You’ve graduated High School, but you want to keep dancing. Cue College tryouts. For some dancers, auditioning is old hat. For others and maybe yourself, college may be the, or one of the, first intensive tryout experiences for you.
There are plenty of tryout dos you’ll want to nail. Most, I bet you could guess but just in case, here goes! Firstly, expect judging to begin the second you’ve entered the room. Your hair and personality should be big and bouncy. Make up should be visible, lashes and lipstick bold. Looking into the specific lip shade or, better yet, overall beauty look for current team members will give you extra kudos. Occasionally they will ask for you to specifically wear school colors, and the most common attire asked to arrive in are leggings or spandex shorts (possibly with a preference on low or high – rise), as well as a cropped or sports bra type top. They want to get a good idea of how you will look on the football field, basketball court, at appearances, and so on. Interviews may happen the week prior, sometime during day one in-between learning material, or on the final day. You WILL get interviewed. They want to know why you’ve chosen this school, this team, and this commitment. Can you handle the load of the team schedule while you’re also in school? Can you be a role model for the community?
Yes, you’re a dancer, but your scope becomes so much larger when you’re on a college team. Especially, I say this with exaggeration, especially if you are in a smaller, closer-knit college town. You might just get recognized while standing in line for a latte! No, you mustn’t look ‘game day ready’ 24/7 because of this. But, again, you are an ambassador of a program and the school cares very deeply about what you do outside of performances. Know that this is a realm of dance where everyone with talent might not get a part. That program might carry only 20 of every uniform from season to season, and you might be one of 10-50 dancers competing for 5 open spots the Seniors are leaving behind. How will they choose? They’ll nit-pick. It’s not something to fear, but to be aware and accepting of.
The biggest, best, and hopefully most obvious, reason to dance in college is because you have a genuine love and desire to. Do not use it as an aid in your tuition costs. Many programs offer very little, if any, financial aid. It’s too large of a commitment to base on monetary contribution. You’ll have a shortened Winter Break back home, because basketball season doesn’t break when school does. Your Summer might look an entire month shorter because you need to report back by August, or sooner, to get football ready. Between your regular classes, practices, (commonly required) weight lifting, events, game days, and for the highly competitive teams – competition season, you will be more than busy. You might want to actually enjoy the loaded schedule, no?
If dancing is your happy place, then don’t stop. The rewards trump the sacrifice, I promise. My most favorite memories made were dance team ones, and my favorite humans I met are who I made those memories with. I forget where I sat in certain classrooms, and already what lots of my professors’ names were. I’ll never forget what dancing next to those beautiful ladies felt like.