StEPS: The Dos and Don’ts of Applying and Auditioning for Dance Programs

StEPS: The Dos and Don’ts of Applying and Auditioning for Dance Programs

The Dos and Don’ts of Applying and Auditioning for Dance Programs

Applying and auditioning for dance programs can be a thrilling yet nerve-wracking process. Whether you're a seasoned dancer or just starting, knowing how to navigate this process with professionalism and grace can make all the difference. Here, we break down the essential dos and don’ts to help you shine in your next audition.

Do: Communicate Professionally

Respectful and Timely Communication

  • Be Proactive: Respond promptly to communication from programs. If you're waiting for responses from multiple places, let everyone know your situation respectfully.
  • Follow Up: If you need to decline an offer or have made a decision, communicate it politely and promptly. This leaves a positive impression and keeps doors open for future opportunities.

Don’t: Leave Anyone Guessing

Avoid Delays and Non-Responses

  • Don’t Be Unresponsive: Keeping a program waiting without communication can come off as unprofessional. Always update them on your status, even if you’re still making decisions.
  • Don’t Burn Bridges: The dance world is small. Maintaining respectful and professional relationships is crucial for long-term success.

Do: Prepare Thoroughly

Research and Understand Expectations

  • Know the Program: Research the programs you're applying to and understand their specific requirements and expectations.
  • Tailor Your Material: Choose audition material that showcases your strengths and aligns with what the program values.

Present Yourself Well

  • Dress Appropriately: Wear attire that allows you to perform comfortably and shows off your form. If a program specifies a dress code, follow it.
  • Be Ready for Anything: Have all necessary equipment and attire, including different types of shoes and rehearsal clothing. Bring water and snacks to stay energized.

Don’t: Wing It

Avoid Last-Minute Preparation

  • Don’t Skimp on Practice: Ensure your performance is well-rehearsed. Try your audition outfit in class beforehand to avoid wardrobe malfunctions.
  • Don’t Overthink: If you’re a perfectionist, set a limit on the number of takes for video auditions. Treat it like a live performance.

Do: Show Enthusiasm and Professionalism

Engage and Express

  • Perform with Energy: Show that you care and want to be there. Your enthusiasm can be as important as your technical skills.
  • Present Your Best Self: Be confident and let your personality shine through your performance.

Mentally and Physically Prepare

  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Rest well the night before your audition.
  • Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Eat a balanced meal and drink plenty of water.
  • Breathe and Stay Calm: Practice deep breathing to manage nerves and keep your focus.

Don’t: Let Setbacks Discourage You

Rejection is Redirection

  • Don’t Take Rejection Personally: Understand that not every audition will lead to acceptance. Use rejections as learning experiences and opportunities to grow.
  • Don’t Overreact: A single setback doesn’t define your career. Keep moving forward and stay positive.

Homework Assignment: Take Ownership and Be Proactive

Research and Communicate

  • Conduct Research: Dive deep into the programs you’re interested in. Understand their culture, values, and what they’re looking for in applicants.
  • Practice Communication: Start taking charge of your communications. Email your teachers, coaches, and potential programs with professionalism and clarity. Always CC your parent or guardian if you’re a minor.

Reflect and Grow

  • Handle Rejection Positively: Reflect on how you deal with rejection and consider it as redirection. Think about past instances where rejection led to new opportunities and how you can apply that mindset going forward.

Auditioning is a skill in itself, separate from your dancing abilities. By preparing thoroughly, communicating effectively, and maintaining a positive mindset, you can navigate the audition process with confidence and professionalism. Remember, every experience is a step forward in your dance journey. Good luck!


For more insights and detailed guidance, you can follow Mindy Jackson on Instagram or visit the Steps on Broadway website to explore their programs. Whether you’re attending in person or virtually, the right preparation and mindset can set you on the path to success in the dance world.


Continue your Education for yourself and your students with the StEPS Initiative Course!

About the StEPS Initiative Course

This course started in part with our charity event we created to save dance studios. Then we decided to keep it a free resource for the dance community. You can learn all about it below.

As part of our commitment to education and creating a safe space for all dancers, we are excited to introduce the StEPS Initiative Course. This has been curated by Apolla and donated from experts and professionals in each topic. 

Our goal in creating this course is to give dance teachers continuing education/professional development, give dancers the power of education, and provide parents the knowledge to see red flags. Each section has actionable items that can unite dance studios focused on equity and creating a safe space for every dancer. This course gives evidence-based information, some perspective & qualitative information, dance history, and further resources that can help you learn something new that helps progress and strengthen your studio OR solidify what you already have in place. There is something for everyone! 

This course is free for EVERYONE (Apolla has covered the cost and the presenters have donated the course content). These are meant to be introductions and actionable items for you. We know this is not a silver bullet to fix every issue or topic that needs to be addressed in dance. Each topic is deep and broad on its own. However, we aim for this to be the first step for some of us in these topics and even serves as a small catalyst for change in our industry. You will see there are also many resources that can allow you to expand your journey further in any of the subjects. With all that 2020 has thrown at all of us, we are determined to heal through listening, grow from adversity through action, and rise up by bringing everyone together. In the end, we will create a space open wide for the new generation of artists and athletes to ring in the new decade stronger and safer than ever!

https://apollaperformance-stepsinitiative.thinkific.com/courses/start


Watch our Beyond the StEPS Episode on: “What are the dos and don'ts of applying and auditioning?” With our hosts Bri and Melissa, and special guests Mindy Jackson!


Previous post
Next post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

x