First: NO AUDITION FEES. Period.
(When’s the last time you paid for a job interview??)
DANC asserts that audition notices should function as fully transparent job descriptions so that dancers are able to decide for themselves if they are interested in a job.
The following are recommendations that employers and contractors should disclose in audition notices and procedures wherever applicable:
* DANC asserts that the vast majority of the work done by dancers for choreographers and dance companies is W2 employee work according to federal guidelines and the ABC test. Freelance dancers are frequently misclassified as independent contractors, which forces them to work without crucial labor protections.
- Rates (flat fee, hourly, weekly)
- Pay schedule (weekly, biweekly, monthly, or other arrangement)
- Employment type (1099 vs. W2)*
- Length of contractual engagement
- Benefits (if applicable)
- Rehearsal and performance locations
- Rehearsal and performance schedules
- Touring locations and dates (if applicable)
- Schedule and layout
- Warm up time and space
- Structure and style of class portion
- Structure and style of choreography, partnering, and/or improvisation portion(s)
- Will cuts be made through the course of the audition?
- Disclosure of filming or photography during the audition and how media will be used. If the audition will be filmed or photographed, seek prior consent and provide waivers to be signed by participants in advance or upon arrival.
- Requested dance styles and/or techniques (including partnering), special skills, prepared material, improvisation, vocalization, required footwear and/or attire, etc.
- Will cuts be made through the course of the audition?
- Callback time, date, and additional requirements (if applicable)
- Guidelines for flexible options, including video auditions and private auditions
- If you do not know something essential about the job for which you are hiring, say so. We know that you receive a lot of submissions. Why not make it easier for all of us by being as specific as you can be with the information you provide? We do not expect you to have all of the information. We ask that you embrace vulnerability and/or discomfort when not having all the answers. If you would like to know how to better support dancers, please feel free to contact DANC.
- Workshops are NOT auditions. It is unethical to make it so that dancers can be seen by a company only if they are able to attend and pay for an extended workshop process. If holding a workshop to field dancers for employment, provide a free public audition for 1) dancers who attend the workshop to separate the audition from their learning and 2) dancers who cannot afford to attend the workshop to have an opportunity to be seen.
* Through the Intersectional Disability Justice lens we encourage making auditions, rehearsals, performances, and other events accessible beyond the ADA as a standard, rather than relying on the disabled dancers, artists, and audiences to request their access needs be met. Disclosing a disability is complex and at times can be harmful to the individual. Providing a safe environment for all disabled people ensures a more equitable practice. Planning all events with accessibility at the forefront ensures that those components are met in a timely manner and are of the best quality that can be provided.
- Specify accessibility provisions at audition, rehearsal, and performance locations, including but not limited to:
- physical access to the space(s) in question, including number of elevators, ramps, sets of stairs/steps, other accessible entrances
- scent-free environments
- amplified sound and use of personal microphones
- ASL interpretation
- audio description
- gender neutral bathrooms and changing areas
- sensory considerations such as providing a quiet room, low lights, and/or trigger warnings for flashing lights
- proximity to public transit with working accessible stations
- flexible means and modes of participation and engagement in required activities
- trigger warnings for sensitive topics in choreography and/or performances that could potentially trigger someone’s mental health; provide ample time for participant(s) to make a safe decision
- Specify accessibility provisions for auditioners, performers, and audiences (see above)
- Provide ample time and a specific point of contact for disabled dancers to request their access needs
- Accessibility of movement instruction, choreographic content, and audition processes
- Flexible means of participation (such as video audition) if spaces are inaccessible
* DANC recognizes that some projects require demographic specificity and/or other stipulations for casting and production purposes. These choices should be navigated with full disclosure of intent and rationale, with the knowledge that dancers in historically marginalized identity groups remain underrepresented in the field and receive fewer opportunities for fair and equitable hiring and casting. DANC does not condone discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, disability, religion, age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, body type, or visa status. DANC encourages a substantive consideration of social categories with respect for performers’ self-identification regardless of appearance.
- Be specific about the number and type of open positions and roles available
- Be explicit in your demographic specifications* (if any) such as:
- Age range
- Height and/or weight
- Body type
- Race and/or ethnicity
- Gender, gender identity, and/or gender expression
- Immigration status and/or visa requirements
- If the project is geared towards a specific historical event OR an already decided upon concept, we ask for detailed context to be provided, including:
- Project concept
- Creative collaborators already engaged in the project
- Disclosure of sensitive material, subject matter, characterizations, or interactions
- Disclosure of specific nudity and/or intimacy requirements in rehearsals and/or performances. Note: any portion of an audition involving nudity and/or intimacy should be disclosed but never required.
- Disclosure of level of risk involved in the project, including but not limited to rigging, stunts, site specific hazards, and specialized costume, prop, set, or stage design elements.
- If the project is taking place in a specific city or community, provide an audition in the city in question to give dancers in the community a chance to be seen.
- Outline COVID-19 safety, testing, and/or vaccination requirements that provide ample time for dancers to comply.
- Always include a specific person as a point of contact. Who should dancers contact with questions about the project and/or terms of employment?
- If affiliated with a union, please be specific about those requirements and what that means for the potential employee:
* Note that requirements may be contingent upon the State’s labor laws.
- Are dancers required or invited to join a union?
- Are dancers required to pay all union initiation fees and dues out of their initial base pay?
DID I GET THE JOB???
Provide a timeline for notification of hire or rejection, via email or phone, for all audition participants. Rejections suck, but let’s work to end the practice of never hearing back from a prospective employer.