How To Create a Strong Audition Video

With the advanced technology of today's world, some companies and schools offer the option of submitting a  video audition. If you have never created a video before, this option can feel daunting and more stressful than traveling to attend an audition where the exercises, variations and choreography are set out for you by the directors in the room. With a video, you are on your own.

Here are some helpful hints if you're preparing an audition video.

Photo: Dancing with myself by Mg Frontera

What You Need:

1. Digital camera of some sort. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just needs to be able to take video that you can get onto your computer.

2. Video editing software.

  • Mac users: iMovie comes on your computer and it is very user friendly. There is also FinalCut Pro.
  • PC users: Windows Movie Maker or Ezvid.

3. In some cases, they'll ask you to burn your video onto a disc and in some cases they'll ask you to upload the video to their website. So you may need a writable DVD.

4. An empty, quiet dance studio where the camera won't pick up any background noise.

How You Make a Video:

1. Know and follow the audition requirements. Usually, they will ask you to complete certain movements:

  • Introduction
  • Développés
  • Pirouette combination
  • Petit allegro
  • Grand allegro
  • Choreography / Improvisation movement

2. In your introduction:

  • Speak clearly and confidently
  • State your name, age and where you are from
  • If they ask for your experience, talk about what schools of ballet  or modern that you've studied

3. In your performing:

  • Perform each required section separately (for ex: Film your développés until you feel happy with them, then stop the recording).
  • Make sure you are remembering details (for ex: If they ask for your développés in every body direction, make sure you are remembering where your shoulders, head, legs and arms are supposed to be. They will look for details when reviewing your film).
  • Have a clear beginning and ending for each section. Show your preparation and your finish; this will show your professionalism and knowledge of dance.


Photo by: Mina Pavlovic

How You Edit Your Video:

1. Getting your film off of the camera onto your computer:

  • With many cameras, you can plug in a cord that will go into the USB port on your computer.
  • Your computer will recognize new footage and ask if you want to import it (you say yes!)
  • Import all footage you think you will want to work with.

2. Editing your film:

  • Each editing program is different. But the basics are that you need to pick what footage you want and put it in the correct order (introduction, technique, performance).
  • Add titles on the film to help the reviewers catch your name, age and identify each section they requested (développés, pirouettes, petit allegro, etc.)
  • You may also want to provide the name of the choreographer and accompanist in the titles.
  • Make sure your transitions are smooth and if there is a time limit, make sure you do not go over the allotted amount of time.
  • Do not put fancy titles or transitions on your video. Keep it clean, simple and professional. The focus should be on your dancing, not fancy video editing.

3. Sharing Your Audition Video:

  • Follow the directions the company gives you. If they want it on a disc, burn your video to a disc and test it on another computer before mailing it out.
  • If they want a link, you can upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo. Make sure you check the privacy options. If you place a password on it, you need to provide the viewers with the password or they will be unable to view it.

General Tips For Your Video:

  • When performing, have a pleasant face. You don't have to perform for your audition video the way you do on stage, because film picks up on details and is close up on your face. But make sure you have a pleasant face and you don't look frightened.
  • Wear some make-up. You want to make sure your features are present in your video, but you don't need full stage make-up.
  • Dress as if you would for an audition. Typically, this means a black leotard, pink tights and ballet shoes or pointe shoes or bare feet if you're auditioning for a modern company.
  • Don't be afraid to do a section more than once. One of the perks of audition videos is that you can film your pirouette section 100 times if you didn't nail it the first 99 times! Then use the time you nailed it in your video!
  • Trust yourself. You know what you're doing, so let that show in your video! Focus on: professionalism, confidence and ability.


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