Recognize that title? It's the opening lines of A Chorus Line - for many of us, our introduction to audition season.
Welp, it’s that time of year yet again: Audition Season. No matter the type - cattle call, private, invitation only, open company class, freelance gigs, season-long contracts - the stress, anxiety, corrections, rejections, dancers endure all of it in a relatively short period of time. And it’s not for the faint of heart. Dance and technique-wise, you must be confident in knowing you’ll move however is asked of you in the combinations, the repertory presented, or the phrase work given for you to explore. How on earth can you be prepared for whatever the season throws at you?
When it comes to your nutrition, consistency is key here. If you’ve developed a meal + snack routine that works best for you, aim to follow what is working as best for you as best as you’re able. This can become challenging if an audition goes much longer than expected and/or the schedule of your audition day varies greatly from your typical day.
To ensure adequate energy:
Leading up to audition season:
It’s never too late to begin filling meals + snacks with your balance of Eating the Rainbow and The Big Three concepts. Check out my Eating for Sustainability Guide if you haven’t yet!
Attempting to make it through audition season on low-carbohydrate consumption can have effects that end up impacting your upcoming season: higher levels of cortisol can reduce muscle efficiency + strength, generally reduce stamina, and increase stress put on your body ON TOP of the stress you’re already enduring.
Aiming to consume a balance of: animal + plant-based protein sources; complete + incomplete protein sources; and fast- and slow-releasing protein sources. You might also notice improvements to your rest + recovery! More on this in an upcoming blog post - I’m super stoked! (But first, check out my initial blog post on protein.)
Balancing your fat sources, besides being delicious and needed to absorb nutrients, can boost aerobic stamina and immune + nerve system health. Low-fat is NOT the way to go for dancers - or really anyone for that matter.
is pretty major in your audition season prep! Ensuring that your body is adequately hydrated and able to move smoothly is paramount. Water helps ensure your joints can move smoothly, acts as a shock absorber as well (I’m looking at your petit + grande allegro landings), and can play a role in your energy levels. Not only drinking water, but ensuring your electrolyte balance is important, too. Enjoying a wide-range of colorful foods can help here as well as the occasional homemade electrolyte beverage as well.
Day of auditions:
Prioritize simple carbohydrate foods in your snacks 20-30-min before your audition. Aiming for simple carb-centric snacks can help with that extra boost of energy needed for your audition. Be prepared by having a second simple carb snack in your dance bag. I have been surprised a few times with an unplanned break during my cattle call auditions. Normally it’s because the group needed to be further divided and the audition went way longer than originally scheduled.
They might be crumbly, but I’m a fan of Nature Valley bars in this instance - quick and easy for on-the-go snacking.
Hydration is important on audition day, too! Water, always, and you might exert yourself a bit more than an average day and recovering with a sports drink or electrolyte drink can be helpful. Not only to ensure that you’re retaining fluids you’re drinking but also to help reduce the effects of muscle cramps, soreness, inflammation, and more!
Refuel! Continue enjoying the foods you love. It can be so easy to fall into the “Oh, I shouldn’t have that” mindset, and I cannot stress enough how detrimental this can be for you. It’s not even that you “deserve” yummy foods after an audition, it’s that these foods are a part of your eMpowered journey and help you perform your best!
In addition to drinking water and obtaining electrolytes for the reasons I’ve listed above, you’ll likely find an epsom salt bath to be helpful as well! There are some nutrients we’re able to absorb via our skin - think Vitamin D from the sun - and salts are one of them. This can also be a more direct way to address sore muscles and reduce your chances of inflammation (the kind where your pointe shoes don’t fit the next day).
Aim for your balance of fiber during the week! Regular bowel movements ensure your digestive system is functioning well and prevent any unwanted emergency trips to the bathroom.
Stick as closely as possible to your typical bed time and morning wake routines. Consistent sleep will be helpful - even if the night before your audition isn’t your best sleep.
Move in ways that best support your dancing! Maybe it’s a light yoga session or morning muscle wake up movement before your audition, cross training on non-audition days, foam rolling to recover post-audition - whatever your movement routine looks like, ensure it supports rather than tires you!
And there you have it, my recommendations as we embark on this year’s audition season.
Have you found any of these to be most helpful? 👇 comment below what works best for you! And if you’re looking for some personalized support this season, you know what to do (drop me an email and/or schedule your strategy session today)!