10 Reasons Why Auditioning Might Be The Best Phase Of Your Career
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10 Reasons Why Auditioning Might Be The Best Phase Of Your Career

It really whips you into the best possible version of yourself.

10 Reasons Why Auditioning Might Be The Best Phase Of Your Career
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Auditioning: usually a term that's met with expressions of fear, anxiety, and stress. Watching many groups of upperclassmen go through the company audition process the last three years, I thought by January I would be feeling the same exact feelings when it was my turn to pin that number on my stomach. But now that I've experienced a few auditions, both open call and company class, I'm surprised by how much I love auditioning and how eager I am to go to more. For those of you still stressed and worried about the audition process, here are some reasons that auditioning is one of the most fun and exciting phases of your dance career.

1. They don't know you.

The people standing in the front of the room don't see you every day and haven't trained you, meaning they don't know how your right foot is just a little bit bendier than your left or that you're an awful turner to the left. They have no idea why to expect of you, and that clean slate means they don't look for your flaws to correct or watch you during a combination they already know you're going to do amazing at. They have absolutely no idea what they're going to get out of you, giving you the opportunity to convince them you have no flaws and you're a boss at everything you do.

2. They don't know your life.

Similarly to number 1, these people don't know your dance abilities, and they don't know your life! They don't know about that annoying reoccurring injury and silently judge you for it, or they don't know about how you skip every other Tuesday because you just can't stand that teacher. They don't know about the shitty casting you had earlier this year, and they don't know about that one time you sassed the choreographer when you were having a bad day. They know nothing about you as a person or as a dancer, meaning you can walk into that room and be whoever the hell you want to be that day.

3. It's a great opportunity to change things up.

We all know how easy it is to get into a rut in your regular class -- the same people for x amount of years around you, the same teachers in front of you giving you combinations that are so similar you don't even need to pay attention to know what comes next. It's so easy to get bored and build up the knowledge of a certain style if it's all you do day in and day out, and going to an audition at a new place is the perfect way to break that. Actually having to learn each combination, each specific detail and nuance of a new ballet master or mistress's style gives you the opportunity to not only show off your skills and knowledge to the best of your abilities, but to actually know what you're doing before you stand in fifth and not whisper to your friend "wait-how does it start?"

4. It gives you a chance to show off.

One of my professors at college said when he was a dancer, he LOOOOOVED auditioning (yes, he actually said it in all caps and bolded) because he said he loved the opportunity to show off. At first, we all laughed and rolled our eyes, but now that I've auditioned, I feel the same exact way. Auditioning is all about showing the people in the front of the room why they should be begging you to be in their company, and the best way to do that is to show them everything you have. Sometimes in regular class, we feel a little self-conscious to show off, but an audition is a perfect place to not give a fuck, push yourself to the front and throw all your craziest tricks. You might even surprise yourself what you can actually do when you're not holding yourself back.

5. It allows you to reinvent yourself.

Maybe you're normally the dancer who likes to hide in the back. Maybe you like to go in the last group for every combo in the center or stand in the corner at the barre. Maybe you're too scared to break free of your typical dancer role, but at an audition, you have the chance to do that in front of a room of people who have no idea what your typical dancer role is. Maybe that day you want to be the girl who stands in the front of the barre or the who stands front and center for every combination. Maybe that day you want to be the guy who always throws a standard triple for every turn or does every jump combo twice. Auditioning gives you the chance to try out different dance personas, and if you don't like it, you can leave that dancer behind in that audition.

6. It brings out your artistry and style.

The biggest thing (besides technique) that they're looking for in an audition is personality, style, and artistry. They want to see beautiful feet and turn out and multiple turns, but they want to be so stunned by your lines and your breath that they can't look away. Auditioning gives you the chance to be almost too artistic, to rely on your technique that you've worked so hard at, and explore your artistry. This is why I think I love auditioning so much, I forget about impressing the people watching me and actually have fun and enjoy for once. And that part is more impressive than how many turns you do or how high your jumps are; if you make them feel something while you're dancing, you're golden.

7. It helps you to create your personal dancer *aesthetic*.

Auditioning turns you into your own personal public relations manager. You get to think things like, "Which leotard cuts look best on me?" and "What skirt length best accentuates my legs?" Or you think, "What do I want my makeup and hair to say about me?" and "What do I want to incorporate to stand out?" Or if you know company dancers like to wear a certain style or cut, you wear your leotard and skirt that best matches that company's look. This also helps to determine your style and artistry, and you actually start to see who you are as a dancer and an artist beyond "I guess I'm good at turning...."

8. It forces you to commit.

Audition is a lot of fucking work. You have to travel all over the country, pay hundreds of dollars in travel and audition fees, miss many days of your previous commitments and put in extra time to pick up what you missed. It's exhausting, grueling and draining, so it weeds out those who aren't committed quickly. And because of that commitment, you're suddenly working a million times harder in your regularly-scheduled classes and rehearsals in order to be in the best shape possible for auditions. Nothing is comfortable anymore, and you're in the best shape and mindset of your life. It really whips you into the best possible version of yourself.

9. You may be surprised where you end up.

I didn't think that larger scale ballet companies were going to like me at all, and although I sent my materials to a few, I was prepared for the worst. So low and behold, when I'm hearing back from these places I never expected to like me, they invited me to their auditions! It's very exciting and confidence-boosting to see that there are indeed companies out there that are interested in you, especially in this difficult and competitive field where most of us are told we'll never get jobs. It helps to show you the hierarchy dancers you're used to literally means nothing outside the bubble of your studio, and you're actually not a worthless dancer just because you're not a favorite.

10. It refreshes your feelings and perspectives on dance.

Whether you're a senior in high school, a college dance major or already in a company, chances are if you're auditioning, you're leaving where you're currently dancing. And if you're anything like me, you might be leaving because you're unhappy with the where you are now. Being unhappy in the studio is literally the worst feeling a dancer can feel considering we built our entire lives on this one thing that we work our asses off for. Being in a new place, with new people in front of you, dancing new things and ready to advertise your best dance qualities helps you to find that happiness again. Putting your best dance-self out there for new work makes you remember why it is you started dancing in the first place and gives you hope for a brighter future in a new place soon.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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