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Stepping into the Spotlight: A Dancer's Guide to Acing Auditions

Robert Fulton - Sept. 4, 2023, 10:08 p.m.

Embarking on the audition journey doesn't have to be nerve-wracking. While it may be a pivotal moment in your dance career, with the right preparation and mindset, you can ace auditions, transforming them into an empowering experience instead of a daunting task.


  1. Honing Your Craft in Daily Classes


Rehearsing your solo is important, but your daily ballet classes serve as the perfect ground to hone your technique and style. These classes, which sometimes happen multiple times a day, should not be viewed differently from your audition. Treat every class as a mini audition where you gradually work up to performing at your peak in the studio. Immerse yourself in the grace of ballet, constantly nurturing your flair and elevating your performance.


  1. Pre-emptive Training


Embark on pre-emptive training by gradually increasing the intensity and complexity of your daily classes. This approach helps to normalize the audition process, making it seem like just another day at ballet class, albeit with a sprinkle of spotlight.


  1. Cross Training


In addition to your classes, indulge in cross-training that focuses on building stamina, strength, and flexibility - all crucial elements that contribute to peak performance.  You need your stamina for a long class, strength for powerful jumps and turns, and flexibility for beautiful extensions. Furthermore, explore your weaknesses and work creatively to counteract them.  For example, the inability to lift your leg higher is not due to a lack of flexibility but a need for stronger hip flexors and core. Diversify your training regimen to incorporate exercises that strengthen your weak areas, facilitating graceful and powerful performances.


  1. Nurturing Your Body and Mind


To perform at your peak, it's vital to fuel your body adequately. Focus on a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, which provide sustained energy for your demanding routines. Hydration should be a priority, ensuring that water and electrolytes are replenished regularly. As the audition day approaches, consider carb-loading to store additional energy in your muscles.  Carb loading - with complex carbohydrates like oatmeal - should be done several hours before the audition, then have a snack with high protein closer to the audition.


  1. Rest and Nutrition


Rest and nutrition are equally important for allowing your muscles to recover and rejuvenate.  Don’t sacrifice sleep or off-days for more classes and definitely don’t cut calories.  Maintain a diet that has the optimum macro makeup for peak performance, with a good balance of carbohydrates for energy, proteins for muscle recovery, and healthy fats for overall well being.


  1. De-stress


Identify ways to keep stress at bay.  Find activities that soothe your mind and prepare you mentally for the audition.  Some great places to start are visualizing your solo, winding down the night before by not looking at screens 30 minutes before sleeping, and doing breathing techniques the day of. Remember to initiate visualization practices at least two weeks before the audition, visualizing your performance daily to foster confidence and precision.


  1. Dressing the Part


Your attire can speak volumes even before you start your performance. While adhering to the dress code, with a clean, professional look that isn’t too flashy, add subtle touches that showcase your personality, such as a delicate hair clip or a bow. These small additions can make you stand out, adding a personal touch to your presentation without overpowering your performance.


  1. Handling Nerves and Rejection


Auditions, while exhilarating, can also evoke nerves. However, remember, you are no stranger to ballet classes, and the audition is merely an extension of your daily routine.


  1. Managing Nerves


To manage nerves effectively, engage in techniques such as square breathing, which involves inhaling, holding, and exhaling each for a count of four. This practice helps in grounding you, allowing you to perform with a focused mind. Couple this with visualization techniques started well in advance to foster a positive mindset.


  1. Dealing with Rejection


Rejections, though hard, are part of the journey. Treat them as learning curves, avenues to improve and come back stronger.  A rejection is not personal, and if your goal is to get into that specific company, you can absolutely audition again the following season.  We have seen dancers audition for the same company 3 years in a row and finally get in!


  1. On the Day of the Audition

As you step into the audition room, remember to just be yourself and dance your heart out.


  1. Adaptability

Depending on the company's style, you might need to tweak your technique a bit. For instance, practicing a straight back leg for pirouettes if auditioning for a Balanchine company.


  1. Multiple Auditions

If circumstances allow, don't shy away from attending more than one audition in a day. Each experience is a learning opportunity.  Remember that you’re used to taking multiple classes per day.  By the second audition, you may actually be dancing better because you are warm and less nervous.

  1. Post Audition

After the audition, take a moment to reflect and assimilate. Use this experience as a tool for growth, constantly evolving and refining your craft for future opportunities.




With the right preparation and mindset, auditions become a platform to showcase your passion and skill, rather than a battlefield of nerves. Remember to dance not just with your body, but also with your soul, letting your love for ballet shine through in each step. The spotlight is ready to grace you, step in with confidence and joy!


Find ballet auditions on and use your newfound knowledge to succeed!