Got the moves? Want to work on Broadway and beyond? Here is some great audition advice from Broadway’s professional dancers:
1. Nili Bassman
Nili Bassman has been seen on Broadway in “Curtains,” “Never Gonna Dance” and “Chicago.” Here’s her advice:
“The most important thing to bring into a room at a Broadway dance audition (or any audition, for that matter) is you. One-of-a-kind, beautiful, flawed you. Directors, choreographers and music directors want to see individuals with points of views — dancers with an awareness of who they are and access to all of that beautiful uniqueness. Steps can be refined and drilled during rehearsals, but presence, passion, creativity and personality cannot be taught. You’ve studied technique your entire life. Trust that. The audition room is the place to leave class behind and dance from your soul. All dancers are actors. We tell stories with our bodies. So, use the choreography presented to you to tell a story. Bring your life experience to the dance and make it your own. Have fun! Think of every audition as an opportunity to perform and leave your heart and soul and joy in the room. That is why we dance. That is why others are moved by dance. And yes, warm up, eat a snack and bring water and extra shoes!”
2. Correy West
Correy West has been seen on Broadway in “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “South Pacific.”
Here’s his advice:
“I think the most important thing in a dance audition is to know your strengths and use them to your advantage. I used to spend so much time getting intimidated by the guys who were the most flexible or the ones who could do the most turns, but at the end of the day, there is only one you. If that shines through and you feel like you couldn’t have done anything else towards getting the part when you leave the room, it was a success!”
3. Justin Boccitto
Justin Boccitto is a New York City performer, teacher, director, choreographer and producer. His work has been seen Off-Broadway, regionally and beyond. He is also the executive director of The Group Theatre Too and the creator of Choreographer’s Canvas. And, if you like what he has to say, you can take a dance class from him at Broadway Dance Center.
Here’s his advice:
“Being on the other side of the table, I find the following things extremely important at dance calls:
- Invest in some nice dancewear. If you look good and feel good in your clothes, you will exude confidence. We spot that immediately.
- Work on your kicks and turns. These are two things that I use to quickly weed people out of the mix. You want high kicks and at least a triple pirouette.
- Tell a story with the combo. Even if the choreographer hasn’t given a lot of direction, don’t be passive in your performance. Make a specific choice and commit to it.”
4. Stephanie Bissonnette
Stephanie Bissonnette is an accomplished New York City dancer who has now joined the company of “Mean Girls” as it heads toward Broadway and its first regional premiere at the National Theatre.
Here’s her advice:
“I would say my biggest advice would be to just be yourself. Often the final decision is made because of a certain minor detail. Don’t take anything personally. Just keep getting up and heading to those auditions every day. You never know which one will be the one to skyrocket your career.”
5. Jeffry Denman
Jeffry Denman is an accoladed Broadway performer (“White Christmas,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “Cats,” “Dream”), director, choreographer, playwright, author and founder of the Denman Theatre and Dance Company. Here’s his great advice about reading for a role once you’ve made it past the dance stage:
“If you’re reading sides, get off book as much as you can. If you’ve just been given the sides, don’t worry, but if you’ve had them overnight, get off book. It is the single most effective way to get me to consider you. If I’m watching you simply look into papers, I have no idea how you are as an actor.”
What is your best advice for dance auditions? Let us know in the comments below…