Auditions pictures are an important part of the life of a dancer. You’ve worked all these years to perfect your craft and your art and you need to demonstrate to a jury that you are worthy of a spot in an audition. Your audition pictures are your resume. As much as there are tips to write better resumes, there are tips to prepare audition pictures and put all the chances on your side.

Wear bright and contrasting colors on your audition photos

What to wear is an important part of looking at your best on your audition pictures.

Natascha Mair, Principal dancer at Wiener Staatsballett, wearing Dance by Lina dance wear

Natascha Mair, Principal dancer at Wiener Staatsballett, wearing Dance by Lina dance wear

We often think that black is the go-to color to look slender. So many people claim that “black makes you look slimmer”? Well, it doesn’t on pictures or videos (neither in real life if you ask me but that’s not the point). Black absorbs all visible light. On a photo, black leotards have little contrast, shadow, and depth. It is the optical volume created by contrast, shadow and depth that will make you look slender. You want contrast, shadows and depth to beautify your curves and lines.

In addition, bright colors are joyful. The jury will more easily associate you with a happy emotion if you wear anything other than black. Our dance wear partner, Dance by Lina, understood that and propose lots of bright and colourful items.

Choose colors that highlight your skin type. Make a quick search on the internet about Seasonal skin tone, or 4 season color analysis to get some ideas of what suits you best. And if you need to choose between two shades of the same color, take the brighter and lighter one.

Have a list of the auditions photos you need

To avoid any last minute issue, make a list of the most requested poses and positions in advance of your shooting. Don’t limit yourself to the list you have from the auditions you’re applying to. Imagine that, the day after your photoshoot, you find a new audition notice and it requires a photo of you in dégagé devant en croisé and you don’t have it because it was not required by the others. Then you have to rush and find a way to take that one picture. Save yourself the hassle and make an exhaustive list.

Search all the main companies and schools and list everything you can find. Don’t worry, there will be a lot of repeat: arabesque, dégagé, relevé are common requests but a few will also ask for a grand plié en seconde.

Practice before the photo shoot.

Now it’s time to practice for the photoshoot. Very much like a performance, you don’t want to come to the studio unprepared.

Make some trial with your friends and your phone camera. There are a lot of little things that can make a difference: the placement of your arms, the way you pointe your feet and your heel, the angle at which you turn in croisé or effacé. Identify how you can present yourself better and if you need inspiration and guidance on the subject, you can follow Cathy’s advice on how to present your foot and yourself in general.

One of the most commonly requested picture is a first arabesque. Arabesque is a tricky position that shows a lot about a dancer’s technique. Core de Ballet has put together a complete 3 weeks program to Improve your arabesque. In this program you’ll learn the fundamentals of the arabesque, and have 3 weeks of follow along exercises. There’s no better time than now to Improve your arabesque and rip out the benefits in those audition pictures.

Bring someone to assist the photographer

If your photographer is not knowledgeable in ballet, chances are that they won’t know the aesthetics of ballet. You might not be happy with the final shots as you’ll notice that the angles and lines might not represent what you’re looking for. It’s a problem I’ve encountered many times with professional photographers starting in the field: they know their trade but they don’t know ours.

Bring your teacher or a friend to assist the photographer and yourself. Ask this person to stand by the photographer so that they can see what’s being shot. This person can then tell you how to adjust your position and lines to the best outcome. Without this third person involved you’ll be going back and forth between your spot in front of the backdrop and the photographer and it will take ages to get to the same results, if ever.

Warm up for your audition pictures

You might think that audition pictures are straightforward but you want to look at your best. You want your figure to look majestic and regal. You want your leg extensions to be as high as possible (with proper placement!). You want your turnout to be at its best. There’s only one option for that: warm-up properly.

If possible take a full class before your photoshoot, otherwise at least give yourself a full barre. If you’re like me and don’t really know how to structure a good barre class, you can follow along one of our guest teacher’s barre classes on our Video Training service.This way you’ll be in the right conditions to present your best skills in this pictures and put all the chances on your side to get that spot you’ve worked all those years for.