Audition Nerves: FEAR OF FAILURE

This is the concept that possibly worries dancers the most at auditions. The sickly, overwhelming realisation that you could fail an audition is difficult to overcome. This feeling can come before, during or after an audition – always leading to a sense of nervous panic.

If you feel like this though, it is important that it’s not actually the audition itself which is making you feel like this. An audition is an entirely open playing field, supplying you with both the possibility of success or failure – auditions are crucially designed to bring out people’s success rather than see a class full of failure.

The audition panel doesn’t want you to fail, they want everyone auditioning to be as successful as possible (otherwise they’re wasting their time). Once you realise that auditions are designed to bring out your best and don’t intend to trip you up, then it’s easier to clear your mind.

This emotion is entirely self-inflicted, and it can often reveal a lot to you about how you feel. Usually, you’re afraid of failing because whatever you’re auditioning for is extremely important to you. Whether it’s a place on your dream degree course or a job in a dance company, if you’re worried about being unsuccessful in your audition, clearly this is something that you truly desire.

If this is the case, then you need to combat these nerves by channeling your energy in a positive manner.


Fueled by the hormone adrenaline, your body has a number of natural impulses when you feel on edge. Nerves can cause the below responses to happen, as your body deals with the stress and anxiety placed upon itself.

These are all natural and automatic bodily responses and therefore are not necessarily a reflection on you. Just because this is happening to your body doesn’t mean that you are overly nervous or unprepared – it just means that your body is getting ready to perform at its top game.

  • DRY MOUTH– this is caused by fluids moving to parts of your body that need it more.
  • Use this to your advantage – fluids travelling towards your muscles will result in an extra kick of energy. Manipulate this energy to help throw yourself into movement and fully execute material in an energised manner.
  • SWEATING- Due to your body becoming overheated, this is your body’s way of cooling down
  • This is incredibly useful as it helps you feel more comfortable during the audition (as you won’t be so hot). Just try to imagine how overheated and uncomfortable you would feel if your body wasn’t sweating.
  • Sweating is actually a positive appearance during an audition. It shows the panel that you are working really hard and using your body at its full capability. Just ensure that you still appear presentable and neat (it may be wise to wear a sweat band or pack a towel with you).
  • Sweating does not mean that you are ‘unfit’, even athletes sweat a lot and is purely a sign that your body is working hard.
  • POUNDING HEART- Due to epinephrine release into the bloodstream (making more blood get pumped to body parts)
  • This is reflex prepares you with increased energy and strength, giving your body the perfect conditions for peak performance
  • Don’t naturally assume that your heart is racing just because you’re ‘scared’, this is simply a natural process that your body goes through to ensure that you perform at your best
  • SHORTNESS OF BREATH- Due to alerted nerves in your torso and ribcage, allowing your body to intake an increased amount of oxygen
  • This acts as a fuel for your muscles and brain, enabling you to concentrate and dance energetically
  • Ensure that you take long, deep breaths to allow your body to uptake the desired amount of oxygen, as not only will this help relax you, but will also let your body get the fuel that it needs

Head back over here next Thursday for another audition advice blog!

In the meantime…

INSTAGRAM: @auditionquest Loads of tips, advice and audition guidance- updated DAILY!

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply