• Photo by Pedro Greig.
    Photo by Pedro Greig.

Dancers can expect to audition many times during their careers, for many different gigs, and most will experience the disappointment of not getting the job. How do you bounce back?

In the current winter issue of Dance Australia (June/July/August), we look at what a dance ‘job’ really is and talk to a number of dancers about their auditions – good and bad - and what positive lessons they gained from the experience. 

Read our example below and read the complete audition feature in the print issue of Dance Australia, available here.

Alexander Borg

auditioned for Netherlands Dance Theater 2.

Where did you do your dance training?

I trained at Joanne Williamson Dance Academy in Sydney from 2007 to 2016 in contemporary, classical ballet, lyrical, jazz and musical theatre. I also trained at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts from 2011 up until my graduation year of 2016. In 2017, I began my full-time dance training with Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year and furthered my training with the program in 2018, receiving a Diploma of Dance (Elite Performance) and Advanced Diploma of Dance (Elite Performance.)

Please describe briefly your career to date.

In 2019, I received a trainee contract with Sydney Dance Company. I performed in Sydney and nationally, performing works including WOOF (choreographer Melanie Lane), Neon Aether (choreographer Gabrielle Nankivell), 6 Breaths (choreographer Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company Rafael Bonachela), Us 50 (Gideon Obarzanek), ZERO (Josh Mu) and Arise (Ariella Casu).

How many auditions have you attended?

I have done multiple auditions here in Australia and also in Europe and the UK.

Please describe a significant audition where you didn’t get the job.

I recently had the opportunity to audition for the globally renowned contemporary dance company, Netherlands Dance Theater, for the second company, NDT2. An online application was needed to be accepted to attend the audition. On audition day, the process consisted of a ballet class and two rounds of company repertoire and solos. Cuts were made after each round. Dancers who made it to the final group were able to perform solos. I was fortunate enough to make it down to that final group, but just missed out at the end.

How did you feel afterward?

Of course, I felt a sense of disappointment as I had got so close to the end, but truly, I felt very proud of myself that I made it that far, especially as it was my first European audition and for a company I aspire to be a part of one day. I also felt grateful to have had the opportunity to witness such incredible artistry and talent in that space; it was so special to be able to learn and dance alongside these incredible artists.

How did you overcome your disappointment and move on?

Whether I make it to the end or am cut first round, I always aim to take every audition process as a positive experience. I aim to enter and leaving the space with a positive, open mind. I was so grateful that my audition application was accepted in the first place – to make it even that far was an achievement in itself. I also really enjoyed the process of the audition and the repertoire we learnt, which made it easier to move on from the post-audition mindset. It’s so important not to dwell on an audition if it didn’t go the way you wanted. Find the positives within the situation, put those in your tool belt and take them into your next audition, because you just never know!

What did you learn from the experience?

I learnt to stay authentic and true to myself as a human being and as an artist. I also learnt to continually observe and absorb everything happening in the audition space, from the dancers next to me to the artistic team. Looking back, I don’t think I would have approached the audition any differently. I felt that I showcased who I truly am as a contemporary artist and did the best I could in my own, authentic way, and I am content with that. 

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