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Arabesque Audition Photo Advice

My last ballet audition preparation blog was all about headshot photos. In addition to needing a headshot to audition for most schools and companies, you will also need a photo in arabesque. In this article I am going to guide you through tips to getting the perfect arabesque audition photo.

My Company audition arabesque shot. It helped get me lots of offers!

Tip #1: Presentation is Everything – Choose the leotard that is simple and flatters your body shape the most. Keep in mind that this may not be the latest new leotard from Discount Dance…It could be a simple camisole Mirella or Natalie. Steer clear of custom leotards with anything mesh, criss-cross, or high neck (the auditioner wants to see your body). Also do your best version of a high bun as this will also elongate your neck. Try your bun right at the crown of your head.

Tip #2: Practice – Practice your posing in first arabesque after class or rehearsal in front of the mirror. Practice balancing in this position. You will need lots of balance come photo snap shot time!

Tip# 3: Hire a Professional Photographer – Although Mom & Dad can also capture some fabulous arabesque snap shots on a budget, your best bet for a professional looking audition photo is to hire a photographer. In fact, auditioners tend to overlook candid audition photos, especially those done without a backdrop.

If only we were all fortunate enough to have this arabesque!

Tip #4 – Use the Barre – A great way to train your lower back to hold a high arabesque is to practice with the barre. Place your leg in arabesque on the barre, go onto pointe, lift your leg off of the barre, then let go and put your arms in first arabesque! See how long you can hold this position. You’ve got to train that muscle memory if you want to capture a perfectly balanced arabesque photo!

Tip # 5 – Smile – A mistake that a lot of dancers do is have a serious or stern look in their photos. Smile, don’t look tense. I know that holding that perfectly placed arabesque is a lot of work, but make it look effortless. Remember ballet is all about illusions and the auditioner will be able to tell if you are tensing or if arabesque is an unnatural position for you.

Tip # 6 – Relax your Shoulders – Nothing says uncomfortable like tense shoulders, neck and fingers. Try to breathe and relax your upper body to release any tension that may convert into your photo.

Tip #7 – 90 Degrees, Please – Auditioners are going to be looking for at least a ninety degree arabesque so be sure to be thinking about your arabesque height in class to maximize your audition potential. Try the leg on the barre stretch or the exercise that I describe in Tip # 2 if you feel like your arabesque needs to improve. Back flexibility will help the height of your leg.

I hope that these tips will help you be on your way to a gorgeous arabesque audition photo. Also, if you’re nervous about auditions or simply looking for some advice you can read my Ballet Audition Preparation Guide. This will help you not only prepare for auditions, but also let you know what to expect inside the audition room. Merde!

Audition Headshot Tips

As ballet audition season quickly approaches it is time to get new audition photos and headshots. Audition photos can make or break your audition success, especially if you are unable to attend a national audition tour. So how do you ensure that your audition photos are up to par? Here are a few tips from the pros.

Tip #1 Hair up or hair down? This is a common question that comes up for dancers. While a common bun is always a good choice, sometimes it is nice for school or company directors to see what you look like with your hair down. Neither hair up or hair down is right or wrong. You should choose to have your headshot photo taken the way that you think looks best and presents YOU in the best way! Just no crazy hairstyles, okay?

You don’t want to look too different in your audition photo from how you will look in the audition. You want the director to remember you. Below are two examples of hairstyles for headshots.

The classic bun is always a great choice.

Tip #2 To smile or not to smile? Again, you want your headshot to present you in the best way possible. I am a huge fan of smiling in photos because it shows your personality in a positive light. Lots of professional dancer that I know  took serious headshots. Make sure to bring a parent or friend with you when you are getting your photos taken. They can give you feedback on the spot and constructive criticism during your photo shoot.

Hair down is a nice contrast.

Tip #3 To get pro photos or not? With professional photography equipment being affordable these days, some dancers and their parents choose to take their headshots themselves. This cuts down on photographer costs big time and allows for unlimited time and shots. Be careful when doing at home headshots or audition shots. Prepare a background and make sure the lighting is adequate to prevent shadows.

Tip #4 Don’t look messy. This definitely isn’t time for a sweaty studio shot. Present yourself for your auditions photos just like you would for your audition. Keep hair sleek and makeup minimal. Put your best face forward. Remember in a Kodak moment you want to shine!

Follow these 4 tips when preparing for your audition headshots and you will be sure to get noticed! Remember, for more audition tips and tricks you can check out my website balletaudition.com where I cover everything you need to know for a successful audition.