Ask Amy

April 3, 2011

I never know what leotard to wear to auditions. What style is best for showing off your lines? –Amelia

I always remember a girl who came to audition during company class many years ago. She wore a white, long-sleeved turtleneck leotard and matching skirt, with her dark hair pulled back in a low chignon and her make-up perfectly applied. She looked incredibly striking and professional, and even though I have no idea if she was offered a contract or not, she made a lasting impression. She looked great, and I could tell she felt great, too.

Picking out the right audition leotard is a very personal process—everyone has a different body type, so certain styles look better on certain people. The key is to find leotards that make you look proportional and feel fantastic. For instance, this particular girl was shorter, so the turtleneck style elongated her body while the white color brought out her dark hair and fair complexion. Since I’m a little bigger on the bottom than on top, I feel best in styles that broaden my shoulders (like a long sleeve V-neck or halter top). Try on various styles to find ones that flatter your body’s shape, and look for colors that enhance your skin tone and hair color.

Know who you’re auditioning for. You don’t want to show up for a contemporary company’s audition in an outfit that screams “bunhead.” Likewise, you might not want to wear a biketard to a classical company’s audition. Sometimes school or summer programs have dress requirements for their auditions, such as a black leotard and pink tights. Check their websites or call ahead to avoid making a fashion faux pas. But remember, directors hire dancers based on their dancing, not their outfits.