Exclusive Audition Advice
In Dance Spirit's February issue, we highlight 45 companies looking to hire in our annual Audition Guide. But that's not all. We also asked 5 industry insiders to offer tips for making the most of each audition you attend. We printed our favorites in the magazine, but there's so much more great advice where that came from, so we couldn't resist posting the rest here.
Before the Audition:
"Taking various styles of dance will help you be physically prepared. Then, studying videos and taking workshops, if available, will help give you a good idea of what type of movement to expect." —Nile H. Russell, co-dance captain for Pilobolus
"My audition starts from the moment I hear about it. I research everything from the time period to the creative team. In general, preparing should be fun! Enjoy practicing an open mind and learning any and everything." —Cassie Silva, ensemble, Rock of Ages
"Eat a good, healthy meal and get a good night’s rest the day before." —Adé Chike Torbert, commercial dancer, “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 7
What to Wear:
"Wear what you feel comfortable in, because that will shine more than any stand-out leotard. Consider the kind of company you’re auditioning for. Is it classical or contemporary? You want to look like you’ll fit in with the other dancers. And don't hide your body!" —Jacquelyn Long, Houston Ballet corps de ballet
"Check the audition call sheet for the 'suggested attire' and research the show, company or gig to make sure you're dressed appropriately. If I were auditioning for concert dance I'd stick with the industry standard of all black attire." —Sean Rozanski, dancer, Giordano Dance Chicago
"I've been known to wear some wacky outfits to auditions. I try to give whoever I'm auditioning for an appropriately clear view of who I'm portraying. It can be simple and timeless, or a pair of big glasses for a character role. This is where preparation comes in handy. If all else fails, look and feel comfortable in your skin." —Cassie Silva
Calming Your Nerves:
"On audition day, try to arrive at least 30 minutes early. This will give you time to stretch, calm your nerves and get acquainted with the space." —Nile H. Russell
"I like to channel my energy by doing push ups. It's a win win situation, because by the time I’m finished, I'm relaxed and I look great. Also, I bring music to listen to before the audition begins. I have two audition-day playlists on my iPhone: one that calms my nerves and another that pumps me up." —Adé Chike Torbert
"Try to translate any audition-day jitters into excitement and adrenaline. Focus on yourself, and avoid checking out the competition." —Jacquelyn Long
"Take deep breaths, relax and remind yourself that this is what you work so hard for. This is what you love to do. Also know that if the audition doesn't go well there will always be another opportunity. Learn to take rejection and strive to work even harder the next time." —Sean Rozanski
During the Audition:
"Think of auditions as a free class. It’s not about being better than everyone else in the room; it’s about doing the best you can, learning something new and growing as a dancer and an artist. Let yourself enjoy the experience and be present in the process. Show them that you’re not there just to get a job, but because you’re passionate about what you do." —Nile H. Russell
"Be eager and remember, a smile is worth a thousand words. A director can see if you look like you really want the job and factor that into your audition. Sometimes we don’t even realize what emotion we’re portraying in class. Take a step back to think not only about your technique, but about what message you’re projecting." —Jacquelyn Long
"A positive attitude, great work ethic, confidence and a big helping of graciousness should be among your daily audition vitamins. Having an opportunity to audition is already a great accomplishment and a wonderful gift, so put your best foot forward!" —Cassie Silva
What's better than a good dance joke? They're corny, they're punny, and they're exactly what you need to get you through long Nutcracker days. These 10 jokes are guaranteed to put a smile on your face—no matter how much your feet are hurting.
Some might say Charlize Glass' fame kicked off with a single three-letter word. In 2014, Beyoncé shared a video of the then–12-year-old dancer performing to "Yoncé" on Instagram, along with a simple caption: "WOW!"
But by that point, the hip-hop mini had already performed at the MTV Video Music Awards and on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," and won first runner-up with her crew, 8 Flavahz, on "America's Best Dance Crew." And her Queen Bey Insta shout-out wasn't even the pinnacle of her tween career: She earned a spot on The PULSE On Tour as an Elite Protégé for the 2014–2015 season, and performed with Missy Elliott at the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show in 2015.
These days, the 16-year-old spends her time touring the country as Brian Friedman's assistant at Radix Dance Convention and blowing up YouTube and Instagram with her class-video cameos. And while the Char Char we fell in love with was a hip-hop cutie pie, the more mature artist we see today is sure to rock the dance world for years to come.
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Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!
"So you Think You Can Dance" Season 14 finalists Lex Ishimoto and Taylor Sieve shocked fans at home (at least the ones who hadn't thoroughly scoured their respective Instagrams) during Episode 14, when choreographer Mia Michaels asked if either of them had ever experienced "the kind of love that takes your breath away." They confessed that, yup, they had—with each other. The two met at The Dance Awards in the summer of 2016, where they were each named Senior Best Dancer, and went on to tour with the convention as assistants. Before long—and long before their "SYTYCD" journey—they became a couple.
Take a look at Dance Spirit's exclusive interview where they dish on everything from their favorite dates to the dance moves that give them all the feels.
There's a surprising twist to Regina Willoughby's last season with Columbia City Ballet: It's also her 18-year-old daughter Melina's first season with the company. Regina, 40, will retire from the stage in March, just as her daughter starts her own career as a trainee. But for this one season, they're sharing the stage together.
Yes, we all know dancers are strong. But sometimes it takes a truly epic workout video to remind us JUST HOW INSANELY STRONG they actually are.
Behold, National Ballet of Canada principal Svetlana Lunkina's oh-so-casual pre-class exercise:
Dance Spirit is beyond excited to announce the first round of 2017 Future Star winners! Every year, DS partners with competitions to recognize dancers with exceptional presence and ability. The second round of winners will be featured in our January issue, so stay tuned!