A decade ago it wouldn’t matter what you would wear to an audition because casting directors were only looking at your dancing. But it isn’t like that anymore. There are so many more dancers today; you have to dress from head to toe so casting directors could potentially see you in the role you are auditioning for. There is no universal rule on what you should wear to auditions. That is because you shouldn’t dress the same way for every audition. For example, what you might wear to an audition for a Rihanna music video shouldn’t be the same thing you wear to audition for Disney. We will be discussing the most common looks for certain types of auditions as well as what you should actually bring to auditions.
Sometimes casting directors can be specific in what they want you to wear to an audition. Some examples of descriptions I have seen are body conscious (sexy) in all black, goth/punk rock band clothing, and full ballet apparel (pink tights, black leotard). Some audition notices give zero description on what you should wear. If that is the situation, be sure to read the description of the job you are auditioning for and see if that gives you some insight. You can also try searching for previous jobs by the company on Google and YouTube to see if that helps.
Commercial audition apparel is something you would wear to an audition for a tour, music video, and a live performance with a pop artist like Rihanna, Ariana Grande, and Britney Spears. A standard outfit right now for an audition like this would be cut off fishnets under a pair of ripped jeans, a bra top layered with a crop top, and accessories. Even though this look is in right now, this is just an example of something you could wear. Because it is such a popular look, you might be wearing the same thing as the person standing next to you. That isn’t always a good thing. Get creative with your commercial audition looks.
*Remember for commercial auditions for women, always bring sneakers and heels!
Disney/Cruise Lines/Theme Park Auditions
For these types of auditions it’s all about being able to see the lines you can create with your body. Make sure your outfit has some type of color in it. I would suggest a colorful bra or crop top with high waisted shorts. You could also do a colorful leotard with shorts or a little skirt. Remember to think clean and simple for these types of auditions. Feel free to add a silver stud earring to enhance the look.
*For these auditions be sure to bring jazz shoes and character heels! My suggestion would be LaDucas for character heels as they are much more comfortable than other brands.
You may get an audition for a brand or a store like Best Buy or Target. If the audition notice gives you zero information in regards to clothing, I would wear what you would see employees wear. For Best Buy I would wear khaki shorts with a blue top and for Target I would wear khaki shorts with a red top. You want casting directors to visualize you in the advertisement before you are even booked!
You need to put your best version of yourself forward at every audition. This means making sure your hair and make up are done as well as following wardrobe directions. If you know you have an audition coming up and are wearing a new outfit to an audition, be sure to test it out to make sure it works for you. I would suggest taking a class in your audition outfit to see how it holds up. If something is uncomfortable or isn’t allowing you to dance to your fullest potential, then you will need to find some alternative options.
Audition notices can come up at the last moment. You might not be home when you get a call from your agent and they want to see if you can make an audition across town in a matter of two hours. That is why it’s important to have extra audition clothes, headshots, resumes, and dance shoes in your car at all times. You don’t want to miss an opportunity, so be prepared.
Sweating is completely natural. If you sweat a lot, however, it can be distracting to the casting directors. If you have a favorite outfit that you love to audition in, buy multiple of those items. Once you are done learning the combination, before you dance in smaller groups, quickly run to the bathroom to change into clean fresh clothes. DO NOT change your outfit completely! Casting directors might have you in their head as the girl in the blue leotard. If you go and change into a purple tank top, they might not recognize you! Put the exact same outfit you had on earlier, but now your clothes are dry and you appear more presentable. Never wear grey, unless specified by casting director. Grey clothing shows sweat very quickly.
Below is a list of items you should bring with you to all auditions:
- Headshot and resume. These are of the utmost importance! You might not be able to audition if you don’t have these items!
- Dance shoes. If you have duplicates of shoes bring them. Especially heels incase one of them breaks.
- Knee pads
- Water. Lots of water.
- Snacks. You might be at an audition all day. Your body will need fuel to perform at it’s best.
- Phone charger and portable charger
- Safety pins! Most of the time at auditions, assistants will provide you with safety pins. I have been in situations where they are running low and can only give one safety pin per person. The last thing you want to do is worry about your number falling off in the middle of the combination. Always bring extra and always know where they are in your bag!
- Makeup. Bring makeup to touch up your face to keep you looking presentable throughout the day.
- Hair products like hairspray, brush, hair ties, and a blow dryer. If you have downtime redo you hair (in the same style it was before), just to keep it looking neat. If you sweat a lot, bring a blow dryer to dry your hair before you walk into the room. The goal is to look clean and fresh.
- Towel. To dry off the sweat.
- Mini stapler. Casting directors might not have a stapler or they may run out of staples. It’s important to always be prepared. You don’t want your headshot to detach from your resume and have your information get lost.
- Pen. You never know when you will need a pen.
- A book. It’s possible you may have to wait for a while, so you might as well entertain yourself.
- Additional clothes. While waiting throw clothes on over your audition outfit to keep your muscles warm. More importantly have extra clothes you can wear at the audition incase something rips or you are dressed in the exact same outfit as someone else.
Being a dancer in the industry is difficult. Auditioning is difficult. That is why it is important to be as prepared as you can. Do your homework on the style of dance you will be learning, the choreographers, and know how long it will take you to get to the audition. Being prepared makes you a smart dancer. Taking time to research these things will minimize your stress in the room and maximize your opportunities.