Planning a career in dance? Here are some things to think about when choosing colleges to apply to plus some audition tips.
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Audition Tips

Professional Dance Training and Dance Teacher Training at Dance For All, Edinburgh.

Here are some dance college audition tips and advice for budding professional dancers. Make sure you also scroll down to check out:

  • Tips to prepare for the day of your audition
  • Questions to ask your prospective colleges
  • Advice from our students, graduates and tutors in the comments

> Find out when our next Audition is.

Dance College Audition Tips

If you attend weekly dance classes, ask your teacher/s for audition advice. Many teachers have also worked as dancers, making it through tough auditions themselves and may be able to give valuable advice.

Do some research: most colleges have a list of their Directors and Tutors on their websites, as well as information on past and upcoming shows, course details, graduate success stories and more.

Try to think about what your priorities are regarding the type of course you are looking for – look at the range and levels of dance genres taught on the course.

Will you have opportunities to take vocational exams? This can often be a good indication of a thorough technical training, alongside performance work.

Do you want to become a dance teacher one day or have teaching as a option – are these qualifications available at your college choices?

What are the dance photos like on the website? Do they demonstrate high standards of technique and of versatile dancers who have had a strong all-round training?

Do they have reviews from students & graduates on their website &/or social media?

All this will give you a feel for each college, what you will be taught and if you can picture yourself there. Many colleges will also hold Open Days during the Winter term, but if you missed an open day you may be able to arrange a visit. Click the tabs below for more advice and tips + what important questions to ask each college you audition for.

Download your FREE Audition Tips + Checklist!


On Audition Day

  • Work out your travel plans in advance and leave plenty of time for your journey – arrive with time to register, change, stretch and warm up for class
  • Familiarise yourself with any requirements, such as dress codes and prepared routines
  • Wear appropriate clothing – the panel want to see your shape – don’t hide under too many layers of jumpers and leg warmers!
  • Bring some water to drink and a snack to boost your energy

At The Audition

Be professional. There’s no need to be pushy, a show-off or overly boastful – the panel are looking for great dancers, but also someone who is willing to learn, responds well to feedback and is enthusiastic and passionate about dance.

If you make a mistake, try not to make a face, stop or show your disappointment – the panel may not notice a small mistake and if they do, they will see you handling it like a professional.

If you are given specific exercises or choreography, do exactly what is asked – don’t tweak the routine to show off, you may have a chance to perform your own piece as well.

If you are given corrections, listen carefully and take them on. This shows the panel have been watching you and are interested enough to want to see more.

Perform as if you are in front of an audience. Smile, show emotion and make eye contact with the panel.

Do let your personality shine through as much as possible. Try to relax and show your level of artistry. Dance colleges want to see your passion and enthusiasm for dance, how you mix in a groupas well as your:

  • motivation
  • determination
  • self-discipline
  • musicality
  • physical ability
  • talent
  • personality

Leave a great impression, thank the panel (and pianist). You can politely ask by which date you will be contacted. Hopefully your audition will be a success, but if you are contacted with bad news treat it as an opportunity for feedback – they may tell you that you’re almost ready and to try again at their next auditions. An audition panel is often most impressed by a return auditionee who has taken on board prior feedback and made a significant improvement.

Good Luck – You’ll be Fantastic!

What to Ask of Your Prospective Dance Training College

It is a good idea to find out some of the following information to compare and help you decide which colleges you want to apply to and, if you’re offered a place at more than one college, where to accept.

  1. What happens during your open day? What’s the format of the Audition day?
  2. What grades or skills are needed for entry onto the course?
  3. Do only a select number of students get to perform each year, or is every student in every year group guaranteed an opportunity to perform?
  4. How many performances are held per year?
  5. The course says “full-time training” – how many hours a week will I be at college?
  6. What styles of dance will be taught?
  7. What qualifications will I get?
  8. What are the fees and are there any additional expenses?
  9. At the end of my course, what range of career options will I have in front of me?
  10. Where are your dance graduates working?
  11. What funding will I have access to?

We go into more detail with each question above + share the answers you can expect from Dance For All on this post: Questions to ask when applying to dance college


Got any questions or want us to post out the documents to you? Contact us:

You can also call the office on 0131 226 5533 if you have any questions or want us to post out the documents to you – please give us your name, telephone / mobile number and your address for posting.

