Sunday, January 11, 2015

Audition Season--How to Stand Out in a Crowd

I have teamed up with Ballet in Cleveland, and this summer we will be presenting our very own Summer Dance Intensive called artÉmotion!   I am beyond thrilled to offer this amazing opportunity for young dancers to work with some of best names in the business!  The Faculty, along with Jessica Wallis (Founder of BIC) and myself, includes Ballet West Principal Artist Rex Tilton, Ballet West Artist Director Adam Sklute, BalletNext Artistic Director and Former American Ballet Theatre Principal Michele Wiles, Amelia Lowe of SYTYCD Season 9, Jordan DeBona Actor at the Pioneer Theatre, and Inna Stabrova co-founder of the Ohio Conservatory of Ballet.  Jessica Wallis and I designed this program with the goal to help mold beautiful Artists for the next generation of dance!  Our motto at artÉmotion is, “No movement without a purpose, without a unique story.”

Classes will not only include ballet, pointe and classical partnering, but also contemporary, character and acting for dancers.  I really want students to walk away from the experience with a sense of self.  Not just technique but a realization of their artistry and self-contribution to our beautiful art form.

With all that being said, I have received many questions about what I will be looking for in students to accept to artÉmotion.  It is officially “audition season” and I know many young dancers want the edge against their peers when in a room full of talented dancers.  I have said it before, I value a strong technique because that is what sets classical dancers apart from anyone else, but for me, that is not the only thing that makes a strong Artist.  I will be looking for individuals who are willing to push themselves, take chances and doing something different.  Stand alone in room full of people and be confident. 

Many of you may ask how that can be done.  Well, here is what I’ve always thought about and chose to do before and during an audition.  First off, chose a leotard, or shirt if you’re a guy, which makes you feel really good!!!  Being confident in how you look always helps when you are trying to make an impression on someone else.  You will not appear to be confident to someone in the front of the room, if in fact you don’t feel confident in yourself!  Second, make sure you take pride in your appearance.  Have your hair done well and make sure your shoes look clean and well put together. 

Now, to the dancing!  Try to be as alert as possible! Learn all the combinations quickly and well.  That will make for a very good corps de ballet member and you will be of value to any company or school!  Don’t try to mimic anyone in the room.  From the first port de bras at the barre, choose a story in your head to portray.  You are not just doing steps.  In an audition it’s hard to gauge how a dancer may be on stage, so as the dancer, you must consider that audition room a stage!  Show the person in the front of the room what makes you special.  Lastly, if you make a mistake be OK with it and keep moving!  I know we all make mistakes, what matters most to me is how you recover from those mistakes.  It shows maturity.

I hope this all helps in one way or another.  I hope to see many of you at artÉmotion!
Visit for more info!  Auditions will be in Cleveland, OH January 18th but we are also accepting video submissions for dancers who cannot make it in person!

You can also follow artÉmotion on social media!
The artÉmotion Summer Intensive on Facebook
@artemotioncle on Twitter and Instagram

Love you all! Xoxox



  1. Thanks for the insight, Allison! My daughter attends a very traditional studio (black leos and pink tights ONLY for ballet) and is auditioning for artEmotion this weekend. Are colored leos OK? She has a few that she loves but isn't able to wear them very often!

  2. Yes! She can wear any color leo! See you Sunday!

  3. Wow! I'm so happy to have found this blog. I am a very big fan of Breaking Pointe and your work. This post is great, and although I'm too much of a beginner to audition for most summer intensives, that's something I'm working towards. Can't wait to read more of your posts!