As the winter holidays come to a close, we dancers are entering that most anticipated season of the year… audition season. This is when young dancers in search of spots at summer programs line up out the door at the big ballet schools while older dancers set out to major cities in search of a job. This year, I am doing the latter. Last audition season I had the privilege to go to a few auditions outside New York. I made the trek to Germany, Norway and Canada by plane and by train. Not only was auditioning a great experience, I loved seeing the different cities.
I am certainly not an expert on what to do in auditions or before them. I am still learning through trial and error of what works the best for me. So, I can’t really give any expert tips other than show up early, organized, clean looking and calm. However, I can give some tips about how to travel long distances and still have the ability to dance once you have arrived!
- Get an aisle seat! On the bus, train, or plane, having an aisle seat is really best. This way you can get up and move around, go to the restroom, or walk the aisles as often as you like. This will help keep you from getting too stiff.
- Exercise before you leave! If I have a flight at 1 PM, I’ll make sure I wake up extra early to get to the gym. If you can’t do that, take a walk around the block or do some light exercises in your room. They best thing is a tough workout. I like to make myself pretty tired before getting on the airplane. It keeps up my circulation and also helps me from getting too restless during a flight.
- Bring some extra essentials! A change of clothes, a travel toothbrush, face wipes and lotion/chapstick are a few things that if you suddenly don’t have can start a meltdown. Think of the things that you definitely have to use in 24 hours to keep yourself comfortable. It is good to be prepared.
- Don’t forget something to amuse yourself. Don’t always assume the plane will have good movies, or that the wifi will work. Take something with you like a magazine or (my new favorite) an adult coloring book!
- Fight jet lag! If you are going somewhere that there is a time change, I find it works best for me to take a nap when I arrive at my destination. I don’t like to sleep more than an hour because it will spoil my sleep for the night. Melatonin pills work well for some people also.
- Take a good hot shower and stretch afterwards. If you are staying somewhere with a pool, than definitely do some swimming!
- Try to relax as best you can! Traveling can be stressful, but it should be fun. Good luck and have a safe trip!