Audition Tips on the Web

Here are some Audition Tips videos our freelance Web Manager Jeda Pearl has found on the YouTube. Please note Dance For All is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Teenager with experience of getting through auditions for Laine Theatre Arts college in Surrey gives 10 tips on auditioning for dance college, with some amusing bloopers at the end!

Australian teenager gives a seven minute ‘dance audition guide’ which also covers larger open auditions but with some interesting advice on clothing and hair, though we wouldn’t recommend you bring a suitcase to your audition at Dance For All!

Theresa Ruth Howard, Ailey tutor and author of Don’t get Cut, is interviewed by Pointe Magazine’s senior editor, giving her top auditioning tips.

Theresa Ruth Howard is a former dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem and Armitage Gone! Dance. She teaches at the renowned Ailey School and is a regular contributor to Pointe and Dance Magazine.

Short video from Slanted Dance, who are based in Norfolk, with a few audition tips from their guest tutors.

Professional Dance Training and Dance Teacher Training at Dance For All, Edinburgh.

If you’d like to apply to Dance For All – find out when our next Auditions are.

MORE TIPS: Make sure you scroll down to check out the comments below, with tips from our students, graduates and tutors. 

Download your FREE Audition Tips + Checklist!


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8 Responses to "Audition Tips"

Add Comment
  1. Irene Allison

    March 16, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    I really feel when you decide to train as a professional dancer you need to really do your research.
    Look at all the different courses there are and work out which ones are the best for you. Visit them and see what kind of feeling/vibe you get from it and judge if it’s a place you can get what you want in your dance training. Have an idea of what kind of work you are interested in when you complete your training. This will help you decide if a college is right for you.
    At the audition be confident and assured of what you’re looking for in your training.

  2. Jeda - Website Admin

    March 11, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Some excellent tips from our 3rd-year college student Shannah McCann

    * Warm up before your audition, even if there is a warm-up planned with the teacher. This will allow you to perform to your full potential.

    * Make sure you are in a space you can be seen, don’t hide behind someone else. If you can’t see them, they can’t see you.

    * Be prepared for anything! If you aren’t comfortable in a genre of dance, don’t worry, they’re looking for potential not perfection.

    * Be confident even though if you aren’t. If you believe in yourself everyone else will follow.

    * If you have a question… ASK! No question is a stupid question.

    * The panel like communication, make eye contact. Nod or shake your head or better yet… speak to them.

    * Have questions prepared, when you have your interview you will be given the chance to ask.

  3. Steinvor Palsson

    February 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    My advice for auditioning would be to do some research beforehand if you can. Speak to dancers who may have done similar work. If it’s a company, check out the website, look at YouTube links. Most importantly though: be yourself and not someone you think the panel/choreographer is looking for. On a personal note, I auditioned for a dancing part in a Paramount film back in the 80’s. It was a period film and I took time to select clothes that I’d bought in a secondhand market ages before. I went into the audition being ‘inwardly’ myself but ‘externally’ I was dressed appropriately for the part which ultimately gave me confidence. Most importantly, develop a thick skin! You might have to audition many times but my advice is to keep going and the right job will come up for you.

    • Jeda - Website Manager

      February 13, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Great advice from one of our tutors – thanks Steinvor.

  4. Tracy Hawkes

    February 11, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Try to show some individuality whilst dancing – we are not looking for clones but for dancers with personality, charisma and drive, young people who have the potential to make it in the profession through hard work and application on a course that will provide them with all the skills necessary for a successful and prolonged dance career. Don’t be afraid to say what your goals are in the interview not just what you think the panel want to hear – we can make better informed decisions that way especially when this is going to affect the rest of your life.

    • Jeda - Website Manager

      February 11, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Thanks Tracy – words of wisdom from our Principal Director.

  5. Jeda - Website Manager

    February 10, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks Hazel!
    One tip I liked from the girl in the first video, was not to worry too much about being totally perfect, as dance colleges are also looking for Potential.

    Good Luck!

  6. Hazel

    February 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    For auditions my advice would be;

    Get to the front so you are seen
    Look groomed
    Act confident



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