Plan for audition season early so you’re less stressed.
Audition season is a lot. It comes on the heels of Nutcracker season, which is intense and incredibly busy. Then, many dancers are caught up in a whirlwind of trying to get pictures, videos, travel plans, and pointe shoes ready for high stakes situations. All of that leaves little time to buck up your mindset, build body confidence, and plan strategically.
That’s why I’d encourage you to start now. I know you’re busy, but you have to ask yourself what your top priority is right now. Are you in a company where you’re likely to land a job? Or are you in a situation where you need to keep your options opened?
If you need options, you need to prioritize auditions and allow Nutcracker to just be fun, carefree, and low-stress. If you need help with that, let me know.
Be strategic in your approach to auditions.
Each year, I work with dancers going into auditions. It’s essential that you identify your non-negotiables. You might prefer to stay in the eastern half of the US so you’re not too far from family. Maybe you’re strictly Balanchine trained and think you’ll excel in a more Balanchine-style company. Perhaps you’ve heard of toxic environments that you’d rather avoid.
Get very clear with yourself as far as what you’re willing to compromise on and what you’re not. Then create your company audition list. This list should be long — most of my clients end up with at least 50 companies on their lists and some go close to 100. This is simply done in an effort to increase the odds that you’ll end up with at least one offer and maybe even a handful of options to choose from.
Most audition situations these days have a first step of emailing materials. That takes some time but not much. You should take advantage of the ease with which you can get in touch with companies and increase your odds by sending your stuff out to a lot of prospects.
Accept that rejection is part of the process.
In all likelihood, you will get a lot more nos than yeses. You have to go into audition season ready to accept that fact. The key uplifting thing to remember is that you only need ONE offer. Again, by sending your stuff to a variety of different companies, there’s a much better chance you’ll get a job.
I’ve been coaching dancers through auditions in some capacity since The Whole Dancer was started in 2015, and each and every year, those dancers have gotten offers — many have gotten multiple offers.
Create a meal plan that supports high energy in auditions.
The holiday performance season is a great opportunity to start identifying easy, convenient ways to achieve optimal energy. Start to pay attention and strategize now so by the time auditions roll around and you’re dealing with travel or airport food, you’re ready to adapt.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Fruits, vegetables, and plant foods provide high nutrient-dense fuel that can help to naturally increase energy.
- Hydration is key!
- Carbs and sugars are essential for energy.
- Find satiety with fats and protein.
- Don’t cut any macros or food groups.
- Audition season is not a time to be restrictive. (There’s never a time for this but especially when you’re asking your body to perform at its peak.)
- Convenience food like bars and packaged snacks can find a place in your plan and in fact will make planning for this time that much easier.
Prioritize building body confidence and supporting a helpful mindset.
Start wearing your audition get-up now. Yes…now. Get very clear on which leotards and tights you feel best in on a more consistent basis. If you’ll be skipping the skirt in auditions (usually how it goes), then stop wearing it every day now.
Whenever body insecurities come up, bring your focus back to gratitude. What does your body allow you to do? For more body image boosting strategies, check out this article I wrote for Pointe Magazine.
Spend more time on self-care. It’s easy to let those things go during the busyness of holidays and auditions, but that’s when it’s most needed. Take a quick bath, journal, meditate, give yourself permission to fully relax and veg on the couch.
Consider finances on this journey.
It’s time to drop the “starving artist” mentality (on so many levels). Start to explore creative work opportunities now. So often, dancers end up on their feet in customer service roles. While that’s not bad, there are other job options, and there’s some income planning I want you to consider.
- Become a virtual assistant.
- Reach out to dance brands (smaller companies especially) and see if they need an administrative or social media assistant.
- Ask for pointe shoes as gifts (one less expense to stress about).
- Work at the front desk of a yoga or pilates studio. (There are usually some awesome perks like free or discounted classes.)
- Get in touch with any contacts, friends, or family who have an online or partly online business where you might once again serve as an administrative assistant.
You don’t have to tackle auditions alone.
You don’t have to be secretive about your audition plans. Talk to your friends about what you’re planning and what your experiences are. Supporting those around you isn’t going to extinguish your own potential for success. A more open dialogue will allow you to feel less alone, which in turn will help you to stay positive and optimistic along this journey. Then you’ll perform better.
It’s also important to consider support from someone who has been there. I’ve auditioned countless times for freelance gigs, full-time company positions, and more. The experiences I’ve had personally and the scenarios I’ve supported clients through have allowed me to stay in touch with the current job landscape in the dance world.
To get started with some free audition support, join me for a free, virtual Audition Success Workshop. At the workshop I’ll go more in-depth on all the topics discussed in this post. Click here for all the details and to save your spot!!
During this free workshop, you’ll learn how to:
- Create a meal plan that supports high energy in auditions.
- Plan for audition season early so you’re excited, not stressed.
- Be more strategic in your approach to auditions so you can better cope with rejection.
- Maintain body confidence and an uplifting mindset.
- Creatively finance your summer intensive and dance goals.