The Art of Auditioning

Dance-Audition-
Many dancers of all ages will more than likely experience an audition at some point. Even if you don’t dance with the intention  of becoming a professional and just do it as a hobby. Going to as many auditions as possible is very important, even if you aren’t focusing on a professional career. If you get the job you’ve auditioned for it’s an incredible opportunity and will be a lot of fun. If you don’t get it then it will give you the experience you need to improve for your next audition. Experiencing dance auditions can also help you when you come to do an interview for other jobs. Just talking to someone will seem like a piece of cake when you have performed a routine you have only just learnt in front of a group of strangers.

audition

 

I’m going to give you 10 tips on how to: prepare for and perform at an audition.

 

 

1. Breakfast – It doesn’t matter how nervous you are feeling, make sure you have breakfast. Even if it’s the last thing on your mind. Also, make sure you have it early enough, if your audition is in the morning you don’t want to be dancing on a full stomach.

2. Appearance – Just as you are expected to dress smart to an interview, you are expected to be dressed appropriately for an audition. This means more than just making sure you’re in your dance clothes. Your hair should be neat and off your face, males should be well groomed and females should keep make up to a minimum, you want to enhance your features but not look like you’ve painteauditionsd your make-up on. Finally, try and make sure your dance wear shows off your physic. If you are wearing a leotard for example, thin straps often look better than thick straps and bright colours will make you stand out, helping you stay in the judges memory.

3. Stay Focused – Combinations will be taught quickly so it’s important to focus on what you are being told so you can pick it up. Watch/listen carefully to what the choreographer wants including the style and copy it.

4. Think Dance Etiquette – Think about how you’re expected to act in a class, this will show respect to both the other people auditioning and the judges. Just to jog your memory on what not to do here is a short list: don’t sit down unless you are told to, don’t talk, don’t lean on the barre or the walls, make sure your phone is turned off and clap for the other performers when they are finished dancing.

5. Do Not Copy! – Remember to think for yourself, you don’t want to be copying the person in front of you. If you end up copying the person in front, when you perform in smaller groups this will become obvious. Ignore the other candidates and pretend they aren’t there, this will help you pick up the combination and focus on your own technique.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up – If you are unsure on a step because to cannot hear the choreographer or cannot see what is being shown to you ask if you can move. They would rather you ask questions than copy off someone else. You will often find you aren’t the only one asking questions, and listening to other questions being asked may help you.

7. Be Confident – Always have a smile on your face and try your best. Even if your performance isn’t spot on the panel will appreciate that you are putting the effort in. Which can be more beneficial than having perfect technique while looking miserable. If you look confident in what you do, the audience will think you are performing well.

8. Be Considerate – When other groups are performing be aware of where you are standing. Always stand at the side, out of the way of the performance space. Also it is very important to stay warmaudition-2 and mark through the steps, however do not distract the other group by dancing full out at the side, not only will this wear you out but will also distract everyone else in the room. And never ever ever talk during other performances!

9. At the End of Your Dance – At the end of your performance, remain on your spot until one of the judges says thank you. Remember to control your breathing as well, you will be out of breath and want to collapse on the floor but instead, walk or run off calmly and beautifully.

10. Reflect – No matter how well the audition went, whether you got through or not, always reflect back on the audition. This will help you understand what went well and what didn’t go so well meaning you won’t make the same mistakes again, which will help you improve your performance.

Taking All Corrections as Your Own

Just a short post for this evening. I wanted to do a short post on how to be more productive in your dance classes. In most of your classes i’m sure the teacher takes time to assist each student when they need it. But what do you do in this time? Many teachers, like myself, encourage the class to keep practicing the move rather than just standing there, not doing anything.

However, not matter how big or small the correction given to the other students is, always take it on board. Think of their correction as your own, this will help you correct your own mistakes you may even be unaware of. Observing how another student is correcting their own mistakes can help you visualise how to improve your performance. Throughout your classes always think about how you can improve your own performance and use those around you to help you do this.

I know this post was only short but i believe this to be valuable advice to help you improve your performance. While also helping you begin to think for yourself and not just relying on the teacher’s individual corrections.

Dancers and Body Image

Many people often think that in order for dancers to get their beautiful thin bodies they need to starve themselves. I want to make this clear that this is definitely not the case. Yes, some dancers may feel this way and there are cases where dancers have developed eating disorders, but this is not the case for every dancer. Just like some non-dancers will have eating disorders, the majority will not. Dancers can be more likely to develop  eating disorders due to the demand on a certain body type from the industry. However it is important to understand that as long as you train hard and eat well there is no reason why this cannot be achieved.healthy eating

Eating to get the energy you need to dance

Dancers will need a lot more calories than the recommend daily amount because of how many calories they burn. The amount needed for you personally will vary on how many classes you do a week and the intensity of them. It is difficult to say exactly how many calories an individual will need, but if you want to find out more visit your GP or a dietician as they will be able to guide you on this. But it is certain that if you are doing any form of exercise, you will need more calories, even if you are eating healthy.  If you imagine your body as being a car, if you don’t put enough fuel in you aren’t going to go very far, and the same can be said about the human body. In order to perform at the highest level possible and keep improving you need to make sure your body has enough energy.

Why does your body need this?

If you don’t consume enough calories not only will you feel tired but you could injure yourself. Your body will not have the strength to cope with the strain dance can put on it. This can result in fractures and sprains because the body is weak.

How to make sure you have enough energy

meal ideasYour main source of energy will come from carbohydrates. So it is best to try and eat foods like pasta and rice rather than binging out on sugary sweets and chocolate (although there is nothing wrong with this once in a while).  However sometimes it can be difficult to fit meals in between classes so you may not eat until 10pm or 11pm. In between classes you will need to eat something. Good things to take to classes include: protein shakes, nuts/seeds, a small sandwich or even a tub of pasta you can snack on in between classes. If you have longer breaks in between your classes you may want to take something more substantial with you, if your dance studio has a microwave for staff to use, you may want to ask if you can use this and take a meal with you. Your dance teacher will be able to give you more information on what you can do to keep your energy levels up in between classes.

 

So, You Want to Start Dance Classes?

blog imageWhether you are looking to start dance classes or are looking for a new dance school to attend, there are several things you need to consider.

Firstly, you can start dance classes no matter what age you are. Most schools will do classes for students from the age of 2 and many schools may offer adult classes, which are a fantastic way to keep fit.

You need to consider what style of dance you are wanting to take up and if you are looking to do several classes ensure the school can provide these classes. If you are unsure on what dance style you would like to take classes in, taster lessons are usually available allowing you to ay per class before committing to paying for classes per term.

Even if you are confident with what which dance style you want to take up i would highly recommend that you take part in a few taster sessions. This will let you get to know the dance school and their teaching methods. You may look round the studio and believe it to be the right place but the style of teaching might not be right for you.

Make sure the size of the classes are not too big, and if they are large classes they have more than one teacher. This is particularly important for young children as they will require more attention and one teacher will not be able to give enough attention to each child.

The biggest piece of advice i can give you is to shop around, every dance school is different, classes vary, the exam board used and what the school can offer you; from dance competition to end of year shows. Each person may be looking for something different so make sure you know what you want before fully enrolling in a class.