Audition Tips for Ballet Dancers

After many sleepless nights, and nightmares of missing pointe shoes and judges who turn into tentacle-laden monsters and devour you whole, the big audition day is finally here. While these tips cannot, unfortunately, erase your anxiety about this all important rite of ballet passage, they may give you the direction you need to prepare and dance your best on the day of your audition.

Read All Information

Before you decide what to wear, when to leave to beat the traffic, and how many clips you should put in your bun, make sure to read over every last word on the audition information page. It will usually provide all the info you need, from preferred attire to registration time to how long it’ll take to get your results.

Pay special attention to details regarding the dress code and registration process. You’ll most likely need to bring a form, fee, and photos with you, so get everything ready ahead of time and package it neatly so you’ll be able to find it and slip it into your bag without panic on the big day.

Hot Tip: The Secret Code

Since the audition information usually outlines specific guidelines, it often serves as a kind of litmus test for the dancers auditioning: If the dress code dictates black and you show up in hot pink, the judges will know that you didn’t read or follow the instructions—a huge faux pas and red flag for how you’ll behave and follow instructions/corrections once in the program. Show the judges that you can follow instructions; it’s the easiest way to let them know that you’ll be an attentive and receptive student if they accept you into their program. 

Dress to Impress

Follow the given dress code in the audition info to a tee. If you aren’t given any guidelines on how to dress, opt for a solid color, classical leotard in a flattering shade like a soft blue or brown.

You want to distinguish yourself—but not in a bad way. Simple and classy with a unique personal touch is the way to go. The judges should be able to say, “The girl in the brown leotard was lovely!” as opposed to, “The girl with the hot pink leotard and rhinestone straps…she was a bit…blinding.”

If the dress code dictates a clean black leotard, don’t panic; pick the most flattering, elegant style you own and add your personal touch with a small flower or embellished bobby pin. These details are simple and elegant, but help to set you apart from the rest of the dancers (beyond the number pinned to your waist.)

Make Up Naturally

When it comes to auditions, you want to find the perfect balance between going au natural and having a face full of color. Since you probably aren’t going to sleep very well before the audition, a light and fresh coat of makeup will help perk up your face and avoid the dreaded “exhausted dancer” look.

Aim for a dewy, fresh look, with a bit of concealer, tinted moisturizer, light mascara, and lip gloss. If you apply too much, it may just sweat off awkwardly and distract the judges, but skipping makeup altogether can make you look tired and unprepared.

Go for What You Know

Though it’s tempting, auditions are not a good time to wear a pair of pointe shoes you’ve never tried or to change your port de bras in pirouettes. Stick to what you know works for you.

When it comes to pointe shoes, wear a pair that you’ve been using during class for a week or so. This way they’ll be broken in and comfortable, but won’t go soft and lose support during your audition class.

Pack Spares

Pack everything you’ll need for your audition the night before, when you’ll have the time and energy to make sure you’re 100% prepared.

Pack a spare of everything, even if you don’t think you’ll need it:

  • Tights
  • Hair pins
  • Leotards
  • Two pairs of every shoe
  • Bottles of water

Assume everything will go wrong and plan accordingly. This will help you stay on top, regardless of the circumstances. Things like runs in your tights or a shoe that decides to break its shank don’t have to cause panic if you keep a spare in your bag when you need it.

Once you arrive at the audition site, do a quick evaluation of your belongings—a broken pointe shoe can be swapped out easily before the audition, but may pose more of a problem once you’re in class.

Just Breathe!

Auditions can be nerve wracking, hellish, and miserable experiences. But stay calm, relax, and treat it for what it is: a ballet class! Even if you slip and fall, if you keep a professional demeanor you can make any mistake work to your advantage.

Go in, feel confident, enjoy yourself, and have the highest hopes for your ballet future!

Share the knowledge