In the heart of New York City stands one of the most prestigious performing arts colleges in the world- The Juilliard School. With a focus on training contemporary dancers to the highest calibre, the Juilliard School provides its students with the best possible training and opportunities the industry has to offer.

I was delighted to interview Madison, a current Juilliard School Student, about her experience of the audition process.

What did the audition involve?

‘The audition has several portions to it with a cut after every section.

You start with ballet- the most nerve racking part for me! If you make it through that cut (which is probably the largest one), you continue onto some modern technique. After that cut, you move onto repertoire where you learn some more contemporary style movement. Following that, you finish off with solo and interview.

It is a long but extremely exciting and fun day! One of the best days of my life to this day.’

Did you have to prepare anything in advance?

‘Yes, just a solo! This is typical for a college audition. I love to create, so I choreographed my own senior solo which I personally would recommend. Either choreograph your own solo or have someone you work closely with choreograph it, so that you have something that really shows off your strengths and who you are! This is your moment to shine in an audition.’

What was the competition like?

‘The competition was high of course. Everyone in the room was incredible- that is definitely to be expected! I’d say in an audition with a lot of talent, let it inspire you and push you rather than tear you down. You never know what someone is looking for and at the very least, you can grow from the experience.’

What is the best thing to wear?

‘For Juilliard, you definitely want to wear pink tights and a leotard for ballet. You want to wear a leotard and tights to show off your lines. They want to see your body and you should be proud of it!’

What do you think they’re looking for and what are your audition tips?

‘They’re looking for a lot of things…

  • Strong technique
  • Movement quality- who YOU are.
  • They do not want robots, they truly want to see who you are as a person.
  • Kindness and authenticity can go a long way. Always be kind to others and don’t hide who you are.
  • Come into the space with confidence and good energy. Make sure you understand that they’re kind of building a company in a way.
  • They want 12 boys and 12 girls that show variety but also are a cohesive team.
  • If it’s not your year, try again next year. Never ever give up and always know, you’re more than enough.’

A massive thank you goes to Madison for being such a wonderful contributor to this blog post. Audition Quest wishes her all the very best in her future endavours.

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