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!