By Brian Henninger
Dance class is, above all, a place to learn and grow. That learning and growth comes ultimately from the teacher to the student and that should be respected. At a certain point though, there comes a time where the dance class itself can become a training ground for your audition technique. Tailoring your class experience the right way can help you to not only audition better but make you an extremely useful person to have on a project. Here are a few useful strategies to make your class room training directly benefit your auditions.
1. Routinely change your routine: Do you have 1 area of the classroom you normally stand? Change that position up! your brain benefits greatly by having to learn from all different angles and vantage points. It trains you to dissect the teachers movement regardless of whether there are 50+ people blocking your view of the teacher. So pick a spot to stand and then change it every other class. At auditions this will help you to learn regardless of where you are stuck standing
2. Pick a focus: Each class ask yourself “why am I here?” be specific and pick whether in class you are going to really focus on performing, focus on levels, dynamics, lines, whatever the focus is pick one. Even if you lose that focus or you just take class in a more general way, putting the thought of that focus in your head will help to push your mind to find new ways to grow.
3. Play catchup: In a class where you are familiar with the teacher and on good terms with them, ask if you can come into learn the combo 10 mins into class. This forces you to learn quickly to catch up to the rest of the class. it also makes you have to learn without really being taught the details. both of these skills are perfect tools in an audition when the combo is taught way to fast and the entire process is rushed.
4. VIDEO TAPE YOURSELF AFTER CLASS! This should probably be the first one on the list. I am alway surprised that more people don’t tape themselves doing class combos. Watching footage of yourself is an indispensable tool because you can make assessments and corrections and steer your growth in the right direction.
All of these tips will absolutely help your growth as a dancer and specifically make you more prepared to audition. Use them sometimes, all the time, whenever it suits you. They will only help, just make sure to clear some of them with your teachers first.
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