Healthy Dancer – Tips of the Month Archive

January 2016
by Claire Henley

Auditions may be the hardest yet most important part of a dancer’s career. This is your chance to show a new school, instructor, director, or possible employer your strengths and abilities as a dancer. We have put together some tips on how to prepare your mind and body, with advice from our faculty members, for that next audition.


Auditions can be stressful, but there are ways to keep your nerves down and confidence high.

Preparation is key. SAS jazz faculty member, Lisa Harvie, believes being prepared and doing your research before an audition leads to success. Questions to think about when researching are, What is the show? Am I right for the role? What are they looking for? Spending time on research beforehand will make a noticeable difference on the day of the audition.

There are a few ways to mentally prepare the night before the big day. By planning your outfit the day before you will avoid feeling rushed in the morning, relieving unnecessary stress. Relaxation and a full night’s sleep will also help. (A 13 year old should get about 10 hours, a 14-16 year old, about 9 hours, and 18+ at least 8 hours of sleep.) A full night’s sleep will leave you feeling rejuvenated, energized, and will eliminate some of your nerves, allowing you to fully focus on your audition. Overall, trust that you have trained and prepared your body, so you can truly spend a night of relaxation for your body.


Working hard in the studio / in class prior to auditions is the most impactful way to prepare your body.

SAS ballet faculty member, Traci Finch, advises students to dance full out in class so they are ready to dance to their fullest ability in auditions. Taking class and working your body regularly can also help prevent injuries from occurring during the audition. Some choreographers, like Lisa Harvie, look for a high performance level and strong technique when auditioning students – both of which will come easier the more preparation taken ahead of time.


A few weeks before audition season, consider putting extra time into conditioning your body. Integrate a 20 to 30 minute cardio workout, three times a week, to build the endurance needed for lengthy auditions. By cross training, you will better prepare your muscles and heart for any physical demand thrown at you. Not only will look your best, but you will also feel confident and ready to give your all.

Lastly, it is important to be mindful of what goes into your body as a dancer, especially before an audition. Although you should always drink water and stay hydrated, be extra mindful of drinking 8-10 glasses a day, several days leading up to the audition. The night before, eat a meal containing protein and carbohydrates; this will provide you the energy needed for the big day ahead.