1. Position yourself comfortably, sitting or lying down.
2. Place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your chest.
3. Breathe in deeply through your nose, focusing your breath into your belly. You’ll feel your right hand move up with your belly – your left hand should stay still.
4. Breathe out through your mouth, releasing the breath from your belly.
5. Repeat this ten times. Breathe deeply and slowly, focusing your mind on your breath and ignoring any distractions around you.
6. Notice how relaxed you feel!
You’ll find that learning relaxation techniques will help you across all aspects of your life, keeping you grounded, present and in control.
Do a thorough warm-up
A common mistake young dancers make is assuming that dance auditions will include a warm-up. Remember, every audition is different! In one audition you may only do exercises at the barre, whilst in another you may move straight into jumps and turns. Therefore, it’s vital to be thoroughly warm and ready to handle any choreography thrown at you. Not only will warming up help you do a fantastic audition, but it will also prevent injuries and prepare you mentally. Include both dynamic and static elements in your warm up, such as light jogging and gentle stretching. If you’re a musical theatre performer, make sure to do a full vocal warm-up as well.
Learn more about warming up here: Dance 101 The Importance of Warming Up.
Confidence is key
When an adjudicator/director is choosing dancers, they aren’t just looking for technical competence. They’re also looking for dancers with the confidence to perform in front of an audience; dance is a performance art, after all! Ask yourself: if you don’t believe in your own talent, why should anyone else? If you’re struggling to find confidence in yourself, fake it till you make it! Think of a professional dancer who inspires you, and pretend to be them for a day. Do they walk with poise? Yes! Do they look happy and relaxed? Absolutely! Are they hiding behind everyone else and staring at the ground? Of course not! No matter how nervous you are, prove to the adjudicators that you have the confidence to be a dancer.