Approaching Audition Season with Confidence | Live Q&A with Coach Kayla

Today’s Topic: Approaching Audition Season with Confidence

Hi everyone.  This is coach Kayla with Complete Performance Coaching, and today’s live targets dancers approaching audition season with confidence.  I used to cheer for the San Francisco 49ers for six years and this is NFL audition season.  NBA auditions are coming up, and a lot of people are auditioning for college dance teams right now.

I wanted to do a video talking about approaching audition season with confidence because a lot of dancers tend to freak out around this time. You know, what do I do? My prepared, that’s when a lot of self-doubt starts coming into play.  I’ve formulated this list of tips and tricks that I use during audition season and some of the things that I used to freak out about.

1. Plan Ahead

Something that was really helpful for me while preparing for audition season was trying to think of every single thing that I could possibly need on audition day.  I made sure I had double of everything.  Two weeks before auditions, I would make sure I had two audition outfits,  five pairs of tights (I would always rip my tights), and I would bring extra eyelashes. So try to plan ahead as much as you possibly can.  Planning can really alleviate anxiety because you’ll have pretty much double or quadruple of anything you’ll need.

2. Talk to Yourself Before Auditions

Another thing that was helpful was having talks with myself during the alone time leading up to auditions.  It could be reading a book, going outside and enjoying the sun, or maybe you want to have a picnic by yourself.  For those of you that drive, you can have talks with yourself during the drive about your process and how you’re feeling about auditions.   This is a great time to give yourself some pep talk, use some sports psychology, and positive affirmation techniques.

This was really helpful for me, especially for the auditions where there was an interview process.  I find that it’s really helpful to think of possible questions that you may be asked during the interview.  This is mainly for college and professional dancers that are auditioning.

I used to think of any possible thing that they might ask me and I would ask myself those questions.  Then, I would practice my answers out loud to prepare myself.  This is another great way to alleviate any anxiety.  Also, talking to yourself can really help you get to know yourself better so you can feel more confident going into auditions, walking in feeling like a powerhouse, thinking, “I know who I am!”

3. Confidence in Your Preparation

Unfortunately, a lot of dancers will go to dance conventions or go to a really intense dance class, either the night before auditions or a few days before auditions.  They do this because they have anxiety.  They are thinking, “Oh my God, I need to learn one last skill.  I really need to do this one last thing.  That’s what’s going to help me feel better and shine that much more at auditions.”

The problem with that is skills take time and you’re not going to learn a skill overnight.  The mind and body are interconnected, so the only thing you’re doing when you do that is you’re freaking yourself out more, putting out anxious vibes, and highlighting your low self-confidence.

Instead of trying to scramble last minute, go into auditions knowing that you did everything that you possibly could to prepare for auditions.  The goal is to feel as whole as possible when you walk into auditions.  There have been times when I’ve walked into auditions where I didn’t feel as confident in one area, but I would just try and own it as much as I possibly could by giving myself positive affirmations.  It’s so easy to compare yourself to all the different people in the audition room.

4. Relax

Just relax.  The best advice I can give you is for audition week and the week before is try your best not to go to dance classes!  It’s fine to dance on your own, freestyle, but you’re risking possibly injuring yourself.  When I was in that stage, I went to a lot of dance classes before auditions because I thought that’s what I needed, and I ended up injuring myself.

A lot of people do that and they get injured before auditions.  Now you have a whole other thing to worry about at auditions.  You’re injured while you’re trying to dance and shine and have this great performance during auditions.  Please just try and relax before auditions and do a lot of sports psychology and mental skills techniques.  That’s what’s really going to help you to feel grounded and prepared.

5. Finding Your Zen

Something I really enjoyed was getting a message the week before additions.  I would read a book outside before I went in.  Another thing that was really helpful for me at auditions is I would always bring my headphones.  It was the number one thing on my list.  At auditions, it can be very, very nerve-wracking when you have all your friends coming up to you and they’re sharing their anxiety and nerves with you.

Sometimes they’ll be going over the dance and it will make you anxious about if you really know it, and you really start freaking out.  So the purpose of bringing the headphones is to find your moments of zen, time to yourself to really practice your breathing techniques,  listening to music that calms you down because it is an anxious world at auditions.  You want to make sure to find time to feel grounded.

ballet dancers at the bar6. Eyes to Yourself During Auditions

I think the number one thing that you should not do is watch all the different people auditioning and doing the dance because it can make you second guess yourself.  Next thing you know you start choking and asking yourself, “Oh my God, what’s the move again?”  Then you totally blank because you’re seeing other people do the dance and they’re messing up and that can cause anxiety.

If you’re standing in line waiting for your turn and there are tons of people auditioning and doing the dance, try to either look down at the ground or look up somewhere and practice your breathing and mark the dance to yourself.  You can practice imagery as well.  Just envision yourself performing the dance rather than envisioning other people doing the dance and are messing up.

7. Acceptance

I feel like body image puts anxiety and pressure on a lot of dancers.  It’s so easy to show up to auditions asking yourself, “Do I look my absolute best?”  I’ve been there where I’ve said to myself, “Oh, I could’ve done one last workout.  I could have done a little bit more cardio the day before”.

Dancers will do tons of cardio the night before auditions.  You really have to think about it -it’s the night before auditions!  Nothing is going to change overnight.  Your body is not going to change overnight.  I know a lot of dancers will go into starvation mode.  That’s actually just taking away energy.  You want to fuel your body and make sure you’re packing healthy snacks for energy, and lots of water.

It’s best for you to be in a state of acceptance of what you’re walking into the audition room with.  There have been times where I’ve walked into an audition and I have not felt my best physically, then sometimes I would have anxious thoughts thinking, “Oh, I could’ve done this and this morning,” and it’s just robbed me of my having my peak performance.  If you do this, you’re also robbing yourself from having fun in the audition process.

Really try practicing acceptance by using positive affirmations, looking in the mirror saying, “I look great.  I’m going to do great today!”  You can also write yourself note cards with positive affirmations on them.  Maybe have your friends and family write positive things on the cards for you, then you can put him in your bag for auditions and reference them on audition day.

I know this was a lot, but I hope it’s helpful because audition season is here.  Some people already had auditions and I’ve been reflecting on the process and where I was around this time during auditions.  It’s very, very nerve-wracking.  I hope everyone is taking the time to relax, practice your breathing techniques, and practicing positive affirmations because you’re going to do great.  You are more than enough.  You have prepared the best you possibly can.

Thank you, everyone.  I will see you next month for the live.  Feel free to book a coaching session with me by clicking here.

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