How to choose the ideal audition outfit
The age-old dilemma of ‘what should I wear?’ seems more important than ever when you consider that your appearance can make or break at an audition. Of course talent comes in to play (well, usually – but that’s another story!). But if the panel are looking at two people of equal talent, and one looks like they just stepped out of an Energetiks photo shoot, and the other looks like they spent the night on the street outside, who do you think the panel will choose?
Dancing is, unfortunately, a very shallow industry. And let’s be honest, if you look good, you feel good. And if you feel good, you’ll dance well. And if you dance well, you might just get the part! So here are some top tips for choosing the perfect outfit for your next big audition.
- Dress for your shape. Dancers can come in any shape and size, and different roles call for different body types. So don’t freak out and wear something that doesn’t suit you, just because you think ‘everyone else will be wearing this’. If you’re not comfortable in a crop top and booty shorts, don’t wear them. You’ll spend the whole time feeling self-conscious and you won’t dance your best. Equally, if you’ve got rockin’ abs, flaunt them! Show off your best assets. Personally, I was always happiest in a leotard and cut off tights, simple and flattering. Think carefully about what suits your body best.
- That in mind, you also need to dress for the role. There’s no point going to a hip hop audition in a ballet leotard with a bun. If there are any descriptions of what the casting director is looking for on the audition ad, pay attention. If they want Vegas showgirls, then you’re probably going to need to show a bit of leg. If they’re looking for the next hip hop crew, baggy pants and bright colours it is. Use your common sense and you’ll be fine.
- I cannot stress enough how important it is to ROAD TEST your outfit. If you’ve decided to buy a new outfit for an audition, make sure you dance in it first. There is nothing worse than being front and centre, starting to learn the audition routine, and realising that every time you stretch your arms up in your brand new spaghetti strap crop top, you’re about to expose yourself (eek!) to the panel. And then you’ll spend the rest of the audition dancing like a robot who can’t lift their arms above 90 degrees to protect your dignity. And who’s going to hire a robot for the next cast of Wicked? So wear your new outfit to class, or at the very least, put it on at home and do ten minutes of crazy dancing to 80s music in the living room (any excuse really) and check that it’s not going to let you down. Your outfit should be working for you, not against you.
- Don’t forget your Make-up. Leave yourself plenty of time to get glammed up. Try not to go too overboard though, you don’t want your face dripping down your neck while you’re sweating it out in a tiny room full of hundreds of people. A good rule to stick by is wear the make-up you would usually wear to class, plus a little extra touch like a lipstick or some eyelashes. If you never wear makeup to dance and suddenly you shovel it on for an audition, you might find that you’re that person who can’t tolerate eyeliner when you sweat. And then you’ve got two red eyes full of eyeliner residue, and you can’t see, and you end up bumping into another dancer looking super crazy with black tears running down your face. So wear the level of make-up you’re used to and can handle. And AVOID LIP GLOSS if your hair is down. You’ll look like a yeti once all your hair is stuck to your lips, and since you’re trying to be professional, you can’t move it off your face until you’ve stopped dancing. #Awkward.
- Hairstyle is also important, and like your outfit, it should be appropriate to the role. You also need to consider your comfort zone. If you always dance with your hair up, don’t suddenly wear it down as it will change your centre of balance. Those triple pirouettes you always nail in class might be off-centre because of it. But if you like to dance with your hair out and free, then you should be true to yourself. Unless you’re auditioning for the Australian Ballet. Bun-heads only in that case.
- Choose one little ‘extra’ to express your personality. I had a friend who always wore a bright flower in her hair for every audition. It didn’t matter what she was wearing, if she had a high pony tail or a French roll, she always had a flower of some description pinned to her hair. That was her thing. You can have a thing! Maybe it’s a pair of sparkly studs, or a collection of 30 MAC lipsticks that you rotate for every audition. Maybe it’s your hot pink manicure, or your secret lucky undies. Find something that gives you a little kick of confidence. And be proud of who you are.
So don’t stress over what everyone else is wearing. When you’re dancing, your clothes should be the last thing on your mind. And if you’re thinking ‘why am I wearing a crop top, I hate crop tops’ or ‘my hair is about to fall out and my pins are going to fly everywhere’, then you won’t be thinking about the combination the choreographer just taught you, or about showing them your beautiful smile. Everyone’s different. And there’s no winning outfit that everyone should wear. It’s just about choosing something that makes you feel awesome. So next time you’re standing in front of the wardrobe worrying about it, take a step back, relax, and remember, you’re pretty special the way you are, so just be you.
These words of wisdom were brought to you by Energetiks Writer Emily.