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For many performers in the dance industry, the word audition can bring feelings of excitement, clarity and a world of opportunity. For others, it can bring feelings of anxiousness, confusion and unnecessary tension.

Like it or not, dance auditions are a way of life as a performer. But unfortunately, many dancers are NOT prepared for the moment that could potentially change their income, their way of life, and their happiness and passion toward their craft.

If you’re heading to a dance audition soon, use these four tips to ace your next audition, and gain an unfair advantage over the others in the room:

  1. Not Prepared- Dancers who didn’t do their research, arrive with no headshot, no resume or bio, stayed up too late, lines aren’t memorized, forgot their prop, didn’t study or train, brought wrong dance shoes, etc. All above reasons are unacceptable. Be thoroughly prepared!
  2. Not at the Right Ability– Don’t kid yourself if you haven’t danced in years, it’s been even longer since you’ve stretched, but you expect to get hired? Next please. Step your game up and show that you take yourself seriously.
  3. Not Dressed Appropriately – When you arrive to the audition, make sure you look the part and act the part. Make a positive impression! Show up, act and look as if you are already hired. And a smile won’t hurt either.
  4. Talking Too Much– Here’s the most important suggestion: Don’t waste people’s time, don’t make excuses to your auditioning panel, and don’t be defensive. Do take corrections and be open to direction. Be humble, be approachable, be interested in the free feedback, because these tips will get you closer to landing the job next time!

Remember, you are there to get a job. Wouldn’t it make sense to put your best foot forward?

Yes, you always want to encourage others. Show the panel you are one they want to work with, and you’re supportive of your peers. But don’t forget: the more prepared you are, the better the outcome.

Shawn Byfield ( is an award winning choreographer, show director and a leading expert in dance lessons and industry advice. 


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