Feature: Top Audition Tips from Trinity Laban

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Trinity Laban. Image by JK Photography

Your application is in but now you’ve got to prepare for the next stage – the audition! There’s no doubt that auditions can be a daunting and nerve-wracking experience, so as the season approaches, we’ve revealed some secrets for success from a Trinity Laban audition expert.

1. Research the day and what you’ll have to prepare

Each audition day will be different, so make sure you know what it will entail. At Trinity Laban we don’t ask candidates to prepare a solo but other schools may do. In either case, make sure you’re prepared for all elements of the day – including things like travelling to and from the audition and lunch provisions.
Your research should also extend to the different schools you’ve applied to. Reading about a school in a prospectus is completely different to experiencing it for yourself, so keep a look out for Open Days and Summer Schools that you can attend. These can give you an idea of what to expect at an audition and make you feel more confident in approaching it.

2. Get the easy bits right!

Make sure that you’re eating well, keeping hydrated and wearing comfortable dancewear that you feel confident in. Most places will specify basic dance wear – such as ballet shoes for a ballet class and tight fitting clothes for a contemporary class – but asides from that, you can play around with colour (which can also help a panel identify you) and expressing yourself as long as you’re comfortable!

3. Show you’re engaged

It might seem silly to say, but things like leaning on the barre or talking whilst an exercise is going on is distracting and can suggest you’re not fully committed to the audition. Ask questions, be alert and remember that you’re being auditioned on all aspects – not just how good your technique is.

4. Be open-minded

Whenever I’m auditioning people, I’m not looking for the finished article. I’m looking for those who are prepared to take a risk and have a go even if it is outside their comfort zone. Some people have been training in dance since they were three, whilst others find even the thought of improvisation paralysing. But the ones who stand out are the ones who put themselves out there even if something is not their strength – if you go wrong, do it with confidence! How you cope with mistakes can say a lot about you as a dance artist.

5. Show your strengths, don’t focus on your weaknesses

Contrary to popular belief, auditions aren’t designed to trip you up! At Trinity Laban, we’re looking for potential and what you might be able to bring to your three years training regardless of previous experience. I love it when candidates come from a variety of backgrounds, including non-contemporary dance styles such as hip hop, because they bring something different and refreshing to the audition. Showcase what you’re good at and what makes you different from others.

6. Remember the interview

Most schools will have some form of interview as part of an audition day, and this is just as important as the practical work so make sure you prepare for this! It’s a good idea to think about some basic questions that you’ll probably be asked, but not so much that your responses will sound rehearsed e.g. why have you applied for a professional training in dance; why does this particular programme appeal to you; where do you see yourself in the future? Don’t make your answers overly generic – at Trinity Laban we want to know specifically why you’ve applied to us (not only why you’ve applied for dance training)!

7. Positivity

Lastly, remember to have fun and relax! No one knows better than the members of the audition panel how scary auditions can be, and they’re there to encourage you to do your best. Everyone auditioning is in the same boat as you and you’re more likely to do your best when you’re alert but not tense and anxious!

Trinity Laban applications for BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance are still open and close on 15 January 2018. For more information, please visit: trinitylaban.ac.uk/dance

For more information on Trinity Laban Open Days, Summer Schools and other activities please visit: trinitylaban.ac.uk/take-part

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