Five audition tips from our Academy Lower School Associate Director

Classes at Charlotte Ballet Academy begin Monday, August 29, which means auditions for this year’s production of Nutcracker are right around the corner!

Did you know that students ages nine and older enrolled in Charlotte Ballet Academy are invited to audition for Nutcracker? We understand that auditions can sometimes be nerve-wracking, so we asked Academy Lower School Associate Director, Johanna Butow, to share five audition tips with us to help students feel confident during their next audition! Read below for all five tips:

1. “Come with a positive attitude.”

Auditions can be scary, but they are also exciting! Sharing your passion for dance is what it’s all about. Try converting any fear you have into empowerment and positivity. Remind yourself of why you love to perform and channel that into your audition. Definitely bring a smile with you into an audition room.

A great way to center yourself and channel some positivity is to arrive early to warm up with no pressure.

2. “Present yourself in a neat and tidy way.”

Before the directors even see you dance, they are going to see the way you present yourself! Make sure you attend an audition looking and feeling your best.

If you have longer hair, it is always best to tie it up in a neat and tidy bun. If you have shorter hair, ensure that it is pulled back and out of your face.

As for attire, it is always best to wear a leotard and tights if you are a female-identifying dancer. It is the most classic look and also gives the directors a chance to really see your technique. If you are a male-identifying dancer, a pair of tights and a tighter fitting shirt is the best option.

Make sure you’re as comfortable as possible! The more comfortable you feel in your audition attire, the easier it will be to present yourself with confidence.

3. “Get into character.”

Sometimes the director is looking for more than just “the perfect technique”, they want to see how you embody a character!

Ballet is play-acting, especially in storybook-based performances like Nutcracker and Peter Pan. Don’t be afraid to really dig deep into the role and develop a character. Doing a little research on the performance you are auditioning for beforehand can be a big help in developing a character.

4. “Breathe.”

It seems easy enough, just breathe!

Although it may seem like a simple task, with the amount of nerves and emotions you may be feeling from an audition it’s easy to forget this essential way of living and dancing. Remember to take some easy, deep breaths throughout the entire audition process (before you go in, while you’re auditioning and even after the fact). It may seem silly, but the more breathwork you can practice and perfect, the more at ease you are going to look and feel. It really makes a difference!

5. “Try your very best and have fun!”

Auditions are a learning process! No one is perfect at auditioning right away, it takes practice.

The best advice is to just enjoy the process. You’re in a room with directors who want you to succeed and so many other dancers who are feeling the exact same nerves as you. Don’t be afraid to make a friend or two, you never know who you’re going to meet.

And no matter what happens in the audition, this is a chance to improve your skills and become more confident for future auditions.

Enroll in Charlotte Ballet Academy for the 2022/2023 School Year so you can practice some of these amazing tips at auditions for Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker. For questions about enrollment, email