Dance News

Get Into The Groove: DS assistant/fashion editor Michael Anne Bailey dishes about the latest Madonna audition

One rainy day in September, I set out for NYC’s Broadway Dance Center to watch some of the city’s hottest performers audition for a shot to dance on Madonna’s next tour. The contest, a part of the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project, will conclude with a dance off (between the BDC live-audition finalist and 10 web finalists) at the project’s main event—a giant dance party!—in NYC on November 12.

As I turned onto 45th Street, dancers were lined up all the way down the block in front of the studio, some anxiously waiting to get inside, others busting a move for the camera crews. One girl with super-teased ‘80s curls and a cropped, sequined jacket went full-out, giving her best “Material Girl”-inspired freestyle. Upstairs, dancers were taken to a prescreening room where they were given one minute to improvise. Based on their performances, it was decided whether they would move forward and dance for Madonna’s head choreographers Rich and Tone Talauega (DS May/June 2011).

The first few dancers on the floor lacked energy and technique, leaving me wondering if I was in for a very long day. Then, in walked Hurricane. I chuckled as he introduced himself, but when the music began, energy exploded from every limb—he definitely lived up to his name. Hurricane’s flirty smile and out-of-this-world tricks bumped him to the top of my list and, as expected, he was sent directly to audition for Rich and Tone.

Though there were few like Hurricane, I was impressed by the performers who gave it their all—and those are the kinds of dancers we see tearing it up behind Madonna on tour. So at your next audition—whether it’s for Britney or The Nutcracker—don’t hold back!

Dance News
Photo by Jayme Thornton

Harper Watters is a ballet dancer for today's generation. A social media maestro and a charismatic performer, the Houston Ballet soloist is equally at home in front of the camera hosting his hit YouTube series, "The Pre Show"; interacting with fans on his crazy-popular Instagram account; or showing off his beautiful classical technique onstage. It's a multifaceted identity that's proven to be invaluable to his career—and it's taking him to places he never even dreamed of.

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Ashley Wallen's choreography brought The Greatest Showman to life. (Photo by Niko Tavernise, courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

The 2018 Oscar noms are here. Which is fun and all; we'll never not get excited about a night of glitz and glamor and, when we're lucky, pretty great dancing. But we'd be a heck of a lot more excited if the Academy Awards included a Best Choreography category. And really—why don't they?

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Look out, 'cause here they come!

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Dancer to Dancer
Ballet BC's Alexis Fletcher says experimenting with structured improv can make you more comfortable with risk. (Michael Slobodian, courtesy Ballet BC)

The dancers who take our breath away are the risk-takers, the ones who appear completely fearless onstage. "When you see somebody trying to travel more, go farther, push the limits of their physical abilities, that's always going to be inspiring," says Ballet BC dancer Alexis Fletcher.

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Via @maudiepooh on Instagram

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Leap! National Dance Competition offers dancers of all skill levels an opportunity to showcase their talents in an event where the focus is on fun and competing is just a bonus!

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Future Star winner Basia Rhoden (courtesy Starpower)

The second round of 2017 Future Star winners showcases more dancers with singular talent and ability. We're thrilled to celebrate their success!

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Erin Baiano

If you're in need of a piece that's both trendy and sophisticated, look no further than this Só Dança crop top. Featuring elegant long sleeves, a high neckline, and a delicate lace trim, it's both classic and contemporary—perfect for everything from that big audition to a long night in the studio. Enter below for your chance to win it!

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Juneau Dance Theatre student Anna McDowell filming an audition video with Bridget Lujan (courtesy Juneau Dance Theatre)

Auditioning for summer intensives in person may be the ideal—but for Anna McDowell, a 16-year-old student at Juneau Dance Theatre in Juneau, AK, it's rarely possible. “Living in Alaska, it's difficult to travel to auditions," she says. “It gets way too expensive!" Instead, each year, with help from her teachers and a videographer, she puts together a well-crafted video and submits it to schools around the country. Last year, her high-quality video helped her earn acceptance to nearly every program she applied for. Most summer intensive programs, eager to attract students from far and wide, will accept video auditions from those who can't travel to take class. But major schools look at hundreds of submissions each year, which means video auditioners have just a few minutes—or even seconds—to make a great impression. If you're about to create an audition video, follow these tips from the professionals to put your best digital foot forward.

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Christopher Perricelli leading class at Gus Giordano Dance School (courtesy Amy Giordano)

There are zillions of things to think about when choosing a summer program, but here's one you might not have considered: using an intensive as an opportunity to focus on a new style. Maybe you're a tap dancer who's ready to see where else your rhythm and quick feet can serve you, or a contemporary dancer curious about the more traditional roots of your genre. A summer program can be the perfect place to broaden your horizons, giving you the opportunity to make technical and artistic changes that stick throughout the year.

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