Preparing for a potentially life-changing audition? As wonderful as it is to share a passion for dance with millions of people across the world, it makes landing concert, tour, and music video jobs that much harder.
The dance industry can be challenging to break into, which is why we sat down with Haley Messick from season 1 of NBC World of Dance Rouge Crew and asked our top 21 burning questions. We asked her to give us insight on everything you need to know about auditioning like a professional. Get prepared with these dance industry audition tips and tricks.
Name: Haley Messick
Talent/Dance Agency: Clear Talent Group (CTG)
Helene Fischer Tour
2018 Puma Women’s Ambassador
21 Audition Questions Answered
WOD: When was your very first dance industry audition? What was the most memorable thing that happened there?
HALEY: My first audition was my agency audition for representation when I was 8 years old. I went straight from a competition and had a full face of makeup on. I ended up getting selected and everyone thought it was because I was so made up, but little did they know I was pulled aside and told to never show up with a full face of makeup on again. That made the experience very memorable.
WOD: Did you learn anything in your first audition that you keep in mind when going on auditions now?
HALEY: In that audition, I learned that genuineness is key. You want to show your individuality and what makes you an asset for any job or future representation.
WOD: What is the most important audition you’ve been on at this point in your dance career?
HALEY: The most important audition I’ve been on this far was the Helene Fischer tour audition. Little did I know, when I was auditioning, just how much this job would change my life and how grateful I’d be for it.
WOD: What does your “audition morning” preparation consist of?
HALEY: My audition mornings consist of me putting on job appropriate makeup, curling my hair, listening to music, driving through Starbucks, and then driving out to LA for my audition.
WOD: Do you eat or drink anything specific to make yourself feel good and give you energy?
HALEY: Usually granola or oatmeal and a pink drink from Starbucks personally gives me the energy for any audition.
WOD: What are the most essential items that you have in your audition bag?
HALEY: The most essential items in my bag are deodorant, perfume, water, makeup (for touch ups) and a change of outfit (just in case).
WOD: What is your dance industry audition go-to outfit or style?
HALEY: My go-to audition outfit is usually an all black body conscious outfit with either heels or sneakers.
WOD: Do you have any advice for male and female dancers when choosing an audition outfit?
HALEY: Make sure what you’re wearing is comfortable for you to dance in and it’s flattering on your body.
WOD: How early should you show up to ensure that you are in the right place and have enough time to stretch and warm-up?
HALEY: You should arrive 20 to 30 minutes early to ensure you’re at the right place, at the right time and you have enough time to stretch and warm-up.
WOD: Do you have a playlist or specific songs you like to listen to get into a good head space? If so, what are they?
HALEY: I usually play any fun, upbeat songs to put me in a positive mood on my way to an audition.
WOD: What advice do you have for dancers when learning choreography?
HALEY: While learning choreography, try to figure out what parts you make can make your own to show your individual style and uniqueness.
WOD: How do you remain calm and avoid comparing yourself to other dancers?
HALEY: Always remind yourself no two dancers are the same. There’s beauty in individuality over uniformity, especially in auditions.
WOD: What are three key elements for pre and post combination “improv”?
HALEY: 1. Special Skills 2. Musicality 3. Don’t do the same thing as everyone else, the judges don’t want to see that.
WOD: What kind of “energy” do you bring to auditions? Are you nervous, excited, etc.?
HALEY: The “energies” I bring to auditions are hunger and determination. They want to see people who want it.
WOD: How do you “be yourself” when you are around people you do not know and/or nervous at an audition?
HALEY: Get to know people! Everyone is just as nervous as you are so talk to the people around you and go over the combination.
WOD: Do you have any advice for creating and choosing a head-shot?
HALEY: For creating a head shot, choose one that you are OK with many people seeing and that shows you in your most flattering light.
WOD: Can you explain the importance of a good resume?
HALEY: A good resume is important because it shows your experience level and how likeable you are to work with.
WOD: What should dancers put on their first resume?
HALEY: On your first resume, put all of the training you’ve received and any live or commercial performance experience. Also, never fabricate information on your resume. Stay truthful.
WOD: Do you do any goal-setting? If so, what should up-and-coming dancers focus on as they are starting to get into the industry?
HALEY: I do some general goal-setting with specific points I want to be in my career at certain ages. For dancers just starting in the industry, train as much as possible and make as many connections as you can.
WOD: How has social media affected your journey?
HALEY: Social media has affected my journey by being able to reach out to many different companies, jobs, and teaching opportunities. Social media acts as an online resume/profile nowadays.
WOD: What tips can you give dancers for introducing themselves into the dance community through the use of Instagram, YouTube, Twitter etc.?
HALEY: When first introducing yourself to the dance community’s various social media platforms, make sure to show your strengths and uniqueness as well as a wide range of out of ‘comfort zone’ training. Just always genuinely be yourself.
Haley Messick Class Videos
Rouge Crew on season 1 of NBC World of Dance