How to Find Dance Auditions
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When you don’t have the luxury of an agent, knowing how to find dance auditions is a must. After all, your career and livelihood depends on your being able to find regular work, and to do that, you have to go to lots of auditions. Here are some helpful ways to sift through the endless information on the Internet, plus a step-by-step breakdown of my audition-finding process.
Websites like Backstage.com are valuable resources for finding auditions across the country. Some are free, others will make you pay to see audition details. But don’t let the paywall deter you from using these sites. Use them as a starting place, because you can usually find the details for free elsewhere. For example:
On Stage Door Connections, I saw this listing for Step One Dance Company auditions:
The only thing they let you see is the date and the name of the company, so I did a Google search for “Step One Dance Company Auditions.” From that search, I found their listing on Backstage.
Backstage doesn’t let you see details without paying either, but they gave me another valuable clue: RWS Entertainment Group. I’ve auditioned for them before, and I know that they give the details of all their auditions on their website. So I hopped over there, and bingo!
Clicking on “details” gives you all the information you need to know. See? The information was out there, but you might not have found RWS if you didn’t know to look for it. Audition sites with a paywall can be a great starting point, helping you know what to search for and guiding you to other useful websites.
Here are the main dance audition websites that I use. (I’m from the East coast of the US so some of these are specific to that area.)
- Dance Metro DC
- Backstage.com (paid)
- Stage Door Connections (paid)
- Answers4Dancers (paid)
Dance Company Websites
The most success I’ve had in finding dance audition listings with full details is directly from the companies hosting them. As you saw in the example above, I would have found that audition a lot faster if I had gone to RWS’ website directly. Keep a running list of dance companies, entertainment groups, agencies, theaters, summer intensives, anything that you might want to audition for. Include links right to their audition pages. It’s tedious to click on every single link, but it’s the best way to make sure you have the latest information right from the source.
You might also consider joining a few email lists. If you don’t mind getting a lot of advertisements in your inbox (or you have a separate junk mail address), take advantage of the “sign up to be notified” box that you’ll find on most audition pages.
Almost every business has a Facebook page, so it makes sense that casting agencies, entertainment groups, theaters, etc. would use the Facebook event feature to get the word out about their auditions. Here are some ways you can find dance auditions on Facebook:
- Go to “Events” from your Newsfeed and search by location and date. There’s even a dance category!
- Follow and/or like the pages of people you want to work for. Every time an audition pops up in your news feed, even if you can’t go, follow the page hosting that event so you see future auditions from them.
- Tag people who might be interested in an audition in the comments, or share the event to your timeline. Help spread the word, and hopefully others will do this for you!
- Have friends who’ve been in the industry for a while? Read the bio on their profiles. People tend to list the companies they’ve worked for, i.e. “Dancer for XYZ Entertainment.” Make sure you’re following all of those companies!
Whether you read them in print or online, national magazines like Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Dance Studio Life, and Pointe Magazine are a great place to find auditions, especially summer intensives. Most dance studios have recent copies of these magazines lying around, so pick one up next time you’re early for class or hop over to their websites.
How I Track Potential Auditions
I keep all of my audition tracking info in a simple 3-page Google Doc. It works pretty well because I can access the document from any device and link directly to websites with more audition info. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of my workflow:
- Once or twice a week, I sit down at my computer and do an audition search. I start by pulling up my document and going to page 2, where I keep a list of links to audition sites, entertainment companies, Facebook pages, anywhere that auditions might be posted. I go to each link and check for updates.
- New audition postings get screened by a couple of questions:
- Does the job interest me? (Once you’ve gone “just for the experience” a couple times you need to get choosy so you don’t waste your time and money traveling.)
- Do I fit the criteria they’re looking for?
- Can I realistically make it to the audition location?
- Am I available that day? (I’ll usually make note of auditions I can’t make it to, just in case my schedule changes)
- I add all new audition postings that pass the screening process to my potential auditions list, which is on page 1 of my document. I write down the essential details like date and time, and include a link to the audition listing. This page is arranged in chronological order with the soonest auditions at the top, so they’re the first thing I see when I open the document.
- If I have time, I’ll scout out new places to check for auditions. Maybe I’ll google “dance auditions Maryland” or I’ll try to find out what entertainment company runs a certain tour. If I find a place that looks promising, I’ll add it to page 2.
- Page 3 is titled “random other stuff.” If I find a link I want to save that’s not an audition (i.e. a dance company that does cheap drop-in classes), I’ll put it there.
A Few Tips
- Check for auditions at least once a week, even when you’re in the middle of a contract and not looking for immediate work. Be proactive and always be thinking 3-6 months ahead.
- Go to as many auditions as you can. You have nothing to lose! Auditioning can be exhausting, but each one will only increase your chances of being hired. Take each one as a learning experience.
- Take advantage of social media and make connections. Just took a masterclass? Follow the teacher on Instagram. Subscribe to the YouTube channel that posted the dance video you loved. The dance world is a small, friendly community (in my experience) and finding work is often about who you know. So make an effort to know as many people as possible!
Leave your questions and comments below! I’d love to hear how you find dance auditions and if you have any tips or concerns about finding work as a professional dancer!
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Photo by Kelsea Hower Photography