Do You Know What Your Face is Saying?

Updated 2018. As we mark the end of audition photo season and you all venture through your auditions, I wanted to talk about something we often see in the studio. Take this tip to heart, even if it sounds like a broken record, because it will help you a lot.

Inevitably, during an audition photo shoot, we work on a particular movement or pose, and once it’s nailed down technically, we want to start working on projecting the energy you want to show the audience; the way you want to use your whole self to communicate through dance. This is super helpful for most dancers because you can see the immediate feedback from the camera to determine whether you succeeded in producing the desired effect.

Usually, we need even more energy and more expression to come through, so we push until we get it. However, on occasion, we see too much gusto, or that the facial expression doesn’t match what the dancer is trying to communicate.

You would be surprised at how often what a dancer thinks their face is conveying is not what it looks like. Or how often what they’re feeling and how that manifests in the image look totally different!

More and more, I remind dancers to practice facial expressions in front of a mirror.  Yes, it makes you feel a little silly in the moment. But it’s worth breaking out of that comfort zone!

This is one of the ways high fashion models have honed their craft.


Improving Your Expression and Communication in Dance Audition Photos

Look for the differences in your smiles

When I shoot headshots, we test this out so that we know where we want your expressions to land

Determine what you look like with different emotions and feelings coming through

Practice a variety of expressions and monitor yourself in the mirror

Take this knowledge to class

Consider attending a class below your level and focus fully on your face for the duration of the class.

Practice different facial expressions

Continue the exercise of working on your facial expressions and improving your awareness of your energy and how you communicate it.

tips for dance auditions face rachel neville nyc dance photographer

Leave a Comment