Advice for Dancers
Directors tend to pick dancers who fit the company's style, body type and need for a particular height. Photo by Jim Lafferty for Pointe

Are auditions rigged? Sometimes I see mediocre dancers make it into a company, and I just don't get it. The audition process is unnerving for me without feedback or any understanding of the rules.

—Madison, Santa Monica, CA

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Auditions

Whether it's your first time jumping into the audition scene or you have hundreds of crinkled numbers to prove you're a seasoned pro, having a panel of judges eyeing your every move makes everyone's mind race a little.

Here are eight thoughts you're bound to have when you step into the studio for an audition.

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Career Advice
Reframing high-stakes auditions as learning opportunities can make you a better auditioner. Photo by Jim Lafferty.

In 2012, freelance contemporary dancer Adrianne Chu made a major career change: She decided to try out for A Chorus Line. "Even though I didn't get the job, I felt like I was meant to do this," says Chu. So she started going to at least one musical theater audition every weekday, treating each as a learning experience. After several years of building up her resumé, Chu's practice paid off: She booked a starring role as Wendy in the first national tour of Finding Neverland.

Approaching auditions as learning opportunities, especially when you're trying to break into a different style or are new to the profession, can sharpen your skills while helping you avoid burnout. It also builds confidence for the auditions that matter most.

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Career Advice
Courtesy Broadway Dance Center

What are the best ways to prepare for an audition?

Photo by Levi Walker, Courtesy CTG

"Research as much as you can about the project or choreographer. When a dancer is prepared, they tend to be more focused, more relaxed and really able to show themselves at their best. If the choreographer happens to be teaching at a local studio beforehand, get in that class!"

—Brandon Sierra, Clear Talent Group

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