite music. Channel your nerves into adrenaline.
  • Clear your mind. It won’t do you any good to dwell on what might go wrong.
  • Think positive thoughts. Picture yourself as a member of the team or company.
  • Remind yourself that every audition is a learning opportunity. Even if you don’t make it, you’ll come away a better dance.
  • Focus on dancing! After all, it’s what you love to do, so don’t let jitters ruin that.
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Dance Studio Policy: Accommodating Dietary Restrictions

Dance Studio Policy

According to Food Allergy Research & Education, approximately 1 in every 13 children have a serious food allergy, and the number is rising each year. Because of this trend, there are increasingly strict rules being implemented in schools and day care centers about what foods can be served. While your dance studio probably doesn’t serve up meals to dancers, it’s still important for you to be cognizant about the dietary restrictions of your students and how their needs influence what can be eaten in the studio. Here are a few tips to help you formulate dance studio policy that can accommodate dancers who have dietary restrictions.

No Nuts

One of the most common food issues that you’ll encounter as a studio owner will likely be peanut or tree nut allergies. When one of your students is allergic to these ingredients, it means that you’ll have to be diligent about keeping peanut butter, trail mix, nutty brownies and other potentially dangerous snacks out of the classroom.

It’s a good idea to include a section about food allergies on your registration forms. Once you have a list of students with dietary restrictions, you may want to take time to sit down with each parent and student to discuss how the allergy affects him or her. Some students with minor allergies just can’t eat the ingredients, while others may have a severe reaction simply from coming in contact with nuts. Figure out the best way to keep these students safe, then inform your other parents and dancers of your dance studio policy on nutty foods.

Gluten Gripes

Another food issue that’s increasingly common but that you may not know how to handle is celiac disease. According to the National Center for Celiac Awareness, this autoimmune disease, also known as a gluten allergy, affects 1 in every 133 Americans. Students with celiac disease aren’t able to eat wheat, which means that sandwiches, cookies and other common treats aren’t an option unless they’re specially made.

If your studio holds celebrations for students’ birthdays or other special events, it’s important to keep in mind that some of your dancers may be on a gluten-free diet. Try your best to find food options that everyone can enjoy, whether it’s gluten-free cake or some frozen yogurt. No one wants to be left out because of a food allergy!

Maintaining Proper Nutrition

Besides the logistics of keeping offending ingredients out of the studio, you may also be faced with the issue of helping your students maintain proper nutrition with a food allergy. Experts explain that celiac disease can be challenging for dancers, as wheat products provide much of that needed energy to keep performers on their toes.

“Carbs are important for dancers, period,” Derrick Brown, a nutritionist at Codarts University for the Arts and a former dancer, explained to Dance magazine. “Luckily, there’s plenty of ways to get them without gluten.”

If you find that your gluten-free dancers are lagging during class, you may want to recommend a few dietary tweaks for them. Brown explained to Dance magazine that it’s important for dancers to choose gluten-free foods that are low in sugar and salt. Otherwise, they’ll get a temporary boost of energy only to crash a few hours later. However, be sure that your students are speaking with a medical professional or nutritionist if they have serious concerns about their diets.

When you work to make your studio a place that’s welcoming and accommodating for all students, you’ll have an easier time building strong relationships with your customers and retaining dancers for years to come.

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