Ask Amy

I never know what leotard to wear to auditions. What style is best for showing off your lines? –Amelia


I always remember a girl who came to audition during company class many years ago. She wore a white, long-sleeved turtleneck leotard and matching skirt, with her dark hair pulled back in a low chignon and her make-up perfectly applied. She looked incredibly striking and professional, and even though I have no idea if she was offered a contract or not, she made a lasting impression. She looked great, and I could tell she felt great, too.


Picking out the right audition leotard is a very personal process—everyone has a different body type, so certain styles look better on certain people. The key is to find leotards that make you look proportional and feel fantastic. For instance, this particular girl was shorter, so the turtleneck style elongated her body while the white color brought out her dark hair and fair complexion. Since I’m a little bigger on the bottom than on top, I feel best in styles that broaden my shoulders (like a long sleeve V-neck or halter top). Try on various styles to find ones that flatter your body’s shape, and look for colors that enhance your skin tone and hair color.


Know who you’re auditioning for. You don’t want to show up for a contemporary company’s audition in an outfit that screams "bunhead." Likewise, you might not want to wear a biketard to a classical company’s audition. Sometimes school or summer programs have dress requirements for their auditions, such as a black leotard and pink tights. Check their websites or call ahead to avoid making a fashion faux pas. But remember, directors hire dancers based on their dancing, not their outfits.

Latest Posts

Margo Moritz, Courtesy Alonzo King LINES Ballet

How Adult Students Can Prep for a Safe Return to the Studio

After a year (or more) of virtual classes, it's finally time to unplug and head back to the studio.

Exciting? Absolutely. A little scary? Definitely.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Feeling Unchallenged? Here’s How to Advocate for Advancement in Your Company

You're performing well year after year, but you're still not being cast in larger roles. Your work ethic and technique are strong, but, for some reason, your director hasn't approached you about advancing in the company. Many dancers face this very dilemma—they're ready for a new challenge, but featured roles or a promotion don't seem to be on the horizon.

When opportunity doesn't knock first, it may be time to approach the door and do some knocking of your own. "I've been having those conversations with my director since I joined, which is rare," says Amanda Morgan, a fifth-year corps de ballet dancer at Pacific Northwest Ballet. She believes directors are waiting for dancers to advocate for themselves. If you're wondering how you can be more proactive, here are a few questions to help prompt your preparation.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Katie Ging Photography, Courtesy Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh

Why This School Decided to Hold Its "Nutcracker" in June

A growing Christmas tree. Angels and mice. Flowers and a sugarplum. Snow. Last week, the curtain rose on a festive performance of The Nutcracker…in June?

The pandemic has brought all sorts of odd workarounds for dance studios, from virtual classes to outdoor performances. But when COVID-19 threatened Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh's annual Nutcracker, the school decided to make an especially bold pivot: to hold it in early June, when most schools are doing their end-of-year summer recitals.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks