We are all familiar with submission videos. Every show and competition that asks for them clearly outlines what they are looking for and how they would like to receive it. But as pole dancing grows and more shows and performance opportunities surface, physical auditions are finding their way into our world as well. How are these different and what can you do to be prepared? Follow these steps to have the best experiences and best chances of getting the casting you desire!
Arrive early & Dress to impress
Always arrive 15-30 minutes early to your audition. You will want and need adequate time to get signed in, changed, and, if the audition does not include it as part of the process, time to get warmed up. Arriving right on time or late will not only eliminate your time to do those things, but may even result in being turned away from the audition. This is your first chance to show that you are excited to be a part of the show and reliable as a cast member.
You will also want to dress for the part. Are you auditioning for a contemporary role? A sexy role? Something circusy? Make sure you show that you have done your research for the show and allow your attire to reflect that. Not only will it help you fit aesthetically what the auditioners are looking for, but looking good and well put together will help you feel at the top of YOUR game as well.
Find your way front and center
If there is any opportunity when you are not assigned a position in the room, make every effort to be near the front and center. This will give you the best vantage point to fully see all of the choreographic details while they are being instructed while also showing that you are confident in your abilities to perform. (If you’re not 100%, just fake it til you make it! Your willingness to put yourself out there will count for more than you expect!)
When performing the full choreography, if you have the opportunity to go in groups or select your group, go in the first group you feel confident in. If you don’t quite feel confident yet, wait one more round so that you can shine without feeling dependent on watching others. Auditioners want to see you succeed just as much as you do, they’re on your side!
Pole is a very individualized art form. Not every person has the same strengths, and there might be some moves or transitions that you haven’t learned or just aren’t a great fit for your body. This is your time to show that you are quick on your feet and can fill those gaps without being needing excessive help from the choreographers. Maybe your body just doesn’t wrap around the pole in an allegra but you have a killer scorpio variation. Or maybe there’s an intricate tumble in the middle of the combo that you don’t feel safe completely but you can gracefully dismount while filling the space in the music until your next cue.
Often times auditions are built to get a general idea of your abilities and a great idea of your style. If you can show you’re easy to work with and can nail the style, there are always a million tricks that the choreographer could use in the actual choreography that will be just as effective and showcase your strengths.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when given the opportunity
Being a quick learner is important, but it is also very important to show that you have a keen eye for detail. Do you best to pick up as much as possible by sight, but if you have questions about intention, stylistic direction, or choreographer’s preference, those are things you can only learn by asking. This will also show your interest in the movement as a whole rather than just the tricks.
I cannot stress this enough!! Be polite. This is hands down the most important tip to finding success in auditions. Chances are at any audition, there are dozens of dancers who are plenty qualified for any one position. Sometimes the one factor that will set you aside from everyone else in the room is your personality. If you are selected for a role, you will be working closely and regularly with a choreographer for the next few weeks, months, or longer. They want to know not only that you will learn the choreography efficiently and retain detail, but also that this will be a positive experience for everyone involved.
A poor attitude shows disrespect not only to the choreographer and other individuals involved with the hiring process of the show, but also the other dancers who are putting their best feet forward and trying to focus on having successful auditions themselves. Similarly, be open to any and all opportunities. Never indicate that you feel you are “too good” to audition for any certain role. You never know what details the auditioners might be gleaning from each bit of choreography (sometimes they are casting for roles you won’t see any parts of during the audition!) But a good rule of thumb is this: if you feel you are above any role in a show, that show will turn back and let you know they above having you be a part of their show.
Auditioning, like any skill, is something that often gets more comfortable with experience. If you get the opportunity, participate in as many auditions as you can just for the experience of going through the process. (Note: if you plan to do this, be sure to check in advance that this is allowed and you are not agreeing to be available to perform by attending the audition.) Auditioning can be a scary process, but if you prepare correctly and go into each audition with an open mind and heart, it can be very rewarding…all the way until the final bow.