Have you been thinking about developing your artistry and technique further by going to school to get a degree in Dance Performance? Transitioning from high school to college dance can be tricky! If you are considering enrolling in a college dance program or joining a dance team, you will most likely be required to audition before school starts. You may find yourself counting 5, 6, 7, 8 in class at your home studio to jumping to 5, 6, 7, 8 dance auditions on the weekends!
JJGirl Payton Johnson gave us the inside scoop on how her dance audition experience has felt (so far) below:
“You’re graduating from high school soon and you’ve danced pretty much all your life-what’s next? For me, it’s a college dance program. I’d love to be a concert dance performer, taking the stage in a contemporary dance company. Since I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I believe Broadway is out for me. And, although I’ve developed a newfound admiration of hip hop dance, I’m not sure that’s my next step. But…never say never to either of those!
I think my best path is finding the college dance program that fits me; allowing me to grow as an artist while finding my place in the dance world. I’ve found several schools that could take me there. I started my audition quest with my “dream school” in January. Can you say STRESS?? To walk into that room filled to overflowing with talent and watch the numbers dwindle to single digits was overwhelming for me (and for my mom as well!). My Mom has started naming each new gray hair, “this one is ballet cut, this one is modern cut, and this one way over here is solo”.
My next audition was 2 weeks later on a different coast. It was long, but not stressful because I’d already passed the huge hurdle of being selected for the in-person audition. It felt more like a day of class that ended with a conversation with the teachers, not so much like an interview. Phew!
Next up, 2 auditions in a little more than 24 hours: fly out at the crack of dawn, audition #1 in the afternoon, grab a couple hours sleep, audition #2 bright and early in the morning, fly back home that night. No time for stressing!!
Everyone tells me I’ll end up where I’m meant to be and I’m counting on that! I wish I had some thoughtful, evocative words of wisdom to share that would ease the minds of others about to embark on this process, but, nah, nothing here-ha! I guess just trust in your training that got you to this point like I am, and be yourself when you get to that interview. Show them your personality, the person they’re getting, not just the dancer. And….keep your fingers crossed for me!
I wrote that original post almost 2 months ago and all the finger crossing and positive thoughts (and let’s not forget hard work!) have paid off. Remember the “dream school”? Well, the dream is coming true. I GOT INTO JUILLIARD!! Im still pinching myself so I know this is real, but I’ll be enrolling in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance program at The Juilliard School for the 2017-18 academic year. I’m so excited and cannot wait for my new journey to begin. I hope New York City is prepared for this Louisiana girl. Get ready y’all!”
Get out there and go for it! You never know what will happen until you try. Always let your personality shine just as much as your dancing! Talent will get you in the door, but character will keep you in the room.
Best of luck to all who are auditioning!