Career Advice

Agents' Secrets: 5 Talent Agents' Tips for Mastering Commercial Auditions

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


What makes for good audition materials?

Photo Courtesy Bloc

"Make sure you understand what photos you need and in which format. Whoever is looking at the picture needs to clearly see your face, eyes and what you actually look like. A pet peeve of mine is too long of a resumé when you repeat the same artist over and over. Take the best of what you've done, and list the most current projects, rather than something you did eight years ago."

—Laney Filuk, Bloc Agency

Should a dancer develop a signature look or tailor it for each audition?

Photo by Vince Trupsin, Courtesy MSA

"It all comes down to the confidence factor. You don't want to go in with things that might shake up your confidence, whether that's your hair, what you're wearing or your makeup. You want to stand out but not in a way that's awkward or obnoxious. If you're going to emulate a character or portray a look, make sure it's an extension of who you are—it should never feel like a costume. That's not authentic."

—JC Gutierrez, McDonald/Selznick Associates

How can you make yourself stand out at a large open call?

Photo by Lindsay Rosenberg, Courtesy Go 2 Talent Agency

"The people that can let that stress roll off and delve into the emotion of the choreography are the ones that bubble to the top. Remember that you're being watched immediately when you start learning the combination. I think choreographers are attracted to dancers who digest their style right away. That shows that you're detail-oriented and translates to a certain level of professionalism. And if they say, 'Does someone want to dance again?' Do it!"

—Terry Lindholm, Go 2 Talent Agency

How much do you consider a dancer's attitude?

Photo by Vince Trupsin, Courtesy MSA

"A dancer's mind-set and the way they present themselves is profound. We're expecting you to be a tremendous dancer, so what other attributes can you bring to the table? If you want to be a collaborator and have longevity, that means being positive and supporting others in the industry."

—Shelli Margheritis, McDonald/Selznick Associates

The Conversation
Dancers Trending
Photo by Alfredo Cannatello, courtesy Rodríguez

Mention "flamenco" to anyone in the Cuban dance scene, and they are likely to bring up Irene Rodríguez. Artistic director of Compañía Irene Rodríguez, Cuba's premiere flamenco company, Rodríguez has shared the stage with such renowned flamenco artists as Eva Yerbabuena, María Juncal and Antonio Gades. She is also a faculty member at Havana's Fernando Alonso National Ballet School, and has served as a choreography consultant at Ballet Nacional de Cuba.

Starting this week, she's stateside to direct the flamenco and Spanish dance program at Jacob's Pillow.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Training
Irina Kolpakova in the studio with Katherine Williams. Photo by Quinn Wharton for Pointe.

Being coached by a treasure like former Kirov prima Irina Kolpakova is an experience most dancers only dream of. But company members at American Ballet Theatre have been the lucky beneficiaries of her wisdom since 1990. Thanks to Instagram, where pros like Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside share snippets of their sessions with Kolpakova, any ballet lover can be a fly on the wall during rehearsals with the famed ballet mistress.

Keep reading... Show less

mailbox

Get Dance Magazine in your inbox