Dance Audition Tips | Student Blog

Monday, Jan 21, 2019
Moscelyne ParkeHarrison
Admissions Blog
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An orange backpack
Headed into 2019 with a bright and curious attitude!

Oh auditions—

To master auditioning is indeed an art in of itself. Even the best artists can completely freeze up in an audition setting. I’ve auditioned for countless dance opportunities from summer intensives to casting of a show to colleges, and finally dance companies. Each and every time I learn something new about myself. But the most important thing that I have learned is that every day is an audition. Every day someone is watching you and the opportunity to be recognized is always around the corner.

I finished an important audition circuit during winter break. As a senior we have the opportunity to go to Europe to start making connections with dance companies. This intense period of searching for the next step of my career is strangely parallel to my experience of auditioning for colleges. After some reflection I realized that my most valuable audition tips lie in the past. It has taken me four years and many auditions to take stock of this!

Mossy and a group of friends
While traveling, my friends and I crossed paths as we traveled to separate auditions
The stage at a theatre
A friend from a past summer program who’s in the Berlin Philharmonic invited me to a performance, and having been in the presence of such seasoned artists inspired me as I went into my auditions 

I auditioned for Juilliard with the same sort of halfhearted fantasy that one enters the lottery. I was encouraged by my friends and teachers, yet no one thought I would get beyond the first round in the notorious audition process. Juilliard was also the last of 24 auditions that I battled through my senior year. I laid myself on the line for ballet companies, college BFA programs, and certificate programs in dance. Thus I entered this building thoroughly wrung out. That day I danced purely for me. I stopped trying to give people what I thought they wanted to see and instead I reveled in the moment, I reveled in me and the thrill of moving someone else. Early in my freshman year I told a faculty member that people had said I was not supposed to be chosen for this school. The teacher responded, “You are supposed to be here. We don’t make mistakes.” Those words freed me to begin my true journey.

A plate of food
There's nothing like a good meal after an audition! I tend to get nervous and forget to eat (other than chocolate, my go-to audition snack); this melange is from a vegan restaurant in Basel.

Since that audition day, I've continually tried to search for that frightening balance of having no power in a decision that people will make and my ability to communicate through my body. I must be authentically myself to continue forward and communicate my truest passion through movement.

Three friends stand in the street
Mio, Chase, Sean, and I exploring Place Stanislas in Nancy, France 

I try to reclaim the essence of being true to myself and enjoying myself in each audition I undertake. The rule holds true as I attend cattle-call auditions and private auditions across Europe, Canada, and the U.S., and even when entering a new environment. To be oneself is to have no regrets regardless of the outcome of the audition. I think this is actually the most important part of auditioning: the moment after a result is given. Either you can revel in the pleasure of victory and disregard further development of your strengths and addressing your weaknesses, or you can let a rejection ruin your spirit. I make sure to make each audition an opportunity to learn and experience regardless of the outcome, and to enjoy the journey.

A shot of the city from a plane
After 17 days on the road, NYC never looked so good!