For those of us who haven’t been taking jazz, tap and ballet since before we could walk, dance auditions come with a lot of stress. How fast will the combination be? How much time will you have to learn it? How many counts will it be? And, importantly, what will you wear?
Deciding what to wear to a dance audition is not easy. Sure, you should be comfortable in your outfit, but what will your attire say to those casting the musical? Should you go with a basic T-shirt and leggings, or be a little more risque a la “Chicago?”
Don’t worry, dance newbies. We went ahead and asked six professional performers what they wear to sashay their way to to the front of the line at every dance call:
Chris Rice (‘Book of Mormon’)
The Importance of Your Outfit: Whatever you wear, I would make sure you feel confident in it. You are booking the job, not your clothes. That said, you want to make sure you are showcased in the best way possible. I never recommend dressing in costume, but dressing in the world of the character isn’t a bad idea. Don’t show up in a floor-length gown if you are auditioning for “Next to Normal,” but choose something flattering that makes you feel confident.
Danny Gardner (‘Crazy for You’)
Go-To Dance Audition Outfit: My go-to dance audition attire is lululemon slacks, a black T-shirt and, depending upon the audition, a button-down.
The Importance of Your Outfit: I like wearing slacks to an audition because in my mind, that’s what you’ll probably be wearing in a show. But, whatever makes you feel confident and looking good, go for it!
Jack Mastrianni (‘A Christmas Story’)
Go-To Dance Audition Outfit: I’ll usually wear a colored V-neck shirt from lulu (they are presentable but have a lot of give), jazz pants and a dance belt. Then, depending on the call, jazz shoes, character shoes, sneakers, etc.
The Importance of Your Outfit: Colors matter! The brighter, the better — you have to grab their attention from the start.
Kelly Swint (‘Love Never Dies’)
Go-To Dance Audition Outfit: I take into account many variables when choosing my outfit (how the outfit makes me feel, which type of character I’m going in for, how old the character is, the style/era of the show, etc.). That being said, I almost always wear a black skirt and my tan LaDuca heels! I usually get creative with the style of shirt I’m wearing as long as the top still allows for casting to see the line of my body.
The Importance of Your Outfit: What I wear to an audition 100 percent has an effect on my performance. I’ll give an example to help show my point. I got into a dance call for the musical “Gypsy.” Although I could fit in as a Hollywood blonde, I was gunning for Dainty June because it’s a role I think I’d be great for. So, I show up to the call with my hair in literal pigtails, a bright-pink sports bra, a little tennis skirt and these ridiculous character heels I have (from a past show) that are bright pink with bows on them. In my head, I was like, “Nailing it.” Long story short, the call ended up being solely for the three strippers in the show. Yup. Not only was Dainty June already cast, but they weren’t even looking for Hollywood blondes. So there I am looking like an actual second-grader trying to feel all sexy and mature while doing a striptease. Nightmare!
Advice: Feeling good during the audition is the most important part of auditioning. Do whatever you can to help you get in the mindset of the show without compromising who you are.
Andrea Dotto (‘Bandstand,’ ‘Mary Poppins’)
Go-To Dance Audition Outfit: My go-to combination is a wrap skirt (I can play with it while I dance, and they are flattering for any shape) and a crop top. I work hard for these Broadway arms! I gotta give them some airtime!
The Importance of Your Outfit: You have to wear something that you feel totally comfortable in. If you are busy adjusting your outfit, you could be missing valuable information from casting or creative. Seek out an outfit with a hint of your own personal style. Don’t hit them over the head with your extra-special authenticity, but leave them curious about who you are and what you do. The “It” factor should come across in your look and your performance.
Barbara Jo Bednarczuk (‘War Paint’)
Go-To Audition Outfit: I love a classic leotard and tights look with LaDucas when the style of the show leans in that direction. For something more modern and pedestrian, I go with a cropped legging, tank and sneakers.
The Importance of Your Outfit: When I feel comfortable in what I’m wearing, I’m much more comfortable in the audition room!