Joffrey Ballet School

How to Create the Perfect Dance Audition Video

At Joffrey, we’re looking forward to a great summer and we can’t wait to see you here!  We are working hard to deliver a great series of intensives across the country while protecting our dancers’ health. We’re also working to set dancers’ and parents’ minds at ease regarding any financial risk by offering $99 insurance policies through A+ Program Protection to protect dancers’ tuition and travel expenses.

We’ll have more on that in a future blog. However, if you’re living in an area where social distancing is the new norm for the next few weeks, or if you simply live far from any of our audition locations and are unable to travel, you might be wondering how you will be able to audition.

The answer is simple: submit a video audition! Here are our tips for creating the perfect dance audition video.

Introduce Yourself

The first part of your video should be a short introduction – no more than 30 seconds. The introduction should be shot in closeup, showing you from the waist up and zoomed in so we can see your face. To create your introduction, stand in front of the camera and give your name, age, where you’re from, why you’d like to study with the Joffrey and the name of the piece you’ll be performing. This is how we’re virtually “meeting” you, so don’t be afraid to let a little of your natural personality shine through!

KISS: Keep It Short and Simple

You don’t need to hire a team of videographers (or enlist multiple friends or family members) to create a great dance audition video. The best audition videos can be shot from a single camera angle and don’t require a professional videographer to create. A friend, fellow dancer or a family member can help. 

One tip for ensuring a high quality video audition is to use a tripod. A tripod will allow you to keep the camera still; it can also be set up at the exact height and angle that will show off your routine to it’s best advantage. When setting up the camera and tripod, it should be set at approximately your chest height.

You also want to keep your attire and backgrounds simple, in order not to detract from your routine. The type of attire you should wear for your video audition will depend on which intensive you want to attend. If you’re auditioning for a ballet intensive, a simple leotard and tights and pointe or other dance shoes would be appropriate. For a hip-hop or musical theater audition, a simple workout type outfit with clean lines will work. Avoid skirts or any baggy attire. In addition, keep in mind that hair can be distracting, so wearing long hair in a bun helps to make for a better video audition.

It’s also important to note that a video audition doesn’t have to be long to be memorable. The ideal length is between 5 and 15 minutes. This will allow you to show us your barre and other fundamentals, and also one or two short routines that will show us your skills in more depth. Resist the temptation to make your audition tape too long – simply show us your best moves.

Pay Attention to Details

This is your chance to make a great first impression! So before starting, make sure your hair and attire look neat and consider how your choice of attire looks on camera. If your audition space is painted in white or light colors, a white audition outfit won’t show up well. Likewise in a darkened audition space, a dark colored outfit won’t show up well. So make sure that you wear an audition outfit that is visible on camera. 

Another important detail to consider is lighting. Ideally your video audition should be recorded in a well lit space, with either natural light, properly adjusted studio lights or clamp on lights. Avoid excessive backlighting, as this can throw you into silhouette and make your entire routine difficult to see or assess. Remember: light sources should be in front of you, rather than behind. 

Finally, before recording your routine, check the area to make sure that no clutter – such as dance bags or water bottles – has been left out. 

Cover the Basics

Your audition video should show your skills to best advantage, so the routine you select should be one that is appropriate for your level, and shows us your mastery of dance fundamentals. Your audition video should also show your range, including adagio or slow movements, turns and spins, faster movements (petit allegro and grand allegro) and jumps. A few barre exercises on both sides also allows our Artistic Directors to assess your fundamentals. 

Tailor Your Audition

Your audition video should also be tailored for the type of dance intensive you’re planning to attend. But don’t fret if you’re planning to attend an intensive outside your normal area of expertise!  If you’re attending a ballet intensive, but your specialty is hip hop, we want to see those hip hop moves but we also would like to see what ballet or other dance background you have. This will allow us to place you at the right level in your intensive.

Keep Calm and Dance On!

We hope these tips are helpful for those of you who will need to send us a video audition. So, remember to “Keep Calm and Dance On” and if you’re ready to commit to your best summer of dance ever, register with us today!

Avatar JBS Admin (69 Posts)

Founded in 1953 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, Joffrey Ballet School maintains the vision of its founders to transform passionate dance students into versatile, individualistic artists able to collaborate and evolve fluidly in a fast-changing society. With an accredited dance program that offers two core areas of study – ballet and jazz/contemporary – JBS is known for its diverse curriculum and has the largest summer intensive training program in the country.


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Author: JBS Admin

Founded in 1953 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, Joffrey Ballet School maintains the vision of its founders to transform passionate dance students into versatile, individualistic artists able to collaborate and evolve fluidly in a fast-changing society. With an accredited dance program that offers two core areas of study – ballet and jazz/contemporary – JBS is known for its diverse curriculum and has the largest summer intensive training program in the country.

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