How to Prepare for a Dance Audition

Different schools have different audition requirements. Check your high school directory for specific requirements.

Dance Criteria

Most dance schools and programs evaluate potential students based on the following criteria:

  • Poise and a neat appearance.
  • A positive attitude, as shown through:
    • appropriate classroom behavior,
    • treating teachers and peers and with respect,
    • a sense of commitment to dance, and
    • a desire to learn.
  • Technical ability, as shown through:
    • dance technique,
    • the ability to pick up new movements, and
    • willingness to take corrections and revise one’s work on the spot.
  • Body alignment.
  • Musicality and rhythm.
  • Creativity, as shown through:
    • improvisation, and
    • solo choreography.
  • Performance skills (the ability to communicate with an audience).
  • General understanding of dance.

The audition process for every school can be different, but in general, you can expect to be asked to do all or some of the following activities:

Participate in a Dance Class

Dance classes usually involve a combination of ballet and modern dance techniques, though some schools may require separate classes for each style. Some schools may also require you to participate in other forms of dance in the class, such as jazz or improvisation.

Perform a Solo Dance

Your solo should show off your best dance and performance abilities. Your choreography should be original, however, some schools may allow pieces choreographed by someone else.

The solo may be in a style other than ballet or modern dance (such as Jazz, African, or Indian Classical dance) if that has been your primary training. Schools may require your solo dance to be anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes in length.

Some schools give every student a chance to perform their solo pieces. Other schools only ask the students who are called back after the technique class to perform solo pieces.

Complete a Written Audition

Some schools ask students to write an essay or take an exam. This helps the school determine how much a student knows about dance.

What to Wear to a Dance Audition

Dress in dance clothes appropriate for ballet and modern dance work. This include footless tights, a leotard, and soft ballet slippers. Do not wear pointe shoes unless specifically requested.

Here are other recommendations:

  • Wear solid colors – no fancy appliqués or patterns.
  • Do not wear midriff-baring outfits.
  • Do not wear baggy shirts or baggy pants.
  • Your hair should be neatly pulled back in a bun or ponytail. If your hair is short, make sure it is neatly combed. This applies to girls and boys alike.

What to Bring to a Dance Audition

Remember to bring:

  • Your audition ticket
  • Appropriate dance clothes and shoes
  • A pen or pencil
  • The CD or music file for your solo
  • Water and a light snack