When your heart is pounding and your knees are trembling, it's hard to cultivate a calm, confident persona at an audition. But if you practice that feeling before stepping foot in the room, you can improve your chances of success.
Visualize how you want to feel in the audition room
For dancers, visualization is a huge part of what we do. Creating mental images to guide our movements is how we learn to express our artistry through dancing. As a former Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancer and current personal life coach, I've found that visualizations can help dancers preparing for an audition practice how they want to look, feel and think once the pressure is on.
When & Where:
Begin working your visuals at least 10 to 14 days before your audition so you have enough time to integrate them into your subconscious. Try to find a quiet place in the morning and night while lying in bed. (Just before you go to sleep is the best time since you'll ingrain new patterns of thought in your mind while sleeping.)
Close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths to relax before starting any visualizations. The trick to making visualizations successful is regular practice. Also, make sure your images, words, colors and sounds have a personal meaning for you. Be creative!
VISUALIZATION 1: Get Grounded to Calm Your Nerves
Thinking of strong redwood trees can help ground your nerves
Gently place one hand on your diaphragm (the area just above your belly button) and breathe slowly and evenly. Create an image of something that reminds you of strength and inner calm. It could be a redwood tree, the feeling of yourself growing roots into the ground or a safe place you like to visit. Breathe in that subtle power.
VISUALIZATION 2: Find Your Inner Beauty
While you want to make sure your appearance and technique are sharp at an audition, what a director will be looking at is what you share with them while dancing.
With this visualization, put your hand on your heart. Place a word, color or feeling here that reminds you of the quality of movement you want to express through your dancing—for instance, love, intention, softness, honesty, integrity, etc.
Imagine the movement quality you want to share
Then, during the audition, subtly place your hand on your heart, like you have been practicing, right before you walk forward to take your turn. This simple gesture will help connect you back to what you want to personify in that moment.
VISUALIZATION 3: Embody Your Individuality
To bring forth your artistry during an audition, you must first know what makes you unique. Make a list of at least 10 of your best attributes—your personal strengths. Pause and enjoy who you are, as a separate individual from others, and what you uniquely have to give to the world.
Now, take all of those strengths and give them an internal connection point. Close your eyes and slowly breathe in the feeling of each one. Let yourself begin to embody all of your unique qualities that make you shine. These are the gifts you have to give through your dancing.
Corinne Haas recently published The Artistry Workbook to help dancers access their artistry through deep questioning and exercises.