We don’t know about you, but one of the main reasons we love to dance is because we can express ourselves without speaking. So, having to sing at an audition brings up a lot of anxiety. But nowadays, whether you’re dancing on Broadway, in a TV series, or back-up for a pop star, you’ll likely be asked to sing in at least some capacity. Here’s a bit of advice to boost your confidence and become a stronger singer.
Sing something you love. If you find a song you love to sing, your joy and confidence will come across in your audition. Even if you have to pick a short 16-bar cut, choose a song appropriate to the show you’re auditioning for (genre, time period, etc.) and that tells a story.
Practice in front of an audience. Singing in your shower is great, but you’ll never overcome your fear of singing it in public unless you do it in front of people! Whether you get together to sing in front of a group of your dancer friends, visit a karaoke bar, or sign up for a group singing class, practicing in front of people will make auditioning for a creative team much less intimidating.
Invest in voice lessons. You’ve grown into a confident and technical dancer thanks to taking so many dance classes over the years. You can’t expect to grow as a singer if you don’t dedicate time to training your instrument. Ideally, schedule a lesson at least every other week if you really want to focus on your voice. Find a teacher you’re comfortable with and that gives you exercises to practice on your own. Bring your sheet music, pencils (with erasers), and your phone to record your lessons so you can practice and listen to them later.
Join a choir. Joining a choir at your church or school can be a great way to learn vocal technique in a group setting. You’ll practice learning harmonies, reading music, and also performing in front of an audience.
Study on your own. There are so many resources on YouTube and even through apps like Appcompanist (where you can practice singing along to accompaniment and change your key and tempo with just the touch of a button). You can find vocal warmups on YouTube and also spend an afternoon studying your favorite singers. Listen to and watch singers you admire. Pay attention to their craft beyond just enjoying the music (i.e. How does she create vibrato? What shape does his mouth make when he hits that note? Where does her breathing come from to sustain her vocal endurance?).
Try not to feel like you need to become an expert right away. You’ve spent years perfecting your dance technique and virtuosity—dedicate at least a fraction of that time to training your voice and you’ll be astonished at how quickly you progress in ability and confidence!