Audition Tips for Ballet Company Auditions

Auditioning for a ballet company is the dream of many little ballerinas, but ballet is serious business. Treating your ballet company audition in a professional way can ensure fulfilling that dream of being a prima ballerina.

It's Different Than Ballet Class - An audition for a professional ballet company is different from just going to ballet class. While your teacher in ballet class will take the time to make sure you thoroughly understand a combination, a choreographer at an audition will not. Don't expect to be catered to as your ballet teacher does. Auditions are not classes. Auditions are job interviews.

Be Prepared - Know everything about the audition before you attend. Call ahead and ask questions so you will be prepared for anything. Check to see if you need to bring both soft ballet shoes and pointe shoes. Ask what other shoes you might need. You don't want to leave your tap shoes behind thinking it's only a ballet audition, just to have the choreographer ask everyone to tap. If you are supposed to perform a certain variation from a ballet, make sure you know it well and never assume the choreographer will go over it with you. Ask if you should bring a photograph, resume, audition fee, or anything else to the audition.

Know the Dress Code - Just as with ballet classes, many ballet companies have dress codes for auditions and rehearsals. You may wear a long-sleeved pink leotard and pink tights at your ballet studio, but if the audition requires a spaghetti-strapped navy blue leotard, you may not be allowed to audition just because you aren't wearing the right dancewear. If there is no specific dress code required, go with a classic black leotard and pink tights.

Fix Yourself Up - Pull your hair back in a professional "stage ready" bun so you give the audition panel a good idea at what you will look like on stage. Wear makeup, but not heavy stage makeup. Just light daytime makeup is best. Since you will rarely wear jewelry onstage, don't wear earrings, especially not dangly ones. Avoiding jewelry altogether is best. Many dancers like to wear beat-up dancewear with holes because they think it makes them look like they've been dancing for a long time. Avoid worn out dancewear, but don't show up for the audition in a brand new pair of shoes. Make sure your shoes are "broken in," but not a worn out mess. If a knee brace is necessary, wear it, but if not avoid it since it sends up a red flag to the audition panel that you might be easily injured. Dress in your nicest dancewear so that you put forth a professional image.

Arrive Early - Plan to arrive at the ballet company audition at least a half hour before the audition begins. This will give you time to check the place out if you are not familiar with the location. You will be more ready to audition if you arrive early than if you rush through the door at the last second. It also makes a better impression on the audition panel and it gives you a little time to network and meet important people.

Warm Up - Don't sit around, talk, and laugh with friends before the audition. You are there for an important reason. Take the time before auditioning to warm up, stretch, and focus yourself. You will audition better with a warm body, especially if the choreographer doesn't lead a warm up before jumping straight into teaching the audition combination. Remember, the audition panel is always watching, even before the actual audition, so be professional the moment you arrive and warm up.

Smile - Even if you are nervous, don't show it. The best way to handle showing your nerves is to smile. When you look like you enjoy ballet, it will come across to the audition panel. People enjoy watching people who are having fun. Smile and let your joy for ballet come through, no matter how nervous you are.

Thank Everyone and Move On - After the audition, thank everyone you can access. Don't make excuses for why you fell out of that triple pirouette or why your arabesque isn't so high today. Feel good about your audition and forget about it. If you aren't cast, take what you learned and move on to the next audition. Remember, the more you audition the better you get at auditioning.