So you’re all set to hit auditions and then you get injured. Not a major injury, but something painful enough that it’s got you thinking about whether or not you should push it. What do you do? To answer this question, consider the next scene.
Imagine you have the stomach flu. You are hanging over the edge of your toilet bowl all morning in agony both from the flu and the fact that you have an audition that afternoon. What would you do? Would you put your dance clothes in a bag, and storm the studio regardless of the fact that you probably won’t make it through class?
I’m going to make an educated guess here and say that in the second scenario, although you might wish otherwise, you probably wouldn’t even consider attending that audition. For one, you can’t predict how your body will react: you could get sick at any time. Secondly, you know you won’t be able to dance your best. Thirdly, well, really, there’s no need for another reason because those two are enough, right?
When sickness strikes, especially something unpredictable like a stomach bug, we tend to retreat. We recognize we aren’t in control and surrender ourselves to staying home and healing.
So, when it comes to injury, why would some dancers go to the audition anyway?
I’m being overdramatic for effect. Of course there are reasons you would want to go:
- it’s your dream school/company and you’ve been preparing all fall for this moment
- not going eliminates this place from your options for summer/fall
- the injury is probably nothing…surely it can’t get that much worse from one class?
Here’s the problem though, and it’s simple: you won’t dance your best.
This is true in part because you’d be making adjustments to avoid the injured area, which would inevitably affect your dancing. Your mind couldn’t be 100% in the moment and focused, so you might look distracted. So you’d be doing some weird technical stuff and looking distracted. But even worse, you would risk injuring yourself further, which would be the worst possible outcome.
Basic rule of thumb for auditions and injury: if you won’t dance your best, then don’t dance at all.
The good news is, you have options to be seen. Depending on who you’re auditioning for and the circumstances, I would have specific recommendations for you – recommendations that have been met with success.
So if this happens to you, first, imagine it’s the stomach bug and ask yourself how you would make your decision. Then, reach out and find out what your other options are.