Audition Photo Tips: Poses that Work

ballet dance audition photo tips poses that work

If you’ve been following this blog thread on Audition shots for awhile now you should be feeling a little more confident in your preparation and what to expect.  One of the last pieces of the puzzle now is to come armed with a few poses that you would like to start your session with, some that you know will look good, some you think might do well, and some that might be a jumping off point to experiment and come up with what looks cool on your frame, all the while speaking what you need them to speak to the director.

dance audition poses that work photo shoot

Start with the basics and build from there.  If you take a moment at the beginning of your session to make a simple 5th position or passé look good, you will have a better idea of how to make the other poses work.  Make sure you keep your chin lower than you would normally in rehearsal and on stage; we don’t want to shoot up your nose.  Also make sure that your eyes follow your nose so that we don’t see a large amount of eye white.

Not crazy about your arabesque?
Then know
a) which is your better side for both balancing and leg height
b) whether you will go for height or ‘square’ or both
c) different arms that can help your line… a 1st or second arabesque might work, or perhaps a 4th or open 5th will do the trick.  In 90% of cases, steer clear of a 3rd arabesque, it tends to not show off a long line as well as other options.
d)experiment with upstage alignments as well, sometimes the back view can be cool, sometimes not.
dancer jumping audition photo tips poses that work
À la Second:
Some dancers have it, some don’t.  Only go for a flat en face angle if you really have it.  With a turned out supporting leg.  If not, an écarté line will be better.  Again, experiment with different arms, from 5th to 4th to something more contemporary.
À Terre poses:
Often times the most difficult lines to make work, transitioning from 3D (what you see in the mirror and on stage) to 2D (what you see on a screen or printed image).  If you don’t have perfect turnout, anything on ‘Fondu’ will tend to work better than a straight supporting leg.  Take care that you are shot at an angle that does not make your arms look longer than your legs (usually a higher angle).
dance audition tips poses for great audition photos
Jumps:
For most jumps your angle wants to be directly side to side.  Anything coming forward toward the camera at any angle tends to be harder to make look good unless you are shooting in a huge space where the photographer can back up as if you were on stage.  Jetés are always one to try, as are sissones in various shapes and preparations.  Petit allegro, while sometimes quite pretty and subtle, usually is not an area I suggest: if you have 2 seconds to grab an artistic director’s attention, you will want to do it with bravado.  Perhaps unless you are ‘Bournanville’ trained.
Turns:
Avoid.  If you are on a timeline in your shoot, don’t waste your time turning.  .002 percent of dancers look good mid-turn.  If you have a skirt that needs the turn to get the flair right, make sure you start the turn in a direction where the optimal line of your body hits forward for the camera at the right moment (in other words you might take the first step upstage rather than downstage).
audition photo tips male dancers poses that work
Contemporary:
Play about with poses that look good on your body with unique arm lines.  Often the best place to start is with some choreography that you’ve worked through or an improvisation session in front of the mirror.  Creating interesting shapes and lines with your body is what works here.
dancer poses contemporary
Come to your session with a few ideas then have the confidence to throw your body around and create something new!  Often times you have to shoot 10/20/30 shots before you get something that is interesting enough to keep.. .but sometimes those shots are the best ones!
poses for dance audition photos
Get more Dance Audition Photo Tips from Rachel Neville Photography.

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