The Best Dance Audition Advice You’ll Ever Read – Julie Kavanagh, Creative Director, Life In Motion
With our London dance auditions coming up on 24th January, heres my Top 10 Audition Tips for budding dancers.
- You Are Your Business – It never ceases to amaze me how many dancers fail to grasp this vital piece of information. If you present yourself in the best possible way, clients will want to book you – it’s that simple! So, be the best that you can be. Have great pictures, a polished show reel or videos. Be polite, engaging, be prepared to adapt your style of dance to fit the brief. And Rule Number 1, never, ever moan. You want to be the client’s solution and not their problem. As for the reel or pictures, we know they can cost. If you’re just starting out, keep your costs down and use your smart phone. There’s no excuse. If I had a pound for every time a dancer has said to me ‘I’m just getting my pictures / reel edited’, I’d be one wealthy lady. Get it sorted. No pics or reel will guarantee you no work. Would you employ someone with no evidence of their skills?
- First Impressions – This includes that 1st email you send me. Have an email signature with your name and contact details as well as your Facebook and Twitter links to reels. Make it easy for me to see you. Trawling through attachments to locate your contacts…sorry, I’ll just be moving on to next dancer. At Life In Motion dance auditions I like to watch the registration process. Im looking at how you walk in, your demeanour and what you say. Even before I’ve seen you dance, I’m looking at how you would present to my clients when you arrive on a job. Arrive with a clear picture that looks like you. Not heavily airbrushed and unrecognisable from 10 years ago and never a mid dance shot. I can’t see you in these shots. Always have your CV up to date.
- Your Look– Dance Auditions can be hot and sweaty. Think before you apply that heavy smoky eye and bright red lip. Will they still look amazing after 2-hours of full out head whipping, leg kicking dancing? Panda eyers is never a good look! My advice: tone it down, invest in great makeup and work with more a natural look. Pay attention to what you’re wearing. Can we see your physique? Can we see your technique? What are you hiding under those baggy clothes?
- Be On Time – Even better, be early! A punctual dancer is king. Being late and unorganised means a job can quickly descend into chaos. A late dancer on a TV Shoot will hold up many different departments and cost money. Late to dance auditions means you’ll be late for a paid job. If you’re delayed, take responsibility, call ahead, explain but don’t flap. Remember you’re being judged from that 1st point of contact.
- Making Mistakes – You’ve trained damn hard to be in a dance audition. It’s costs you an eye watering about of money to complete that dance training! Mistakes happen, get over it, and get over it quickly! I’m always looking at how dancers handle their mistakes, recover fast and style that mistake out! I may not have even noticed. But if you flap, show panic on your face and generally crumble, everyone will notice. Never, ever good on a live job. That TV camera picks up everything!
- Ask Questions – If you don’t understand, speak up. Take responsibility for yourself. I can’t abide a newbie that can’t take responsibility for themselves. Remember, you’ve got to be the best you can be. A half understanding of what’s needed can make you look foolish. The pressure is on so be clear of what’s required. All you have to do is ask!
- Quick Choreography – ‘The choreographer is teaching too quickly’. Yes we know. We tell them too. Time is money, faffing about teaching routines at a leisurely pace is a luxury. This isn’t college. We need you to pick up and nail the choreography quickly, making zero mistakes and giving us everything you have.
- Freestyle – You hate it, we know you do, but we still want to see it. I’m looking to see if you have things in ‘your bag’. What can you pull out? This is your moment to take the floor and show me what you’ve got. Own it! Here’s a tip… don’t rely on the ‘side bend, holding the leg in standing, splits’ move. EVERYONE does this and everyone at the front gets to see what you had for breakfast.
- Reply to your messages – So you’ve been booked for the job, your now a commercial dancer for life In Motion. Congratulations! We know how much you dancers love your phones. We see you in between takes, on set, in breaks during rehearsals, back stage at shows. But you’d be surprised how many dancers take hours……sometimes days to respond. Booking dancers needs to be fast. Sign off for clients, their creative agency, the director, wardrobe, makeup etc all takes time. Time is money and it’s not all about you.
- Enjoy – The best advice we can ever give you is to just enjoy the experience. There’s an art to dance auditioning. The more you do, the more you’ll understand the process and the better and therefore the more successful you’ll be.
Here’s wishing every commercial dancer, auditioning for Life In Motion, the very best of luck.