How to prepare for your dance audition

BA (Hons) Dance

Matthew Gough, course leader for BA (Hons) Dance gives his top tips for preparing for a dance audition.

The audition:

Your dance audition will consist of four parts – Technique Class; Devising Workshop; Solo Performance and Group Discussion. For the Technique Class and Devising Workshops, please wear close fitting clothing (e.g. leotard, or vest top), and be prepared to dance in bare feet.

You will also need to prepare a one-minute solo, in a Contemporary, or Dance Theatre style. The choreography should present your strengths as a performer, and show an understanding of the style selected. The solo will be performed without music.

The group discussion will focus on choreographic methods and processes. It will be helpful to research the approaches of one or two choreographers you are interested in order for you to contribute to the conversation. The audition will last approximately 4.5 hours and will include a short break.

Remember – the audition provides you with an opportunity to shine. It also gives you a chance to ask extra questions and to make sure that the course you have applied for is right for you – it is a two-way process.

Top tips for how to prepare:

  • Make sure to read all the information you have been sent, no two auditions are the same, and you don’t want to turn up unprepared.
  • Wear appropriate clothing; too many layers or baggy clothes can make it hard to see how you move.
  • Bring a water bottle to drink from during class(in a sports bottle with a non-spill cap), and have a suitable lunch planned if attending an all day audition.
  • Warm up, even if a warm up is part of the schedule, and take the time to settle into a new studio.
  • Be professional at all times. Being a dancer is about more than how you are on stage. Knowing how to present yourself and engage with people is an important skill to learn.

Top five tips for auditioning are:

  • Relax: In Higher Education, auditions are a two way process; you are evaluating the course, and the course is evaluating you. The important thing is that you show potential; the lecturers and course content will help you achieve that.
  • Listen and respond: If you are given a suggestion or corrections listen carefully to the advice and apply it. Don’t fall into your default responses, University is a place to learn new approaches and be challenged.
  • Discuss: Be ready to talk about dance, not just repeat things you have read. In Higher Education your assumptions are challenged, and you are encouraged to be an independent thinker.
  • Be social: Be friendly with you people you are auditioning with, they may be your peers for the next three years. Dance is often a collaborative undertaking; you need to be able to work with new people at a moments notice.
  • Work hard: Don’t give up if you find something too hard. How you deal with learning new skills helps us understand what kind of person you are. The creative industries are constantly evolving; the ability to constantly learn something ‘new’ is key to your graduate employability.


Find out more about our Dance degree in Cardiff.