Sara Baurley

If you plan to dance after high school, making plans and training for your goals is a must. Picking the schools and auditions you want to try for early will give you a jumpstart on marking your calendar, especially for early tryouts which can start as early as the winter. Depending on the school there may be multiple rounds of auditions and clinics to attend. Let’s get ready to rock them! Start working on these things the semester before (or earlier!) your tryout.

Reach Out the the School’s Current Dancers

Dancers that are already attending the schools you want to go to can be informal advisors who help you along the way. Ask a few college dancers what tryouts are typically like at their school, what works, and what they would have done differently to get an inside look at the process. Some colleges and universities even have programs that let you meet with their dancers about the team and what they’re looking for.

Attend Offered Clinics

Schools may offer clinics where the coaches of their dance teams teach routines, tricks, and technique. Attending these can be helpful because they require you to put your best foot forward and network while learning what it’s like to be on the team. Teams typically hold clinics multiple times throughout the year, but the most popular time is summer. Stay on the lookout to see when various schools are holding them.

Record Your Dances

Having videos of you dancing is important so you can show prospective coaches and teams what you can do. You should have a variety of videos such as turning combinations, choreography, performances, and tricks. It is also a good idea to record yourself dancing as part of a group to show what you look like dancing with a team. Showing you are capable of a variety of dance skills will give you more opportunities.

Learn New Tricks and Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Many colleges are looking for dancers who can match their movement skills with unique dance and tricks. Teams often have signature moves that they include in their dances such as headsprings, front tosses, and aerials. A great way to learn new skills is to attend a gymnastics class, clinic, or open gym to learn how to tumble. Then you can take those skills to the dance studio. Bonus points if you can learn some basic skills and then add impressive twists to them!

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Trina Hannah is a graphic design major and dancer at Siena Heights University. She loves all things creative including photography, painting, and writing. Trina has a passion for helping other young women build up their self esteem and chase their dreams all while making a positive impact.