Jim Lafferty

Ask Amy: How to Beat Audition Anxieties

How do you “perform" at auditions without being obnoxious? —Mikayla

Auditions are no place to hide or act self-consciously—but there's a fine line between being assertive and being aggressive. Focus on keeping your movements lush without getting in the other dancers' way. Keep your face pleasant and relaxed (emphatic nodding and sky-high eyebrows signal that you're eager to please, but can come across as student-y). A bright leotard or hair accessory can help the panel notice and remember you. But more importantly, pay attention to what the director is asking for in class. They're more apt to notice a fast learner or precise musicality.


A few other things to keep in mind: At cattle calls, the adjudicators place dancers into specific groups so they can see everyone and stay organized. Don't try to pull a fast one by sneaking your way to the front or going with multiple groups. Instead, consider registering early so that you can be in one of the first groups; that signals you're not afraid to take risks. In a company-class situation, you want to make sure you're clearly seen, but be mindful of where principal dancers stand so as not to encroach on their territory. And always, always thank the director afterwards—it's your last chance to make a good impression.

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