Auditioning for a contemporary company
In the current (June/July) issue of 'Dance Australia', Luke Hayward, a dancer with Sydney Dance Company, shares his auditioning experience.
While auditioning in Europe I would use websites such as Tanznetz, Dancing Opportunity and au-di-tion to find public auditions. Otherwise, I would write to companies that interested me and ask to do a private audition or visit the company for class. I found private auditions worked best: the focus is on you and it works better with scheduling dates. I would make sure to include my CV, photos and a show reel of two minutes when writing to a company.
Auditions always have an intense atmosphere. Every dancer is unique in their own way and everyone is going for the one or two contracts that are available. However, in the end, you’ve just got to relax, go with the flow and try to enjoy it. Normally you will make friends with other dancers and quickly realise they’re feeling the exact same way as you are.
Just try to present your best self and “do you”. No one wants to see you fail, and if they don’t choose you, it was just one opinion of many. See constructive criticism as an opportunity to make some improvements for the next audition and try not to take it too personally. Never give up, just keep on working.
With each audition you’ll become more comfortable with the process of presenting your authentic self and not letting your nerves take over. I found my favourite auditions were when I was relaxed, in the moment and enjoying the process.
My tip would be to do your research before writing to the company or auditioning. Know the director and their background, the type of dancers they hire, and the company's repertoire/creative process. Is it more classical, contemporary, improvising, etc? That way you’ll know what to expect and what they’re looking for, and if you make it to the final round (which most likely is an interview) you’ll be more prepared to discuss your interest in the company. Networking is a part of our industry just like any other, so take the time to do your homework.
Have you seen our Audition Notebook? It's full of auditioning advice and experience from dancers in classical, contemporary, music theatre and more. You'll find it in the June/July issue - OUT NOW! Find us here