Most Common Question Dancers Ask about Audition Photos – Poses

Recently I sent out a note to my email subscribers about one of the most common questions I get from dancers I photograph.  In the pre-photo shoot consultation my dancer clients want to know if they should prepare a list of poses.  Basically, dancers want to know what to do during a photo shoot.

Over all, this is an individual process and complicated topic because every dancer is different.  Even seemingly ‘perfect’ bodies shoot differently.
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Rebecca Reeves, Ellison Ballet, New York

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For dancers about to book audition photoshoots who want to know what to do and what poses work for audition photos, here is a quick list of tips.

For the photos and the experience that you need, look at working with a photographer who is going to take the time to get great lighting, connect with you, and find the poses/angles/shapes that show you at your best.  The devil is in the details.  And detail, detail, detail.  You are should finish a shoot feeling exhaustedexalted, excited to see the results of the retouched files, and fully confident to move forward with the next phase of the audition process.

Tips on Poses for Dance Photos

  • Remember the PURPOSE of the shoot: what companies/schools are you auditioning for? Choose your poses to your audience.  Speak to them directly.
  • BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF. Know that every pose will need to be tailored to your particular body in a shoot… making something you normally look at in 3D in the mirror look good in 2D, as well as having every part of your body and face engaged takes some time.
  • The number of shots IS NOT what you are going for in an audition shoot. As close to perfection as you can get takes time, even for the most seasoned professionals. Aim for 2 or 3 great shots in about an hour of shooting.  If you’re doing more than that, you are probably not “KILLING IT.”

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Emily Abrom, French Academie of Ballet, New York

When Working for a Killer Pose: Ask these Questions

  • Do the lines work for all parts of my body, legs, shoulders, feet, neck, fingers torso?
  • Do I look at ease in the execution of the movement? Is there tension in my fingers/neck/face that gives away effort?
  • Could a change in arms help the pose?  Take a 1st arabesque for example. Simply changing the arms to a high 1st, 5th or open 5th or even a 4th arabesque can change the shape on your torso drastically. Hint: Very few dancers can shoot a 3rd arabesque well; it’s an incredibly unforgiving shoulder line from a flat side view
  • When you think you’ve given it 100% of your energy, do it again with 300% – often that is the difference between a good and a great shot! I often find myself in a shoot saying ‘Great, now more more more energy, you can do it!’

In my next post I talk in more detail about specific poses and how they work for you in photos.  Subscribe to the blog in the sidebar and the post will come straight to your inbox!

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Taylor Massa, a trainee with Washington Ballet in Washington, DC.

Ready for your Killer Audition Photos?

Book a photo shoot now and we’ll set up a consultation and get started right away.

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