Audition Advice

Auditioning for summer programs, colleges, and various choreographers can be a daunting task for dancers. When we heard Sarah Friswell rave about how much she enjoyed her audition for Jacob's Pillow's Tap program, we were really impressed. We invited her to write a little about her experience to see if it might provide insights about how to make this necessary process less stressful.

by Sarah Friswell

This past January, I had the opportunity to audition for the newly created summer tap program at Jacob's Pillow. Luckily, there was an audition in Miami, FL that was accessible to me as I attend the University of Tampa. I left my school at four in the morning and made it with plenty of time to spare for the 10AM audition. I had already had the pleasure of participating in a master class with Dianne Walker when I was a student at Impulse Dance Center in Natick, MA. I was so relieved that she ran the audition with the same feeling as a master class.

We learned a combination in three parts and set it to all different tempos and styles of music. Throughout the two hour audition, we talked as a group about how we wanted to interpret the sounds and what we wanted our feet to be saying. I really enjoyed the combination we did. In fact, I decided to use it in my choreography for the University of Tampa's student show, The Spring Dance Happening.

I was very touched that Dianne also talked to us about her professional career and she really spoke to us as a community of tappers. One phrase Dianne talked to us about is to "put it in your pocket". This phrase is used to describe a dancer really understanding movements fully and fully embodying what the movements mean. I have used that phrase since then to inspire my dancers to work together as a group and to really feel the movements in the piece instead of just performing different steps. I will never forget the wonderful experience I was able to have and I am so grateful that I have gotten to work with Dianne now on multiple occasions. She is truly and inspiration.We worked very hard in the audition and it really exemplified how valuable an audition is as a learning experience. It also showed me just how much more I might receive through the tap program at The Pillow should I be lucky enough to attend their program sometime in the future.

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