College Prep season is here. That usually means stress, research, lots of questions, and… auditions. Many schools require an audition reel and there are lots of ways to go about preparing for it. We’ll cover some basics here, which are also useful tips for your general dance reel. These guidelines may seem obvious but they are truly important if you want to make sure you know how to prep your audition reel.
Always follow the guidelines.
This is obvious but don’t be fooled. Make sure to follow the submission guidelines exactly as they are stated! If you have questions, get in touch with the director or program contact to clarify.
Make sure there is a variety of work in your reel and at least one solo.
If you can, include all types of work in your audition reel: choreography, performances, concept videos, etc. Variety is good! Solos are important so you stand out. A couple of headshots and dance photos at the beginning and end of your reel are okay too. Or, if you want to break up each video clip then you can add your photo there, with a title and credit.
Good lighting and quality videotaping are important, so only include high quality footage.
This is really essential for your audition reel. Great lighting and clear focus will make you look sharper and more professional. Try to only use footage that is of high quality and good lighting.
Provide enough space for you to move around.
This may seem like a“duh” comment but make sure your feet, arms, or head aren’t getting cut off on the reel. Your full body should be seen, at least the majority (if not all) of the time. Also, there is a difference between audition dancing and dancing specifically for the camera (“dance on film” with different angles and whatnot). Directors/programs will want to see your whole body, not the creative angles you know how to use (save that for Instagram and Tik Tok).
Wear solid colors and use a solid background.
If you are recording something specific for the reel then try to wear solid colors. This shows your lines and body angles more, which gives more depth and texture to the video.
Don’t stare into the camera the whole time.
It’s just a little creepy to stare into the camera the whole time. Just as your body uses space intentionally, make sure your gaze is doing the same. And don’t be afraid to smile!
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Leave a comment below with any other tips and tricks you have!
Top Photo Credit: Gemma Chua
Need more advice for your college dance application?
Make sure to check out Role Call: College Admissions for Dance. It’s an online program specifically designed to help dancers apply to college.