Have a dance audition coming up? You need to do more than simply practice your routine, and make sure you have the right dance outfits ready to go. You also need to prepare for the interview portion of the audition, whether you’re trying out for a dance company or a sports dance team. Your interview could be with a coach or a director in-person, or it could even be with a panel, which can sometimes feel more like an interrogation. These interviews can also take place over the phone. It just depends on the particular organization you’re auditioning for.
Wherever and whenever your interview happens, you need to be ready to nail it. Being a professional dancer means more than having a strong dance background and excellent technique. It also means you’re representing a dance company or a sports team and interacting with their fans, patrons and customers. As a result, you need to be prepared to do your best to leave a lasting positive impression.
Clearly, there’s a lot at stake. So how do you go about preparing for these interviews, so you can nail them and get the gig? Here are a few tips to help you with the process:
Think about what you want the interviewers to know about you.
You don’t want to walk into the interview with a laundry list of details about your background. However, you should focus on three or four facts about you that are important to get across during your interview. For example, you might have experience with a professional dance company already. So that’s something to work into your interview. Likewise, if you know how to speak another language, volunteer to tutor immigrant children in English, and also are going to school to earn a degree in broadcast journalism, those are other pieces of information about your background that can help you stand out.
Remember, it’s important to talk about your dance background and experience, along with the skills and expertise you have. At the same time, it’s important to come across as a real person with a strong work ethic and a positive attitude. Any details that can showcase these attributes should be shared with the interviewer.
Be ready to answer common dance interview questions, from your choice of dance outfits to your technique.
When it comes to dance interviews, there are some common questions that most dancers are asked. That’s why it makes sense to prepare for them ahead of time. If you know you don’t do well in an interview setting – due to nerves – then ask a fellow dancer or friend to conduct a mock interview with you. That way, you can practice you answers and get a better sense of areas that need work in your interview performance. You'll walk into the interview with more confidence as a result.
To help you best prepare, here are a few common questions you might get asked during your dance interview:
Be professional in all that you do and treat everyone with respect.
Just as you would for a job interview, make sure you’re as professional as possible during the interview portion of your dance audition. This means:
Demonstrate your passion if you want to stand out in a sea of other dancers.
When it comes to considering dancers to hire, companies want those individuals who are truly passionate about what they do. For them, dancing is not just side hobby or an activity to enjoy. So if you live and breathe dancing – beyond just the cute dance outfits – you need to demonstrate this during the interview. To do this, you can tell a story about what dancing means to you, or talk about how you first got into dance. When you do so successfully, it communicates to the interviewers that you’re willing to do what it takes and go the extra mile in order to be successful.
Handle rejection with grace.
If you find out you didn’t win the part, then you have to handle the situation with grace. Don’t get angry and send off a nasty email to those you interviewed with. Again, you’re probably going to have to face these people again some time in the future if you want a career in dance. And you don’t want to burn any bridges with a bad attitude. So even if you are upset or feel like you didn’t get a fair shot, take heart. There will always be another audition and another chance to win your dream role or dance job.
In the meantime, if there were any areas of the interview where you know it didn’t go well, then focus on improving, so you don’t make the same mistake next time. You might not have been as prepared as you wanted to be; or maybe you were running late or didn't wear an appropriate dance outfit. Whatever the case, even the smallest details matter to those interviewing you. So be sure that the next time you go to a dance interview, you do everything you can to leave behind the best impression possible.