Students in class at the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville. Photo by Blair Chamberlain, Courtesy Ballet Conservatory of Asheville.

Ask Amy: How Can I Increase My Casting Chances?

My classmates and I are seniors now and about to be cast in our biggest production of the year. I want to dance the lead, but we all have the same dancing skills. How do I stand out in classes to increase my chances of being cast in my dream role? —Mary Caite

Casting is always tough, especially when it's for your graduation performance. But don't assume that being a senior guarantees a starring role—you need to show that you deserve it. The best way to stand out in classes is by working hard consistently—teachers always notice that. Push yourself by going an extra time across the floor or practicing in the back when another group is dancing. Pay especially close attention to the corrections your teacher gives not only to you but also to the entire class. Then take a moment to physically apply each correction and show that you're listening. Spend extra time perfecting difficult steps that the role calls for and, if possible, study the choreography and music ahead of time so that you're prepared during auditions.

Don't assume that being a senior

guarantees a starring role—

you need to show

how much you deserve it.

Remember to be realistic, too—if you're an energetic soubrette and the role you're pining after is a lyrical pas de deux, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. That doesn't mean you shouldn't give it your best, though. And if you don't get the part? Ask if you can understudy so that you'll still have the opportunity to push yourself and grow. Whatever happens with casting, it's important to realize that your worth as a dancer isn't tied to one role. Enjoy this time with your classmates and make the most of your last performance together.

Have a question? Send it to Pointe editor and former dancer Amy Brandt at

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