5 Tips to Pass that Summer Dance Program Audition

by | Jan 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Now that we have started a new year that means it’s time to start thinking about summer dance intensives, ballet seminars and summer dance programs. Summer seminars are one of my favorite times of the year because of all of the exciting opportunities to travel to a new city or country and study dance under the tutelage of amazing guest artists and teachers.

However, before you can go to one of these amazing dance programs you may have to tackle a required audition to be selected for the program and/or for level placement. In order to prepare for the audition you want to follow these steps to be sure to put your best danceself forward:

1. Attend your weekly dance classes 

• It is important to always work hard in your weekly dance classes at your studio. In doing so, you are setting yourself up for the best possible audition because your will be working on your technique and improving each day.

• Additionally, by attending class you will also learn new steps and not miss out on learning steps that could potentially show up in your audition.

2. Arrive on time 

• Make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time to ensure you aren’t rushed for: o Check-in process o Instructions on where to go o Warming-up before class (for tips on how to warm up click here).

3. Bring your dance resume and headshot 

• Make sure to bring the necessary materials for the check-in process.

• Many dance programs would require a dance resume and a headshot of each dancer attending the audition.

• In preparation for the audition day, review your resume to ensure everything is up-to-date. Think about all of the roles you have performed and list them from most recent to less recent. If you have performed as a soloist or in a principal part make sure to highlight them.

• For your headshot be sure to have a photo where you are showcased at your best, facing the camera.

• Some programs will also ask for additional photographs in specific ballet positions, such as: first arabesque on relevé and/or in second position relevé. If you dance on pointe, these should be worn when taking the photos.

4. Dance attire and footwear 

• Dress professionally and appropriately for the dance style you will be auditioning in. Most likely the dance program you are auditioning for will inform you of the dress code they require for the audition portion of the day.

• Remember to bring the appropriate footwear. If you dance on pointe make sure to wear these to show off your talents.

• Always read the audition information provided to be well informed before audition day (website, packet materials, etc.).

5. The audition process 

• The audition process can vary depending on the program you are trying out for.

Class style audition: You will be attending a technique class in a given style; you might be wearing a number on your dance clothing so that the judges can identify who you are during the class.

•At different intervals of the class, several dancers will be asked to stay, while others will be excused from the class. What’s important is for you to try your hardest so that you may be placed according to your level.

Prepared choreography: You will come to the audition and perform a prepared choreography for the judges. In the event that the audition process is by choreography, the guidelines will be given to you ahead of time, such as: length of the piece, style of dance, etc.

Improvisation: Less common is an audition based on improvisation. If this is the case, you will be played music and have the chance to dance your heart out for the judges with the first moves that pop into your head.

• To prepare for an improvisational audition, practice on your own to come up with dances on the fly to any music, anywhere. Trust me, it’s tons of fun and you’ll be surprised at how creative you can get.

3 in 1: You might have to do all three of these audition styles for one program. For example, you might start with a technique class, followed by a prepared choreography and end with an improvisation session.

• Some dance intensives may also call for an in person interview after seeing you dance. Be prepared, be professional and answer with your heart and truthfully.

•To prepare for the interview think about questions such as: why do you want to attend this particular dance program, what does dancing mean to you, where do you see yourself in several years, what are some of your favorite choreographers, and what is the favorite role you have danced thus far?

Additional tips: Remember to get a good night’s rest the night before an audition, have a nutritious meal so you may have the energy you need to give your best performance and have fun!

Every opportunity you get to audition and show your talents to important figures in the dance world is a learning experience. If you remember this, you will take the pressure off from the audition and go face the audition as another fun dancing day.



  1. Summer Intensive: Finding the Right One - Carla Otero Dance - […] If you are already on pointe, you will most likely need to audition at least for a portion wearing…

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