For Dancers: 5 tips for Getting the Most out of Your Audition Photos

It feels like we were just climbing out of hibernation from last winter and suddenly Thanksgiving has come and gone. That also means it’s time to ready yourself for audition season, starting with your images and video reels!

  1. Do your research
  • Know your audience and who you’re targeting

  • Know the key players in the company, the rep they perform, their marketing

  • Find out what are they’re looking for

  • Show how you can fit into their image through your audition photos and video. This means thinking about everything from the leotards you wear to how classical or contemporary your poses are.
dancer in blue, arabesque, dance photo
Alexandra Terry

Doing all of this shows that you did your research and that you’re invested in what you bring to the table as a candidate for their company. It shows you care and bothered to put in some effort.

  1. Treat your shoot like you would a show
  • Don’t schedule anything else on the day of your shoot. You want to be fueled and focused. Understand that you’ll be tired by the end.

  • This applies to the day before. Make sure you are hydrated, eat well, be kind to your body, and get a good night’s sleep so you can be well rested and ready to conquer the camera!
  1. Leotards
  • Bring more than you think you need and even bring the ones you don’t love. Sometimes what looks good in person does not translate well to camera.

  • Borrow what you don’t have. We have our own stock of pieces to choose from, but we always encourage you to bring as many as you have to start.
dancer in white, ballet dancer, dance photo
Anya Lydon

Leotards are such a huge factor for audition photos, and last year, we put together an updated leotard guide to help make it easier for you to pick and choose the best styles and colors. You can access the full guide here.

  1. Makeup
  • When doing an audition shoot, you should always make sure you get headshots too.

  • Makeup for your headshots should be natural. This isn’t the time to shoot for glamor. You want to make sure that whatever images you share with potential employers actually look like you!

  • For dance shots, make your makeup heavier so that your face still shows up. We always suggest aiming for a middle ground between your street makeup and full-on stage face.
headshot, red lip, dancer headshot
Kennedy Roese

Need some more guidance? We asked some of the makeup artists we work with at the studio on their advice, and you can read what they had to say here.

  1. Test your lines and angles
  • Find what works best on your body. It may take some trial and error, but everybody is different, and sometimes it takes many, many test shots before you’ll find the right angle, the right pose to show off the best of you.

We go into more detail of this in our video tutorials on dancing for the camera.

And then, of course, there’s a whole other world of details to consider for your video reel. More to come on videos, but to start, here are a couple things to keep in mind:

Keep the video short and sweet.

It should be no longer than 3 minutes, and if showing a variation, be sure that your strengths are highlighted in the first 10 seconds. Directors don’t have the time to sit through and study each video, and sometimes they might only have a minute to watch yours. So be sure that the best of you is on display right away!

Make sure you include a brief introduction where you introduce yourself, where you dance/train, and thank them for taking the time to watch. Some companies will even specify to those submitting videos what information they need you to include in your audition reel.

dancer in red, rachel neville photo
Ava Namar

That’s it for now. Keep an eye out for a blog post all about audition videos, and in the meantime, let me know what you need, what questions you have, and how we can work with your schedule to book you for your shoot! Happy Thanksgiving!

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