Auditions 2017 Overview

Olympic Performance Group will be holding its annual auditions for The Nutcracker on Sunday June 4, 2017. During that audition, we also consider dancers that we can cast in other performances throughout the year.

Everyone is welcome to audition! We welcome dancers, gymnasts, actors, and other performers from Kitsap County and Seattle. We are even looking for stilt walkers! While the primary focus of our company is on youth, we also have several roles for adults and encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to audition.

Audition Schedule: Sunday June 4, 2017:

Location: Bainbridge Ballet Studios, 9720 Coppertop Loop, Suite 201 (2nd floor)
There is no fee to audition, thanks to a generous grant from the Bainbridge Community Foundation.

  • 10:30 – 11:30: Dancers, age 7-10
  • 12:00 – 2:00: Dancers, age 11-13 (not on pointe)
  • 2:00 – 4:00: Dancers, age 14+ (or younger if on pointe; pointe not required for 14+)
  • 4:00 – 4:45: Gymnasts, Acrobats, Jugglers, Other performers
  • 4:45 – 5:15: Actors, age 14 – adult

If you intend on auditioning on June 4, please fill let us know by filling out the Intent to Audition Form. Additionally, print and fill out the Performance Agreement and bring with you to the audition.

Performance Dates

Saturday, December 16 through Monday, December 18, 2017.

Rehearsal Schedule

For most of the cast, rehearsals are every Saturday, beginning the second weekend of September through performances, with additional Sunday rehearsals beginning late November through production.  PLEASE NOTE: for longer, more rigorous pieces, rehearsals typically begin the third week of August.  Additionally, we may add occasional Sunday rehearsals as needed to accommodate pieces that need extra work, as well as to accommodate choreographer schedules.

Commitment to attend every rehearsal is critical to the success of the show. Please see the Cast Handbook for more information on our rehearsal policy. We strongly suggest that cast members not commit to other activities that will conflict with their rehearsal schedule.

Audition Tips

OPG is a dance company focused on providing pre-professional performance and educational opportunities. The audition process is a critical component of involvement in any performance company. It is an exciting opportunity to meet other dancers and performers, and to apply your training to a professional level production.

The judges are looking not only for technique, but also for energetic performers. They don’t expect perfection, but rather a willingness to take risks and learn new things, and a commitment to do your best at all times. In addition, the judges look for performers who can tell a story through their body and facial expressions, so stage presence is a critical component of the audition. Be prepared to smile and show your personality – and have fun!

The judges want you to do well and will provide you guidance throughout the process. Be willing to try every dance style, even if you have little experience. We are looking for a variety of abilities and looks.

For some children, especially younger ones and those auditioning for the first time, this process can be intimidating, particularly when performing in front of people they don’t know. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the helpful information about the audition process below.

Actors: The Nutcracker is more than just dance. It is a production that relies on the acting talent in all of our performers to convey a magical story to the audience. While you may be asked to learn some very simple dance steps, we are looking for strong characters that can communicate through animated facial and body expressions. These characters are beloved by the audience and are integral to the success of the show. Don’t be shy! The audition is all about fun!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at

Before the Audition

If you intend on auditioning on June 4, please fill let us know by filling out the Intent to Audition Form.

Before arriving at your audition, please read the Cast Handbook for more information about OPG and Nutcracker cast requirements. Additionally, please print, read, and sign the Performance Agreement, and bring it with you to the audition.

Please arrive 15 minutes before your audition time to turn in your Performance Agreement, receive an audition number, and warm up. We suggest that you spend some time warming up at home beforehand as well, as there will be no warmup during the audition time slot.

What to Expect at the Audition

The audition panel will consist of 4-5 professional dancers and choreographers.

You will be asked to introduce yourselves, and talk a little bit about your training and the reason you have come to the audition.

Dancers: The choreographers will teach you a ballet combination and practice it with you several times. You will be broken into groups and will perform the ballet combination. You will then be taught a different combination with a different dance style. Pointe dancers will also be given a pointe combination. Older dancers will also be asked to do an acting exercise based on different characters in the show.

Gymnasts: You will be asked to show us the extent of your gymnastics ability, as much as can be safely performed in the studio. We are looking for high energy and a range of gymnastics skills.

Actors: The judges will want to get to know you and the range of characters you can play. You will be asked to portray a variety of expressions and reactions to different scenarios. Since The Nutcracker is a dance production, all acting is non-verbal, so we encourage you to be as big and exaggerated as you can be – imagine that you are acting for the back row in the theater! You may be taught some very simple and short dance steps, however dance experience is not required and we will not be judging you on your dance ability.

You are encouraged to ask questions if something is unclear – the judges want to help you do your best. Most of all, have fun!

What to Wear

  • proper dancewear: Girls: leotard, tights, dance skirt or shorts (no loose t-shirts or baggy pants). Boys: close fitting shirt, shorts or sweatpants. Actors/Adults: comfortable clothing and shoes that you can move in.
  • dance shoes for every type of dance/performance that you have studied: ballet flats, pointe shoes, jazz, tap, hip hop, character
  • hair pulled back from face in a bun or ponytail
  • no hats
  • minimal makeup

Mandatory Parent Information Meeting

We will hold a mandatory parent meeting in the other studio during the audition. In this meeting we will cover what it means to be a part of OPG and the commitment requirements for being in The Nutcracker. This is a great time for you to ask any questions. In the meantime, please review our Cast Handbook.

Casting Decisions

Many hours of discussion and deliberation are put into casting. The cast is usually announced via e-mail by the beginning of July. A performance fee of $300 (waived for non-student adult actors) will be due two weeks after casting to secure your role. Please see the Cast Handbook for more information about performance fees and need-based scholarships. Please also see the Cast Handbook for information about volunteer requirements.

Unfortunately, we are not always able to cast everyone who auditions, as there is an inherent limit to the number of dancers that can be accommodated on the stage. We hope that you will see the value of the audition process as a great learning opportunity for your future auditions for other productions, summer dance intensives, and performance programs. Know that if you aren’t cast in a part, we welcome your participation in other ways and definitely encourage you to try again during our next audition.

So, take a deep breath and let your love of dance shine through!